In the Lalitha Sahasranama Sage Agastya extols Devi with the mantra : “OM CHITYEI NAMAHA”.“I offer my salutations to the Divine Mother who is all-knowing, all-powerful and present everywhere as Pure, Infinite, All-Pervading Consciousness.”
Though Devi is present everywhere all the time, we are unable to experience Her Divine Presence because of our negative tendencies and imperfections which propel us into adharma or unethical living. Devi removes all adharma or unrighteousness and establishes Dharma or right ethical principles in us. The principles of Dharma which should be followed by human beings have been given to us by Sage Kashyapa, who was the first human being. If we want our lives to be prosperous, peaceful and happy, all of us have to maintain a constant awareness of the Cosmic Energy and our Soul within and also interact harmoniously with society and the environment around us at the same time. Both these relationships should be stable and balanced. Based on this, Sage Kashyapa classifies the Dharma to be followed by human beings into two broad categories.
1. The first category is Pravrutti Dharma or Marga which is related to the physical, material and transactional spheres of our lives. This defines the way different kinds of food influence the body, mind and intellect. It also sets forth the ethics we should follow in our professional lives and the social norms that govern our interactions in society.
2. The second category is Nivrutti Dharma or Marga which is related to ourinward journey towards the realization of the Self. Depending on our stage of evolution and the Cosmic Principles (Dharma) we have followed, we give a greater priority either to attaining wealth, fame and prosperity in the outer world or to reconnecting ourselves to our Inner Self. If we feel that material life is more important, we will engage ourselves in professional or social activities most of the time. On the other hand, if we are on an inward journey, we will derive greater joy from religious or spiritual activities. This does not mean that if we are involved in intense transactional activity, we should not turn towards spirituality. We also require this to lead a successful life. In fact, the relationship between those of us who practice spirituality and those of us in transactional activity should always be reciprocal and mutually beneficial. If we are immersed in spiritual sadhana, we should pray for the welfare of all beings and see to it that those who lead a material life have constant peace, happiness and contentment in their hearts. On the other hand, if we are completely engaged in professional activity, we should protect and nurture the spiritual beings who pray for our welfare and ensure that all their physical needs are satisfied. Devi blesses all of us with the kind of inspiration we need when we tune in to Her by understanding and following the ethics and principles prescribed by our Dharma.
If we want to understand our Dharma and follow it scrupulously, we must first comprehend the principles of Artha, Kama and Moksha. “Artha” is the ability to understand the true meaning of life by being constantly aware that as human beings, “Moksha” or liberation from the cycle of repeated births and deaths is our ultimate goal. Every circumstance that we encounter in life is leading us towards this goal. The intense yearning to attain Moksha or liberation is called “Kama”. When we are motivated by this yearning all the time, our lives are automatically based on right ethical, principles or Dharma.
When we make a sincere attempt to lead an ethical, principled life, Devi brings out a great divine power from within us called Chit Shakti. Chit Shakti is the Energy of our Soul. It is also the Divine Energy that creates, sustains and ultimately dissolves the entire Cosmos. It vibrates in each and every atom of creation, but transcends the barriers of time and space. When our Chit Shakti is activated, we are able to comprehend Devi who is present everywhere and is subtler than the subtlest and greater than the greatest. Right now our negative tendencies which are also very subtle are preventing us from feeling the divine presence of Devi. However, when we try to uproot these tendencies, it is like lighting a lamp with a damp wick. When we finally manage to light it, the flame flickers and goes out. Only Devi can uproot all our negative tendencies permanently so that we are free from conflict and enjoy constant peace, contentment and bliss.
It is to invoke Her Grace in the form of Chit Shakti today that we are chanting the mantra “OM CHITYEI NAMAHA” as She is the one who has to activate and raise our Conciousness with Her Divine Energy. Unless our Consciousness is raised by Her to Her own divine frequency of vibration, we will continue to be victims of our negative tendencies which will constantly toss the mind between happiness and sorrow.
A doctor can give us remedies to cure the problems of the body, but only Devi can cure the problems of the mind and keep it always joyous and free so that it is no longer bothered by troubles and worries. This mantra helps the mind to become calm, stable and equipoised so that Devi can activate our Consciousness.
Today let us all make a strong resolve to follow Dharma in our lives and chant this mantra to invoke the Grace of the Divine Mother. May all of you experience Her Presence in yourselves as infinite joy and peace.
Extract from ‘The book of direct truths, subtle truths and the mystical truths of Devi Mahatmyam’ by Shri Shri Nimishananda