The image of Durga Ma is a map of successful yoga.
From left to right:
Her right hand gives blessings and initiation. Mace – scepter of sovereignty. Sword – Khechari mudra, cuts away attachments. Discus – chakra. Conch – cochlea of the inner ear suggesting yawning, the call to meditation, and divine sound. Trident – prana, apana and kundalini (and their channels, pingala, ida and sushumna), and the trinity of Brahma & Saraswati (Brahma’s shakti, or power), Vishnu & Lakshmi (Vishnu’s power), and Shiva & Parvati (Shiva’s power). Bow and arrow – the instrument of union (yoga). Lotus – the flower of heaven that floats above the water with its stem reaching down into the earth suggesting the sushumna nadi (the central channel in the body) and soma, or ‘moon juice’.
Durga Ma is the ultimate power and one’s greatest ally for reaching the fulfillment of yoga sadhana, for she demolishes the most difficult of obstacles to this end. She rides a tiger, the most dangerous of predatory creatures, suggesting that She has mastered the most dangerous of creatures, the body. We humans are servants to our bodies; they run things, they run us, and they run our lives. We are mistakenly identified with our bodies as ourselves. Durga Ma is not. For Durga Ma, She is the master, not the mastered.
The Power of God & You
The manifestations of God in the world, in you, and in the entire universe.
The eighteen chapters of the Bhagavad Gita is a conversation between Arjuna and his childhood friend and Guru, Lord Krishna. Arjuna has asked Him to explain how He, as Absolute God, exists within Creation (beginning with verses 19-20, “God in You”):
Trees, Devotion, Music and Perfection
Of trees, I am the Tree of Life. Of divine Seers, I am Narada. Of the Gandharvas, I am Chitraratha. Of siddhas, I am Kapila Muni.
Of trees, I am the Tree of Life
‘Where horses stand’, I am ‘the bringer of fruit’.
In the body, I am the channels of Life Energy, Prana, the bringer of good results (fruits).
The Sanskrit word for ‘tree’ means ‘where horses stand’.
- Horses – the senses
- Tree – where the senses are situated
- Fruit-bearing – bringing results
This tree with all its branches represents the channels for the flow of fluids and energy in the body. The main trunk of the tree represents the spine, the central nervous system, and the sushumna nadi, the ‘kind and gracious’ central energy channel. But there is also another concept concerning this tree…
This Eternal tree, called Ashvattha (‘where horses stand’), has its roots above and its branches below. Only yogis are allowed to eat the fruit of this tree, for only yogis can handle its power.
Because of this exclusivity, we may conclude that these ‘fruits’ are obtained not by the senses, but by their faculties. These faculties are powers of perception, powers of knowing, that are inherent in the Real Divine You, by which you are able to experience God/Truth and Divine manifestations directly (without any means) in meditation.
According to discoveries made in Mohenjo-Daro (an archeological site), the Ashvattha tree was revered in India more than a thousand years before the oldest parts of the Bible were written.
Of the divine Seers, I am Narada
Of divine sages, I am Narada, the great devotee. From nara, man, or nari, woman, specifically a yogi or yogini who has reached a stage of yoga sadhana in which he or she can commune in meditation with others in or beyond that stage.
Narada is the enraptured bard and devotee who sings to God constantly, even though everyone thinks he is only a crazy man. Narada is the ultimate musician and devotee.
Of the Gandharvas, I am Chitraratha
Of celestial musicians, I am Chitraratha, ‘of unusual and wondrous form’.
Chitraratha means, ‘having a bright chariot’. The ‘chariot’ refers to a body, or form, used for getting around. A gandharva’s form is bright and extraordinary in appearance. Gandharvas can be seen in meditation. They have beautiful bodies (chariots), are extremely attractive, and herald a new stage of yoga sadhana.
Of the siddhas, I am Kapila Muni
Of the ‘the perfected’, I am Kapila Muni.
Muni means, saint, sage, seer, ascetic, devotee, or hermit, from mu, ‘final emancipation’. Kapila was a perfected yogi, and is an Immortal Master. He is considered to be the greatest of psychologists and philosophers, and the founder of Sankhya (chapter two).
The word kapila is also said to be derived from kamp, meaning a tremor, or a trembling or shaking motion. This is an effect experienced in advanced stages of yoga sadhana when the energy is established at the sixth chakra. This may present as a certain kind of pranayama (‘life energy restraint’), and may spontaneously manifest as a dynamic form of breathing that increases and stabilizes the powerful concentration of the energy at the sixth chakra. This occurs when Prana tries to keep the energy in place (restrained) when outside influences are different than what Prana in trying to achieve.
This verse then, tells us about a very special tree, and the close relationship of music and devotion as a means of reaching perfection.
Namaste (I bow to the divine one you really are),
Replace effort with experience.
Don’t DO meditation, EXPERIENCE it.
As your True Self emerges, your Life becomes more satisfying, and the Lives of others are benefited. As you become Happier, the world becomes a Happier place.