NAVARATRI – Divine Mothers Teachings – Day 1(Part2)

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--Continuation of the Blog--NAVARATRI – Divine Mothers Teachings--

Since Lord Vishnu was in Yoganidra, they received no response. However, Lord Brahma who was seated on the thousand petalled lotus that emerged from the navel of Lord Vishnu was alarmed at the menacing appearance of these huge demons. So, He prayed to His Creator and invoked that Energy. Devi Adiparashakti, comprising of Mahakali, Mahalakshmi and Mahasaraswathi appeared before Him as scintillating radiance and asked what He wanted. Lord Brahma said - “These two evil forces are bothering Me. Please wake Lord Vishnu so that He can vanquish them." Devi removed the element of inertia from Lord Vishnu and He emerged from His Yoganidra. Devi gave Him a prompt through Lord Brahma - "These are evil doers. Vanquish them." So, Lord Vishnu battled with them for 1000 earthly years [1000 days according to the timescale of Devaloka where each terrestrial year is equal to one day.]. This shows us that those who obtain the Grace and blessings of God and then become asuras or demons are very powerful and difficult to vanquish. There are many examples of such demons in our scriptures like Bhasmasura, Hiranyakashyapu and so on. After Lord Vishnu vanquished Madhu and Kaitabha, He was very tired. So, as He stood leaning against His bow, He slipped into a deep sleep.
Let us now move back a little in time. Much before the demons Madhu and Kaitabha were born from Lord Vishnu's ear wax, He was once seated in Vaikuntha with His consorts Goddess Lakshmi and Goddess Bhudevi. He saw a glimpse of His own future where He was being beheaded. Accepting this as a part of Devi's Leela or sport, He smiled to Himself. At this moment, Goddess Lakshmi turned to look at him with a loving smile and She saw Her Lord smiling cynically and making a disparaging noise as if to say - "So what?" Thinking that He was sarcastically mocking Her love, Goddess Lakshmi cursed Vishnu saying - "May you lose your head for derisively scorning my love in this way." What Lakshmi meant was that Vishnu's ego should be destroyed. However, when a God or Goddess curses, this curse gets implemented at all levels - physical, mental and spiritual. Not in the least worried about this, Lord Vishnu continued to smile as He said - "May it be so."
Now let us come back to Lord Vishnu who was leaning against His bow [called Saringa] and sleeping in exhaustion after slaying Madhu and Kaitabha. Remembering how these demons were born the last time Lord Vishnu slept, Lord Brahma was panic stricken to see Him falling asleep again. However, He did not dare to incur a sin by waking Lord Vishnu. So, He called all the Gods and asked them what could be done to awaken Him. The Gods said - "How can we take the responsibility of waking our Lord? Lord Brahma, You are the one with four heads. So, you think of an idea and tell us what should be done."
After all the Gods had so vehemently declared that they did not want to play an active role in waking Lord Vishnu, Lord Brahma also decided to pass on the responsibility to somebody else. [This is where our tendency to pass the buck began!!!]

So, thinking that if the support of the bow could be removed, Lord Vishnu would automatically wake up, Lord Brahma summoned the termites. He said - "If you devour the bowstring of Lord Vishnu's bow, I will give you the boon of eating the leftovers of the oblations that are offered during every homa or fire ritual after the Gods have partaken of them." The termites readily agreed and began to devour the bow. As they nibbled at it, the bowstring snapped and the backlash was so forceful that it beheaded Lord Vishnu. His head flew across the Kshirasagara or milky ocean and fell in an unknown realm. Let us pause for a moment at this phase of the story to learn two important truths:
1. Even the Gods did not know what to do to awaken Lord Vishnu. So, the first truth is that all of us are ajnanis or ignorant.
2. Lord Brahma expected that the termites would devour the bow and wake Lord Vishnu, but His plan misfired completely. So, the second truth is that we rarely get what we expect in life. Most of the time our expectations do not materialise.
To continue with the story, when Lord Vishnu's head flew off, all the Gods were devastated. They put their heads into their hands and said - "Hey Brahma, We thought you had more knowledge than us because you have four heads. However, it appears that we were wrong. Now, don't use your head. Use your heart and tell us what to do to rectify this situation." [The Gods actually use their heads very little and as they are actually based on their heart or Chaitanya. With us, human beings, it is quite the reverse.] However, neither Lord Brahma nor any of the Gods could think of anything to remedy this ghastly situation because as soon as Lord Vishnu was beheaded, the whole cosmos was depleted of Chaitanya or Energy because He was the Sustainer of the Universe. So, they were all enveloped in ajnana or ignorance. This was the beginning of our own ajnana or ignorance.
Looking at all the disheartened faces around Him, finally Lord Shiva, the dissolver of negativity said - "Brahma, the last time you were in a fix, you invoked our Creator. Why don't you pray to that divine radiance once more and ask for guidance?" So, Lord Brahma invoked Devi Adiparashakti who manifested and began to laugh so loudly that all the seven worlds began to shake. Why? She was actually using Her breath which makes the sound of 'Hoom. Hoom, Hoom," to cleanse the seven worlds of negative vibrations. It also rejuvenated the Chaitanya or energy in the Universe which had come down to zero. So, there was no inspiration, activation or motivation. If we can imagine the world without any air in the atmosphere, we can approximately understand how all the beings in the seven worlds felt without Chaitanya or Energy. When Devi's laughter revitalised the Cosmos, the demoralised Gods were rejuvenated.
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