Four Navratri periods of 2023

Four Navratri periods of 2023

Honouring mother and motherhood

By Swami Vidyadhishananda

We could only relate through our mother – what would mom think?- until we became independent thinkers. Milk was ready as we tried to open our eyes. We clung to our mother when we tried to hide from facing the world. We cried out loud and we were pacified by our mothers. We shared our bodies with our mothers for several months while in the womb and extracted the potent lifeforce śakti from her that embellished us with the ojas energy.

During our innocent years, we relied on our mothers every bit warmth and solace. Her touch gave us the force to build upon our ideals and conceptions. We grew in strength and force so that we could be ready for voluntary action. That force we gathered through the gift of motherhood enabled us to cultivate or our own energy śakti all the creativity we could muster.

We grow building and fortifying what motherhood’s feminine force gifted to us. Mothering gave us the nurturing that served to cushion all of our future actions with emotional support. That emotional reserve was also the āhlādinī–śakthi which was borrowed from the and unalloyed motherly love. Thus mother is hailed as the first guru, mātridevo-bhava, and it is a huge debt that motivates us to serve and practice.
Whether embroiled or relatively free, once encumbered, the tentacles of duties cannot be avoided. Just like the sacrifice of the mother, we can only serve by discharging our duties as spiritual penance and lovingly offer the fruits of hard work to the creator that exercised supreme śakti in this creation. Ultimately only the creator can provide can protect us from the imbalance of adversity and prosperity. Feminine force is the instrument and the maternal cause of our lives and success. Without the support of that śakti we cannot excel in our lives.

Unwittingly we invite challenges from uninvited situations our way due to the very urge that initiated this life. We choose our mom through her father. Our innocence gave way to the understanding of the momentum of the past actions and the grip of karma. We understood the value of correct knowledge in overcoming the shackles of ignorance, and the role of voluntary actions and its adhering virtues.

Freedom is not attained until the full quota of contingent satisfactions from the momentum of karma get exhausted, which may take lifetimes of striving and adhering misery. Therefore wisely proactive voluntary actions are needed to rectify and set things right by using that so resource of śakti in every step of our lives.

A famous Vedanta verse proclaims that our immortal essence cannot be introspected by those who are physically weak ( nāyāmātmā balahinene labhya). Thus a mindful seeker considers the gift of a healthy body as the most important support for introspective contemplation. Such a seeker understands that the body is like wet earth (or soil). Vibrant cruelty-free food organically grown on this Mother Earth is what sustains the original motherly śakti. Sustainable living is unapproachable without healing Mother Earth. Verily, earth is the mother of a community, and she bears the burden of plundering, cruelty, exploitation and atrocities.

Honouring motherhood is a daily duty by during four navrātri periods each year motherhood is honoured through a targeted spiritual parents. These time periods are considered to be the ideal times to participate in healing the earth through the meditation and worship of the Divine Mother – the great śakti.

Meditation Mass and fellowship services invoking the Divine Mother honour motherhood, reciprocate the sacrifices made for us and here mother earth. Vedic fire ceremonies (Homa) are typically offered as an immense promise of reciprocation.

Those who sacrifice for the greater cause have truly understood the core principles and spiritual values that guide our service. It is not enough to seek personal benevolence for oneself from the Divine Mother. It is better still to undertake genuine spiritual practices and service that elevate our minds and fulfil our hearts without wanting anything in return. After all, a mother wants hardly anything from the child!

Navrātri is an auspicious time for the worship of the great śakti in veneration of the Divine Mother.

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