Leela of Vedanta & Tantra
Darśan of Paraśakti
Cosmic Mother worship
Mother worship is unique to the Vedic tradition. It is we who gave this great gift of Mother worship to the world. No other religion has this tradition. Many still don’t dare respect the Mother aspect of God, the Cosmic Mother dimension! It is we who introduced the mother worship.
In the Vedic tradition, all the sacred things are looked upon as feminine – whether it is a sacred river, or anything that is sacred. The kundalini (latent supreme bio-energy), the Kula kundalini in you, is Devi, the Cosmic Mother. Only if she awakens in you, you will experience the highest consciousness, this Mother energy.
During the nine days of Navratri (festival), we worship the Cosmic Mother.
Mother worship can be thought of as worshipping the Cosmos as mother, and connecting with the Cosmic Mother. I tell you: Only Mother-worshipping traditions are non-violent on the planet Earth. During the nine days of Navaratri, a special door opens for all of us to experience that consciousness; the special possibility opens, the consciousness is available for us to experience, explore, to awaken the ‘buddhi’ (intelligence), in all of us.
‘Dhi’ in Sanskrit means, ‘awakened intelligence’, the intelligence which is functioning from the space of completion. The intelligence which is established in the space of Advaita Satya – Truth of Oneness – is called ‘dhi’. ‘Dheekshanya’, means ‘intelligence which is awakened from the space of Advaita’.
‘Ellai illor shuddha swayamprakaasha jnaana paraveli’ – This is the definition that Atma Purāṇa (the Tamil translation and commentary on the four major Upanishads), uses. This is the word which I Myself studied at a young age to define ParaŚakti (Cosmic Mother). Boundaryless consciousness is available for all of us especially during these Navaratri days. All you need to do in these Navaratri days to experience that consciousness, is complete the pain of your tapas (effort to attain). The incompletions and impossibilities you carry towards your tapas should be completed. Devi heals even your incompletions about your incompletions
I am fundamentally a Śhakta
Basically I am Myself a shākta, a Mother worshipper.
My spiritual practice started only as a shākta – in the Shakta tradition. The first formal initiation I had was of the Sri Vidya tradition, Sri Vidya parampara. I used to dress with all the paraphernalia and everything, to practice Sri Vidya. In the West, they use a very abusive word called cross-dressing, which is not right, but in the East it is one of the powerful manifestations of completion. In the Sri Vidya sampradaya, it is the reverence, the ultimate honor, shown to Adiśakti.
The energy of Devi AdiŚakti, the divine feminine consciousness, vibrates in and around Bhagavan Nithyananda so profoundly that you can almost touch and feel her. She is the buttery softness of His skin, the grace of His gait and the compassion of His smile. Immediately when you enter His presence, she is the womb-like silence that you feel, reverberating with the pure energy of Creation. The fulfilling silence, nurturing and overflowing with the mothering consciousness, is so deeply penetrating that it reaches your very core. When you decided to go and meet The Avatār during a program, webinar, workshop or discourse, you might not have known what to expect – but suddenly when you are in His breathing space, you turn into a lost child that has finally found your mother. A submersion into the Divine happens, as if you just took a dip in an ocean of compassion and its waters embrace you fully for the first time. The fulfillment spreads through your body. Suddenly, without your knowing why or having any kind of control, tears are flowing from your eyes.
There are innumerable experiences Bhagavan narrates about the intense expression of ParaŚakti throughout His life. There are so many instances of unique darśans, and especially in times when the body of The Avatār is in need of protection, the Mother of the Cosmos immediately attends to Him. As Bhudevi – Mother Earth – She responds to Him, and grows whatever His body needs, on the very land on which He walks!
The first visible expression of feminine consciousness happened in Bhagavan’s life at the age of ten, during the holy nights of Navratri, when Devi’s energy is most accessible to the inhabitants of planet Earth. On one such night, the brahmanda yoni, the cosmic feminine energy, revealed itself to Him in a grand vision.
Soham asmi: Even when I pray I am He
The Avatār reveals through this sixteenth verse of the Ishavasya Upanishad the fundamentals of Hinduism in worship:
pūṣann-ekarṣe yama sūrya prājāptya। vyūha raśmin samūha। tejo yat te rūpaṁ kalyāṇa-tamaṁ tat te paśyāmi yo’sāvasau puruṣaḥ so’ ham asmi ॥ 16॥
O Puṣan, Consciousness, who is the nourisher, sustainer of all, the primeval solitary traveller, the disciplining principle of all, is like the bright, effulgent Sun, and is the Lord of the entire creation, which is His subject. Please remove all Your rays of this radiating, brilliant golden light, which had blinded me, so that by Your grace, I can have the Divine vision of that most auspicious, graceful, beautiful form of Yours. That which is there, the glorious Sun, is the mirror of the Supreme Being, who is all-pervading, pure Consciousness of the Cosmos. Indeed, I am He, Soham Asmi.
– ISHAVASYA UPANISHAD (Verse 16)
Understanding the Truth of Soham Asmi
The key word in this is: Soham Asmi, ‘I am He.’ In this verse, in the first few lines, it looks like the subject, the devotee, is praying to something far away. But the last word gives the punch: That which is far away is within me! It means, ‘Even when I pray, I am He.’
Understand, Hindus not only look up, they look ‘in’. That can only happen by the Third Eye. Ordinary eyes can only look in one direction. Only the Third Eye can look into both height and depth, looking up and looking in.
The beauty of the way Sanātana Hindu Dharma teaches prayer is: there is no powerlessness in it. The inner space you assume, even while you are praying, is not a lower inner-image. Even when you have not realized the Oneness with the Cosmos, when you are doing sādhana (spiritual disciplines) to achieve the Cosmic Oneness, you are One with the Cosmos. That is always reminded as the undercurrent. Never at any point the separation is recognized in Sanātana Hindu Dharma – because that is not the Truth. That is not the reality.
This verse in the Upanishad is very clear: Just because I am praying, I am not away from You. I AM YOU – SOHAM ASMI. I may be praying, but I am you. The sixteenth verse of Ishavasya Upanishad sets you free from all possible slavery related to these mental games. The sūtra is very clear, the rishis are very clear – ‘Even when I pray, I am You.’ Even while I have not yet experienced, realized my Oneness with you, even though I am a devotee praying to you, I know the truth – I am one with You.
I tell you: In all our temples, in our tradition, this verse should be written in golden letters, and prayer should be taught based on this verse. This is the definition of prayer.
The definition of Seeking
Facing the basic questions is Seeking
I will expand on this great truth – Seeking.
In Seeking, you have to come back to the basic questions. Whatever makes you powerless is the basic question that you are not able to face. That is the seed of Seeking! Whatever makes you powerless is the question you are not able to face, and deciding to face those questions is Seeking.
Whatever makes you powerless – questions like ‘What will happen after death, will I be all alone during my death?’ or ‘Will I be able to handle all the pain I may have to go through on my deathbed?’, or ‘If suddenly some poverty happens in my life, if I lose something, what will happen?’ So the questions which make you powerless… If you decide not to face them, you push yourself into delusion again and again; if you decide to face them, that is Seeking.
Just because these questions have been asked many times by others, or by yourself to you, don’t think you know the answer. Being familiar with that problem does not mean you have found the solution for that problem. That is delusion.
When you are all alone in your bed and not sleeping, when you are alone, ask these questions to yourself: “If death comes, tonight, am I prepared to face it? What is Life? What is it that gives me such a strong confidence that I am not going to die, I am going to eternally exist?”
Seeking is the way to make your confidence an experience of your Consciousness
There is a part of you which never dies, which is eternally alive: your Consciousness, your bio-energy. There is a part of you which dies. Unfortunately, you associate yourself with that which dies, but you draw confidence from that which does not die! It is like this – just by smelling the food, you feel you have eaten, and you are fulfilled. But the smell can never fill your stomach! Only if you eat, it can fill your stomach. Same way, just the confidence of your bio-energy that you are never going to die, will not make you enlightened. It will be there till your nail gets broken, or you face a small fracture! A hairline crack is enough to take away your confidence that you are eternal!
Your confidence is only the smell of your bio-energy, not the experience of your bio-energy. Deciding to make it as an experience, is what I call Seeking.
Vibhutānanda Puri gives me the ‘click’ and ‘master key’ on Seeking
MĀTĀ VIBHUTĀNANDA PURI
My Vedānta and Tantra Guru
Once I went and told My Guru, Mātā Vibhutānanda Puri Devi, “You are telling Me that I am beyond life and death?” She read out Ribhu Gita to Me that day, and explained some of the great truths in Ribhu Gita. I strongly recommend that all My disciples read Ribhu Gita. It is one of the greatest scriptures in Hindu tradition. And she explained to Me a concept about immortality, and I went and slept over it.
The next day I went and told her, “You explained, but I am afraid whether I will enter into that space at all, and how to enter into that space?”
She said, “Just entertain the desire so strongly to experience that space, that the fear about whether you will experience it or not will break, and that is the moment you will experience that space.’’
She told Me beautifully in Tamil, “Tedutaley tedubavanai teduvadarku aakki kedil seyyum shakti vaiandadhu” – the Seeking is powerful enough to merge the seeker into that which is sought after.
She said beautifully, “Whatever you are seeking, entertain that. That is intelligent enough to break the fear about whether you will achieve it or not, and make you enter into that space which you are seeking.”
It was such a powerful click for me! I tell you: This is the key I used to experience everything described in Āgama and Tantra and Vedānta and Yoga. This is the Master key, this is the Master key. There are a few Master keys that I received from My masters, which I used in millions of places and realized the Truths. If something clicks with you the moment your Guru utters it, understand that your heart was waiting for that truth, your being was waiting for that truth! When Vibhutānanda Puri explained about Seeking, it was such a powerful click for Me. I think the right word was told to Me by the right person when I was at the right temperature! It straight entered into My system.
My seeking to have Devi’s darśan realizes itself
The ParaŚakti deity I carved out of soapstone after having Her darśan
The click that Vibhutānanda Puri gave me was so powerfully sitting inside of Me, like a bullet that will finish any doubt: Your seeking is powerful enough to make you experience the space you are seeking.
One day in the temple, I went to the sannidhi (shrine) of Devi Unnamulai amman to have darśan of Devi and take her blessings. In the corner right next to the deity, suddenly the form of Devi appeared! When I had the darśan, I saw only Devi Bhuvaneshwari. It was just too much!
Slowly that very geometry and that form, both disappeared into My inner space. I was just laughing in ecstasy, crying, “Amma (mother) is here, Amma is here!”
“I saw Her!” I told Yogananda Puri, “I saw Her with four hands!”
Then, I went back home, and carved the deity as I experienced her, the same way I saw her, in soapstone.
To chisel deities, I used to have a koni needle (thick long needle) and a kerosene stove. I would heat the needle, make a chisel, and start chiseling, using a wooden hammer. Then I would take it to My father’s friend and with his guidance finish it. This is how I made the ParaŚakti deity.
When I took the finished deity to Ragupathi Yogi, he just checked the subtle energy flow in My hand. It was a yogic technique to determine whether the body had been exposed to a super-high frequency vibration. When he realized that I was telling the truth, suddenly he just prostrated at My feet!
He cried, “I am blessed, my boy! It takes a lifetime of spiritual practice to have a vision of Devi. You are indeed a siddha Puruṣa (realized being). Hereafter, Devi will be your ishta Devatā, your favored deity!”