The Devi insists that liberating knowledge can be attained here in this world
"Formally, the Devi Gita resolves the tension by insisting that knowledge of the Goddess is the final goal of devotion, as well as of dispassion. Devotion without knowledge will lead to the heavenly paradise of the Goddess, the Jeweled Island, but no further. Dwelling in the Jeweled Island, however, inevitably leads to liberating knowledge of the pure consciousness that is the Goddess. Dispassion without knowledge, incidentally, leads only to a virtuous birth. The Devi insists that liberating knowledge can be attained here in this world, while still living. Seeking such knowledge alone makes life worthwhile, and the attainment of knowledge completely fulfils the ultimate purpose of existence."- Devi Gita
Dear Akash, Preeti and All,
Being thoughtless and yet aware and functioning normally is perhaps the most important aspect of meditation. Most people wrongly believe that it is impossible to function without thinking. Definitely that is not the case. But this general misunderstanding has far more to do with the answer to your question, which is the root cause of their ignorance. By that i mean that your inability to remain thoughtlessly aware despite your best deliberate attempts is their assurance that it is an impossible, perhaps even useless task ...... and thus the gulf between spiritual enlightenment and religious ignorance widens ever more.
So how can we understand this most difficult aspect of spirituality? How can we fully surrender to the Devi? How can we silence the ceaseless chatter of the mind?
First picture the mind prior to Self-realization as a huge, ugly, dirty dump full of stinking rotting garbage and overgrown with weeds from years/decades of neglect, ignorance and indifference.
Upon Self-realization the Divine Gardener gives clear time-tested instructions on how to turn the same mental mess into a beautiful Divine Garden which the Devi calls"Sahasrara." But She also cautions that this will take a lot of time and effort because one cannot work physically, only consciously. Even more difficult and perplexing is the cardinal rule that only Silence can and will begin, ever so slowly, transforming the dirty dump of stinking rotting garbage and weeds into the elusive Divine Garden. The longer the Silence is maintained the more effective is the clean-up and transformation of this massive dump. Any thought whatsoever, no matter how mundane or important, agitating the mind only slows the process. And when certain thoughts remain entrenched, uselessly and ceaselessly repeated, the whole process comes to a standstill. In certain cases it even reverses the whole process.
So how can we remain in Silence for as long as possible?
i) remain conscious of being Silent. If there are thoughts, be conscious of your desire and just let them drift away;
ii) practice being Silent whenever possible. Certain activities enhance this desire—traveling, watching TV/movies, gardening;
iii) attain Silence prior to meditation. Sit for a few minutes and consciously make the mind quiet before meditating;
iv) increase the number of meditations solely to attain Silence. Meditating an extra one or two times deliberately and consciously just to increase Silence helps. However these extra sessions should be short i.e, 10-15 minutes;
v) attain the bliss during Silence. This bliss greatly enhances Silence as the sheer experience of this indescribable Bliss overwhelms and obliterates all earthly existence (So far I have only experienced it twice, and came close to it on just a handful of occasions);.
But one should not despair because Pure Knowledge is much more important than Silence to reach the ultimate goal of Self- realization and attain liberation.
Knowledge of Devi that Liberates
"Both gitas (Devi Gita and Kapila Gita of the Bhagvata Purana) also describe four grades of devotion according to the qualities (gunas) of nature, a classification scheme derived from the Bhagavad Gita. According to the Devi Gita, the first two grades, rooted in ignorance (tamas) and passion (rajas), are practiced by those intending harm to others and seeking their own well-being, respectively. The third grade, arising from virtue (sattva), the highest of the three qualities, is performed by those who surrender the fruits of their actions to the Goddess out of a sense of duty and in spirit of loving service. Such devotion is not supreme for it still clings to false distinctions, but it does lead to the highest devotion beyond all the qualities.
The supreme devotion is described in quite paradoxical terms. On the one hand, it is characterized by total detachment, an absence of any sense of difference between oneself and others including the Goddess, and realization of the universality of pure consciousness. On the other hand, it is typified by a sense of oneself as a servant and the Devi as master, an eagerness to participate in pilgrimages to her sacred sites, and a zeal to perform her ritual worship without regard to cost. Especially paradoxical is the tension between the detached devotion associated with the knowledge of the unity of all being, and the ecstatic passion, accompanied by tears of joy and faltering voice, manifest in worshipping the Goddess while singing her names and dancing in enraptured self-abandonment. Again, while the supreme devotion is characterized by indifference to all forms of liberation, including mergence into the Devi, nonetheless, so the Goddess declares, the fruit of such devotion is dissolution into her essential nature. Such paradoxes reflect in many ways the long-standing tension in the Hindu tradition between the ideal of devotion, with its goal of loving service, and the ideal of knowledge, with its goal of realizing absolute oneness.
Formally, the Devi Gita resolves the tension by insisting that knowledge of the Goddess is the final goal of devotion, as well as of dispassion. Devotion without knowledge will lead to the heavenly paradise of the Goddess, the Jeweled Island, but no further. Dwelling in the Jeweled Island, however, inevitably leads to liberating knowledge of the pure consciousness that is the Goddess. Dispassion without knowledge, incidentally, leads only to a virtuous birth. The Devi insists that liberating knowledge can be attained here in this world, while still living. Seeking such knowledge alone makes life worthwhile, and the attainment of knowledge completely fulfils the ultimate purpose of existence."1
i have provided hundreds of pages of irrefutable evidence and knowledge of the Devi. i have also strongly cautioned against the avidya that the devotees of Her incarnation, Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi, are indulging in, and encouraging/enforcing others to do the same. Seeking such knowledge-while strictly avoiding/rejecting such avidya at all times-alone makes life worthwhile, and the attainment of knowledge completely fulfils the ultimate purpose of existence. Such knowledge is far more priceless than Silence, and precedes it. Without such knowledge you cannot comprehend, far less learn how to maintain, Silence on Self. The Devi insists that liberating knowledge can be attained here in this world. There is nothing to surrender to Her except our ignorance and arrogance. Thank you Akash and Preeti for your excellent enquiry that will help many.
Jai Shri Ganapathy,
1. The Song of the Goddess: The Devi Gita: Spiritual Counsel Of The Great Goddess,
C. Mackenzie Brown, State University of N.Y. Press, 2002, pg. 23-5
—- In firstname.lastname@example.org," Violet"
Dear Akash and Preeti,
i can only talk from personal experience. i have found that surrender is a continual process of having one's attention on the ever-loving Bhagwati... The Divine within. Sometimes we can temporarily take our attention off Her, but as soon as we are aware of it, we can straight-away put our attention back on Her again on a 24/7 basis. Full surrender is to continue in that way, hour by hour, day by day, and year by year. Whatever comes up, we can surrender it to Her. It is not a forced attention, but it is like keeping someone in your attention, that you love. It also doesn't mean we have to give anything up, but it means that we surrender our small attitudes and allow Her to fill us up with the Holy Spirit. By that practice, we become One with Her, through our identification with Her. Therefore it is a gradual process and not instantaneous. Meditating on Her in the morning and evening is a great way to keep in touch with Her. One day, you realise that you are 'One', that She is your Higher Self!
Sometimes there are times when Her attention does not feel like it is on you or with you, but those are times that we are given, to test our faith. We have to strengthen ourselves. If She is always felt very close all the time, we do not become strong enough to stand on our own two feet. This is like a Mother who wants Her children to grow spiritually strong. However, She is always there, whether we can always feel Her there or not! If we draw near to God, S/He always draws near to us.
i hope this helps.
love from violet
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