As per the Devi Mahatmyam, Devi Adiparashakti manifests as Durga to complete the purification of our mind and intellect.
All the aspects of Devi are present in the Cosmos in the form of vibrations.
When we worship Her with devotion, Devi reveals Herself in the form that is etched in our own mind and heart. This is easily understood through an example.
Electricity is present in wires in the form of energy.
This is not visible to our eyes. When we press a switch, this electric energy manifests itself visibly - the bulb begins to glow, the fan rotates, the TV switches on etc. Likewise if we want to experience Divinity through a form, the easiest way is to offer our love to God without any expectations or desires.
Desires cloud the mind with karmic dust. This cloud of dust prevents us from perceiving Divinity.
Both our desires and aversions begin with the senses. For instance in a family, the husband may want to listen to classical music on the radio, but it may irritate his wife who prefers film music.
Many times we disregard the comfort of others when we want to gratify our own senses. From where does this compulsive urge come?
It comes from our mind and intellect. If we have an argument with somebody and get upset, we will refuse to eat our favourite dish even if it is offered to us. The senses merely send the stimuli to the brain. It is our intellect that decides how to respond to this stimulus.
It is also the intellect that is responsible for the friction in our relationships. When people have different tastes and value systems, there are frequent clashes. If we like certain people we put up with any amount of inconvenience to please them, but if we dislike them, nothing in the world can induce us to enjoy their company. The more involved we are with people and circumstances in our life, the more our intellect oscillates between emotional dependence and revulsion.
The mind contracts and becomes obsessive in this thinking. To avoid this we must give each other mental space. Otherwise distress becomes a constant factor in our lives. Then our health is adversely affected and terminal diseases attack the body. Disease means a mind that is not at ease. If we want to avoid disease, we must purify the mind and intellect.
So the sages said - “When you enter your house, you don’t bring in dirt from outside and scatter it in every room. In fact, you try your best to keep your house spick and span. Why do you allow your mind and intellect to get so entangled with external circumstances?
Each time you allow other people to occupy your mind, you are filling it with dust, dirt and garbage. Never allow anybody except God and your Guru to dwell in your mind.” Otherwise the mind gets into the habit of wandering everywhere and picking up troubles by the dozen. Then our life is also filled with trouble. Just as to get butter from yogurt, we have to churn it thoroughly; likewise, to behold Devi who is seated in our heart as the Soul, we have to churn the mind.
This is symbolically depicted in the scriptures as the churning of the kshirasagara (Ocean of milk) to get amrita or nectar. The Gods and demons got together to do this. They used Mount Meru as the churn and the huge divine serpent Vasuki as the rope. The Gods held one end of the serpent while the demons held the other and the churning began. During our sadhana our mind is like the ocean of milk and the sacred mantra that we chant is the churn. Our good thoughts, emotions and the tendencies are the Gods and our undesirable thoughts, feelings and traits are the demons. As the churning begins, first all the impurities of the mind are thrown out. This is the halahala or poison that was immediately consumed by Lord Ishwara and retained in His throat. Here our mental impurities are thrown out by the breath and removed from the mind. Today the most potent mantra to invoke the Grace of Devi Durga is -
“OM DHOOM DURGAYEI NAMAHA”. When thoughts that promote the welfare of the world gain supremacy, we get Devi’s complete grace. This is symbolized by Kamadhenu (the wish fulfilling cow) and Kalpavriksha (the wish fulfilling tree) that emerge from the ocean. When our mind is churned Divine Grace fulfills the desires that arise in the mind that is established in Dharma. As the churning intensifies, the pot of nectar emerges from the ocean. This represents the ambrosia of bliss that overflows from us when we realize our own Self.
Let us continue to perform this spiritual sadhana everyday. Devi is standing at the threshold of our mind.
Let us chant Her mantra and throw the doors of our heart open so that She can enter and purify us completely with Her Grace.
Extract from ‘The book of direct truths, subtle truths and the mystical truths of Devi Mahatmyam’ by Shri Shri Nimishananda