Exorcising our Inner Demons with Blessings of (Durga)Shakti

Among the several episodes of Devi Mahatmyam, I particularly like the last episode involving the Goddess Kali. Kali represents the transformative aspect of Devi’s shakti. It is also assumed to represent a force of the mythical underworld. As the story goes Kali emerges from Devi’s eyebrows(or is it the 3rd eye?) as a form of psychic energy. Kali destroys the demons Chanda and Munda and comes to be known as Chamunda. This is then followed by a fierce battle with a demon called RAKTABIJA. As the name suggests every drop of the demon’s blood falling on the ground transforms into another demon as soon as it touches the earth. This seemed to make the demon invincible. Kali, therefore, comes up with a unique strategy in the final encounter with the demon. The Goddess assumes a dark and ferocious figure with a huge mouth and an enormous tongue to devour the demon’s blood and makes sure not to let even a drop fall on the ground. This effectively prevents the emergence of new avatars of the demon.

This story appealed to me due to its subtle significance. Isn’t it about inner demons existing within each one of us – the demons of hatred, jealousy, anger, violence, fear, insecurity etc. As we try to curb one tendency, yet another ugly demon emerges and it is a never-ending process. As in the story of Kali, we need a strategy to combat all the demons at the same time instead of tackling one at a time. This is where we need the blessings of Shakti or Devi to destroy our ignorance so that all negativity ends in one shot! The point of the story is that even if a small trace of ignorance remains, it is capable of raising its ugly head in the form of yet another negative emotion. It is difficult to get rid of ignorance completely without the power of Kali because many of our negative aspects are deep inside our sub-conscious. While one can deal with conscious fear, envy, jealousy etc, one doesn’t have access to the sub-conscious. Re-emergence of a new demon from a drop of blood falling on the ground is like our negativity popping up from the sub-conscious. It is extremely difficult to deal with this deep-seated ignorance. As they say, Known devil is better than the unknown because the latter resides in our sub-conscious self. It is for eliminating this ignorance or AVIDYA that we need to invoke the blessings of Shakti on this Dussehra day.

Shakti has 3 different aspects,namely, Icha Shakti, Jnana Shakti and Kriya Shakti. Icha Shakti is the power to will or desire while Jnana Shakti is the power of knowledge. Kriya Shakti represents the power to achieve or accomplish what we desire to do with our knowledge. The key to happy life is our ability to balance the 3 shaktis. One can easily see what happens if one keeps on desiring without learning how to carry out actions. We would call such people day-dreamers!Similarly if one is constantly planning without a vision, then again he will be adrift. Too much bias for action without desiring and planning also will result in frustration. The 3 different aspects of Shakti are,therefore, aptly represented by Saraswathi, Durga and Lakshmi. Goddess Saraswathy blesses us with the will power to develop the right desires and to acquire knowledge. Durga propels us into action while Lakshmi blesses us with the fruits of actions in the form of wealth. We need the blessings and power of all 3 to fulfill our life’s material and spiritual goals!

Published in: on October 12, 2013 at 10:34 pm  Comments (1)  
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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. A well written blog! Glad to read it first thing in the morning ! A warm Bijoya greetings to Prabha and you to get rid of all your inner demons!!

    Love Athimber

    Sent from my iPad


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