Today is the most joyous day as we celebrate and rejoice at the victory of Devi who destroyed all the demonic forces and re-established Dharma or righteousness in this world. The Divine Mother granted us the great blessing of adoring Her through Her external, contemplative and meditative forms. We laid all our troubles at her lotus feet and she compassionately removed our mountainous burdens of hardship making us feel light and free. We invoked the divine mother as our Guru and asked her to correct all our imperfections by slaying the demonic forces in us. We offered our strengths as weapons at her lotus feet to be used for the welfare of all beings and received the most valuable weapon of anugraha or grace from devi.
It is the first day of our new lives, our new incarnations. Purified by sadhana and devi’s grace, we begin our lives afresh with reinforced faith, belief and surrender. Now that we have established the priceless treasure of the divine mother’s grace in our hearts, let us learn what we should do to retain it permanently in our lives. Again it is devi who has to give us this knowledge. Let us offer our reverent salutations to Goddess Saraswathi, who is the fountain of wisdom and pray for Her constant grace and guidance. Many of us very wrongly think that as soon as we complete our studies, we do not require the blessings of Goddess Saraswathi anymore.
Without knowledge from Saraswathi, we cannot resolve any crisis. Whenever we try to find solutions to the problems in our lives, it is always Goddess Saraswathi who gives us the right prompts and flow of ideas from within.
If we are usually able to resolve our problems quickly and easily, it means that we are blessed with Her Grace. Sometimes when we reach a dead end in our search for a solution, Devi sends somebody who resolves our problem in no time. This is also a sign of her grace. However, if the same problems have been plaguing us for a long time because we are unable to solve them, it means that we must perform more sadhana to tune in to Her Grace.
So, let us invoke Goddess Saraswathi and pray— “Mother, you are present in me as intelligence, comprehension and intuition. Give me the patience and tolerance to understand each problem and find the solution. Please bless me with Your Grace so that I maybe always be open and receptive to Your flow of knowledge, creative ideas and intuitive prompts from all sources.” All of us are very calm, patient and tolerant when things go well, but when problems arise, we over- react and become impatient, tense, irritable or panicky. So the patience and tolerance required to calmly examine and analyse a problem also comes from Saraswathi.
Om Mahasaraswathyei Namaha is the mantra of Goddess Saraswathi. Whenever we are confronted by a problem or feel stressed, we should remove our footwear and chant this in our minds to tune in to her grace. Within a few minutes we will experience the presence of devi as peace, calmness and resourcefulness.
When we chant her mantra everyday, Her jnana or knowledge fills every pore of our being. Goddess Saraswathi is always depicted in aflowing white sari playing a stringed instrument called the veena. Her white robes symbolise pristine purity. When we keep the mind pure, it becomes the abode of Saraswathi. It is because Goddess Saraswathi is continuously playing Her Veena that the Vedas are being chanted and bhajans, kirtans and satsangs are being conducted in this world. The four strings of her Veena symbolise the four Vedas and the fifth string on which the beat is strummed denotes the upanishads. While the vedas which are a treasury of knowledge were directly revealed to Sage Veda Vyasa, the Upanishads arose from the rich spiritual experience of several Sages. Both the vedas and upanishads describe the relationship that exists between us and the cosmos. That is why the larger hemisphere on the Veena represents the Brahmanda or macrocosm and the smaller hemisphere represents the pindanda or microcosm and knowledge is the indispensable link that connects the two.
From knowledge arises experience, from experience arise faith and belief, from faith and belief arise divine emotions, from divine emotions arises contemplation, from contemplation arises meditation and from meditation arises self realisation or salvation. For this, we must seek the grace of Goddess Saraswathi.
Extract from The Book of Direct Truths, Subtle Truths and The Mystical Truths of Devi Mahatmyam by Shri Shri Nimishananda