NINE DAYS OF MOTHER DIVINE: Days 4-6
Well you made it through the 3 hardest days connected to Durga which require us to calm our fears and eliminate subconscious grunge and stay on top of our addictions. With Venus at the deepest point of debilitation today at 28 degrees Virgo, it is also a dark time still but Venus moves into Libra into Thursday and is strong by Friday and the lighter energy of the Nine Days starts coming to blossom.
Day 4, of the Nine Days is connected to one aspect of Lakshmi known as Kusmanda, She Who Brings Happiness and Warmth, and the connection with the value of a soft smile in relation to the heart chakra and how Durga inspires us to remain in our hearts as we interact with each other. My yoga teacher, Indu Auroa:
“Kushmanda Ma-“Kushm-anda” means the Creator of the “Brahma-anda”-the Universe. “Ku” means little. “Ushma” means warmth and “anda” means cosmic egg. Devi Kushmanda resides in the heart of the sun and creates the Universe merely with a Divine smile (Ku-ushma). We often underestimate the power of a smile, softness and gentleness…Devi Ku-ushma-anda resides in our hearts as Anahata Chakra, (heart chakra) which receives its energy from Heart Chakra, (solar plexus) also called as the Surya (sun) Chakra. Sun is not just determination, courage, fierceness, aggression but also light, brilliance, warmth and life. We often have fear to be established in the heart… we often fear to be taken for granted by being gentle, humble and kind…but there is the presence of Sun-like strength in this softness…Today the Devi inspires us to be nourished by this Sun, to be like the Sun, to stay in our heart. Reside in the Sun and yet be smiling with light and not burning with the heat of it. She rides a lion, which symbolizes “Dharma.” As we ride on our righteous paths, may the rays of the warmth and gentleness of smile allow us to touch millions of hearts and establish a spiritual family wherever we go…world as one family!”
DAY 5: Another example comes from Skandamata, Mother of Skanda, The Destroyer of Tamas and Materialism, celebrated on day 5 and associated with the Shakti Skanda Mata, a fifth form of Durga, the wife of Shiva and mother of Skanda. The Devi on the fifth day rises from the Manipura Chakra, the solar plexus, with a fierce light and clarity, residing in the Vishuddhi Chakra, the throat chakra, the undiluted forceof mind, to warn us to be mindful of what we ask for in life when we invoke the power of our spoken word. The Vak-Shakti, power of speech, that made the Demon Tarakasura ask for a boon to be slaughtered by the son of Shiva and Parvati, rose as Devi Skanda Mata residing in Vishudshi Chakra and gave birth to Skanda who became the destiny of Tarakasura. This also symbolizes that the undiluted Shakti of mind in each one of us gives birth to that powerful spirit, Kartikeya, that can put an end to our own malicious, tamasic, desires or Tarkasura.
Skanda has 6 heads that symbolize the 5 senses (eyes, nose, ears, tongue and skin) and mind. Once we give a re-birth to our senses by internalizing them, their powers combine like a laser beam and become Skanda, the chief of strongest army against negativity.
The symbolic growth continues with the Devi Katyayani, the Nurturing Mother aspect of the Divine Mother. She embodies the values of sharing and caring. Young girls pray to Devi Kathyayini for a good husband. Marriage comes with a sense of security, commitment, togetherness, team spirit and belongingness. She signifies the finer qualities of being in a relationship. The ultimate relationship is the union with Oneness with the soul.
DAY 6: The Shakti focus on the sixth day that is associated with Devi Katyayani travels from the Vishuddhi to Ajna Chakra, the third eye. This Shakti was born from the anger radiated from the eyes of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva to slay the demon Mahisha-asur, a buffalo headed demon. The demon symbolizes tamas or inertia, laziness, dormancy and slothfulness. The fire out of which Goddess Katyanai was born is sattva-rajas: the fire of pure intent and right action. The moment this Shakti awakens, we are ready to face the demon of tamas within and this moment of birth of Devi Katyayani within us is insight. The moments we allow ourselves to be fed by tamas, is the very same moment we allow the nourishing of the demon Mahishasura within us. It is always a choice to feed the Devi or the Demon within. This is a constant dance between the Gunas of sattva, rajas and tamas within. It is according to our Viveka- khyati, discernment, that we choose one over the other!
Let your practice lead you from tamas to sattva from moment to moment. The battle is not going to be easy but rewarding for sure!
Special thanks to Indu Aurora for her insights into the goddesses.