Ashtami, the 8th day of Navaratri

Durga Maya ki Jai !

By Raghuvir

Today is named Ashtami, it is the 8th day of Navaratri and by many Indian people considered the main day of Navaratri.
Durga Devi is worshipped today as Maha Gauri. It is said that She is extremely beautiful, ends the earthly suffering of Her devotees and is the slayer of ego.

Maha Gauri

Kill the ego is a popular phrase particularly outside India. Probably not a good way of expressing a most important step in our self realisation as ego represents all of you. Killing the ego is a contradiction by itself, who is killing who ? For instance I do not believe that The Divine cares whether you shave your head, get a smart hairdo from the barber, twist it in jattha’s ( dreadlocks) or colour it purple. When you are completely identified with your looks and spend your time in front of a mirror thinking about it, it becomes a different story. That goes for clothing and even more so for our psychological makeup, the imaginary person we pretend to be to the outside world. There goes a lot of attention in keeping all that up and that creates separation of the Divine. The Divine is of course always there, but if our focus is a lot on an illusionary self than the Divine disappears behind the curtain of Maya. We really need to make maximum effort to look behind this curtain.

Babaji said to us not to waist to much perfume on His body for it was going to dry up soon and true enough not long after that body left us, but He did not as we can all still experience today. It is also our destiny! Our bodies will wrinkle, show wear and tear with defects and will die one day.
While walking through a beautiful forest a good part of all this beauty we see there has already died and is nurturing new life around it. The cycle of life. Dead is still very scary to us while that is the only certainty we have in this life. What is certainly more important than worrying about that is making sire we live a good wholesome life before we bite the dust.

The cycle of life

What needs to take place is the subduing of our ego rather than building on an illusionary self, to be moulded in the service of the Divine. The Divine that gives birth to new life, maintains life, ends life and nurture the physical, mental and spiritual realms of creation. Ego needs to harmonise and get in line with that. ( Babaji ; I am Harmony ) This I believe is the main message of Navaratri and powerful Shakti of Maha Gauri will guide Her devotees there. It will take more than performing some puja’s, offering samagree, wearing an orange suit etc to sail across this ocean of misery that we have created out of life. We are so deeply engrossed and investing in our illusionary self and the illusionary world around us that concentrated practice is required to find our true self again.

Babaji has given us all the keys to unlock our potential and we know them well. Seva (service to humanity, karma yoga) Focus our mind by practice on the Divine. With mindfulness discover and disempower the lower human tendencies within ourselves that keeps humanity in this wretched realm ( Anger, Greed, Pride, Jealousy, Ignorance, Lust, desire etc ) Actively practice the higher virtues that will be part of the New world that Babaji is preparing (unconditional Love, Compassion, Generosity, Kindness, Humility etc) Nobody can do that for you, not even Babaji. It does not work to tell others what to do unless perhaps you are a highly Self realised being.
We are extremely fortunate brothers and sisters to have Babaji, Shri Shri 1008 Haidakhan whale Baba as our teacher our Guru for if we follow His recipe, He will hold us in His embrace and carry us through the storms that are about to descend on our world.

Bhole Baba ki Jai !
Durga Maya ki Jai !
Maha Gauri Devi ki Jai!

In the Shri Mad Devi Bhagwatam the legends are written in a language that was understandable through hundreds, perhaps thousands of years for people of all walks of life. To give you an idea, here below is described how in the original scripture this day with Durga ( in Her form of Maha Gauri ) battling the main demon is written.

The beautiful Durga, bedecked in jewels and golden armor and equipped with the fearsome weaponry of the gods, was ready to engage in battle with the fierce and cruel Mahishasura. Her lion’s thunderous roars shook the three worlds. Oceans boiled and surf poured overland. Continents were torn at their granite foundations as whole new chains of mountains rose, while older ranges crumbled, cracked, and gave way to dust in a thousand landslides. Mahishasura and his demon allies found their attention drawn from heaven to Earth, as Durga’s power moved its way towards heaven. Though confident of their power and control in heaven, the demons could not help being awestruck.

As Mahishasura’s armies were struck down effortlessly by Durga, it became obvious to him that he was not as secure in heaven as he had thought. No demon could fight her and win. Her breath would replenish her armies – bringing back to life all of her soldiers who fell. From Airavata’s gift, the bell, came a confusing clamor. The demons were in chaos and were easily defeated and captured. The ground was left littered with the broken limbs and body parts of the defeated demon army.

Mahishasura was shocked and enraged by the disastrous events on the battlefield. He took on the form of a demonic buffalo, and charged at the divine soldiers of Durga, goring and killing many and lashing out with his whip-like tail. Durga’s lion pounced on the demon-buffalo and engaged him in a battle. While he was thus engaged, Durga threw her noose around his neck.

Mahishasura then assumed the form of a lion and when Durga beheaded the lion, Mahishasura escaped in the form of a man who was immediately face to face with a volley of arrows from Durga. The demon escaped yet again and then having assumed the form of a huge elephant, battered Durga’s lion with a tusk. With her sword Durga hacked the tusk into pieces.

The demon reverted once more to the form of the wild buffalo. He hid himself in the mountains from where he hurled boulders at Durga with his horns. Durga drank the divine nectar, the gift of Kuber. She then pounced on Mahishasura, pushing him to the ground with her left leg. She grasped his head in one hand, pierced him with her sharp trident held in another, and with yet another of her ten hands she wielded her bright sword, beheading him. At last he fell dead, and the scattered surviving remnants of his once invincible army fled in terror.

The Gods bowed to the goddess and showered their praises on the goddess following her victory:

“Mother, you have created this universe. You are the strength of all. Devatas (Gods), Rishis (sages), Yakshas (demi-gods), Kinnaras (heavenly musicians with human bodies and heads of horses) all bow to you. Even Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwar (Lord Shiva) do not know you fully. For the Dharmik (righteous) you are Lakshmi (Goddess of wealth), for the adharmiks (evil) you are Alakshmi (she who brings misfortune). You are buddhi (knowledge), you are lajja (modesty), you are shraddha (respect). You were there always and will be there forever. You are the adhar (source) for all, You are Prakriti (nature). You save the earth by killing the numerous asuras (demons).”

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