Worship of Divine Power


Sri Swami Sivananda

Durga Puja Message
2nd to 10th October 1951

The worship of the Protective Power is a need felt by all created beings. This worship may take the form of an intelligent participation with the universal, sustaining Power, or it may, in ordinary common beings, exist as merely the instinct of subjection to higher powers whose help they seek by their very nature. Man, however, endowed as he is with the brilliant faculty of discrimination, understanding and conscious volition, knows that his well-being rests upon his being in harmony with the governing power of the universe. Man requires protection both physically and psychically. The unique Indian mind has conceived of the Reality behind the universe as a supremely intelligent Being working with its Force or Power or Shakti, which is inherent in this universal Intelligence. This Supreme Power appears as Avataras, which descend to the visible world, or invisible benefactory forces of which man cannot be easily conscious. Whatever be the form taken by this Power, its worship is found to be indispensable for the good of man; this worship is, therefore, an attempt to come in contact with that Power. Upon those who cannot worship it always, the ancient scriptures have enjoined occasional worship.

In a year, the beginning of summer and the beginning of winter are two very important junctions of climatic conditions and solar influence. These two occasions are taken as the sacred opportunities for the worship of the Divine Being. These are indicated respectively, by the Ramanavaratri in the Chaitra Masa and the Durga Navaratri in the Ashwayuja Masa. The bodies and the minds of people undergo a considerable change on account of the changes in the outer nature. Sri Rama is worshipped on Ramanavami on the first occasion, and Devi Durga on the second. While Sri Rama is the Avatara of God through his Shakti (Prakriti, Atma Maya or Yoga Maya), Durga is the Shakti manifested as the creative, preservative and protective principle in the created world. This great Principle is adored as the Divine Mother, as Maha Kaali, Maha Lakshmi and Maha Saraswati, representing the aspects of Tamas, Rajas and Sattwa. As a rope is made of three strands, the universe consists of these three Gunas or modes of Prakriti. Devi Puja is the worship of the ultimate cause of all things, and hence it conduces to the good of all, which are its effects.

It is the bounden duty of man to propitiate the Divine Mother, for She rules supreme over the health and the wealth of the universe. Even the intelligence of man is governed by Her. Man is really Shakti Maya, (filled with Shakti). He cannot exist independent of Shakti. The whole universe is energy, and energy is Shakti. God in His revealed form is Shakti or Power. In his unmanifested aspect He is Chit or Consciousness; Chit Shakti is the Consciousness Force that is working everywhere as the material cause of everything. On the worship of this Mother of all things depends the prosperity of the individual, the family, the society, the nation and the whole world. Human power is not great; it derives its value from the inexhaustible source of Divinity. When it is illumined by the pure Intelligence of the Divine, it tends to spiritual construction and blessedness–not vile destruction and misery. The great need of the hour is harmony and a proper knowledge of the divine forces of the universe, the lack of which is the harbinger of evil and suffering. Loving communion with the whole means the happiness of that which is one with the Whole.

O Seeker! You are not a self-sufficient, independent entity. Your greatness is a reflected part of the universal magnificence of the Maha Shakti or the Aishwarva of the Lord. Abandon your vanity and pride. Surrender yourself to the Divine Mother. Pray to Her, who is Brahma Shakti, Vishnu Shakti, and Siva Shakti. You are a child of the Mother. How can you disregard Her? You are made up of Her Substance. Know that She is all-pervading. There is no place where She is not. Study the Devi Mahatmya and do Japa of Devi Mantra. Meditate on Devi and attune yourself to Her. This is your goal; this is your highest prosperity; this is the zenith of glory; this is Kaivalya Moksha or final emancipation. May you rest in Peace and be blessed. May the grace of Divine Mother be upon you!

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