Volume 6 - Issue 10
OCTOBER - 2008
The True Spirit of Dasara
All things in the cosmos are limbs of the body of Vishnu (God). Hence, no one should have any aversion to anything in the universe. You should not hate anyone, because the same Divine is present in you and in everything in the universe.
The cosmos has three forms: the gross, the subtle and the causal. The physical universe represents the gross form. The subtle form is the mind, and subtler than the mind is the Atma.
The Five Kosas or Inner Coverings of Man
A human being has five sheaths. These five sheaths have been grouped into three. The gross sheath is the Annamaya Kosa (the food sheath). The three Kosas, Praanamaya (vital breath), Manomaya (the mental sheath) and the Vijnanamaya (the intellectual sheath) together constitute the subtle sheath.
The causal sheath is the Anandamaya Kosa (the Bliss sheath). Even the last sheath does not represent total bliss, because there is a higher entity above the Anandamaya Kosa. This is known as Mahakaarana or supracausal entity. This is the atmic principle.
Every human being has these Tripuras (three cities). The three puras (cities) are the body, the mind and the heart. Because every individual has these three, he/she is called Tripurasundari (endowed with the beauty of the three worlds). Since the Prakruthi (Nature) element, which is feminine in nature, is present in greater measure in the body, it is termed as Sundari (a beautiful lady).
The Spiritual Truth of Dasara Festival
During the Navarathri (also called as Dasara) festival, Tripurasundari (Goddess) is worshipped. Unfortunately, from ancient times people have been observing only the external forms of worship without understanding the inner significance of these festivals. The entire cosmos is a temple; the Lord pervades the cosmos.
Prakruthi (Nature) teaches the spiritual truth about Navarathri. The Lord has to be realised through sadhana (spiritual practice). Sadhana does not mean adoring God in a particular place or form. It means thinking of God in all that you do wherever you may be. One may ask if this is possible. And the answer is that it is possible by dedicating every action to God.
During the Navarathri festival, there is a form of worship called Angaarpana Puja. In this form of worship, all the limbs of the body are offered to the Divine in a spirit of surrender (Sharanaagathi). Surrender means offering everything to the Divine and giving up the idea of separation between oneself and the Divine. There can be no true surrender if there is a sense of separation. There must be the conviction that it is the same Divine who dwells in all beings - Eko Vasee Sarvabhutha-antharaathma.
The True Meaning of Angaarpana Puja
In the performance of Angaarpana Puja, there is a form of self-deception. When a devotee says, "Nethram Samarpayaami" (I offer my eyes to the Lord) and offers only a flower to the Lord, he is indulging in a kind of deception. The proper way would be to say that he is offering a flower.
Actually, manthras (verses) like "Nethram Samarpayaami" are intended to indicate that one is using his eyes only to see God. The real significance of the Manthra is that you think of the divine in whatever you see or do.
Therefore, the true meaning of the Angaarpana Puja is to declare that you offer all your limbs in the service of the Lord. This means that whatever work you do should be done as an offering to God.
Nowadays, selfishness is rampant among devotees and they love God not for God's sake, but only to get their selfish desires fulfilled. As long as selfishness prevails, the Divine cannot be understood.
The Navarathri festival should be used as an occasion to examine one's own nature, whether it is human, animal or demonic, and strive to transform the animal nature to the human, and divinize the human nature. Wisdom cannot be acquired from outside. It has to be won through inward Sadhana.
- Divine Discourse on Vijaya Dasami day, October 6, 1992
Vol 6 Issue 10 - OCTOBER 2008
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