Wednesday, October 17, 2012

More About Goddesses: My Encounter with the Benevolent Mother--Ma Durga (Essay)

More About Goddesses: My Encounter with the Benevolent Mother--Ma Durga (Essay) by Tim Kavi

Although there are different manifestations of  the Hindu goddess Ma Durga, such as Lakshami, Parvati, and Durga herself , it is my encounter with Ma Durga as a mother figure that has made a lasting impression upon me.

For as she gathers those that need help in her arms of compassion, and leads them gently from times of trouble, her caring is so apparent. For it is as a gentle mother and caring one that She leads me to safety and protection that resonates so deeply within me again and again. For as we humans well know, we needn't go looking for troubles, sometimes they will find us!  Never do we need the touch and care of a friend more, a companion, a brother or sister in dialogue--the caring of family and loved ones--as it is then that the gentle leading of the archetypal Mother Goddess is ever needed!

And thank goodness, when called upon She arises, and gathers us in Her arms.  And yet, She does not wait to be called upon--for like any good Mother she responds to our distress.

Her eyes are certainly seeking, searching, and settling upon those in times of trouble, they are gentle, reassuring, and if need be, drawing us to attention.

Her smile is as the dripping honey on the lotus.  She warms the hearts of all India, and the world.

This tiger riding Goddess is the ultimate mother!

Several years ago, I had a deeply meaningful and especially vivid dream about Ma Durga.  I  knew right away in my dream who she was and what the dream was about.  I could tell the woman in the dream was Ma Durga because of her attire, her Goddess face, and those eyes that only Ma Durga has!

Anyway, in this dream that I readily recalled upon sudden awakening at its conclusion, the events went like this.  I entered a supermarket, and I felt like I was lost from someone, or had gone ahead of someone.  But I also felt ashamed, like I was 'in trouble', or had done something that I felt 'stupid' about. Sort of like a kid who had done something wrong, but didn't want his parents to know. I was a grown man in the dream however.

So I went down the shopping aisles filled with all sorts of foods and plenty of them. I came upon the glass enclosed cold storage units, the units where they keep frozen packaged products like pizzas, ice cream, frozen dinners, etc.  Well, I climbed up on top of one of these units, and laid down flat on my back. I laid down as flat as I could, so as not to be readily or easily seen by anyone who might enter the store or was walking nearby. From where I was, I could turn my head and see the main entry of the store however.

So for some reason, I turned my head towards the entry doors. It was if I was waiting for someone, anticipating someone coming, but I didn't know for sure who it would be.

Suddenly, I saw Ma Durga come through the doors.  She was walking towards my location! I tried to melt into the metal of the casing so as not to be seen. But there was to be no hiding, as she lovingly approached.  She was a fully radiant being, and was smiling as she approached, her eyes was taking in everything around her. As she came closer, she grew and magically became taller.  As she got to where I was, she was now taller than the enclosures, and easily saw me.

She looked at me with so much love and acceptance, my heart melted. It was if her eyes could see everything about me, accepted me, forgave all my troubles, or made them all vanish in the manifestation of Her power. In that one look, was all this and much more instantaneously. Love, acceptance, forgiveness, reassurance.

She calmly put her hands on her hips, looked into my eyes with her Ma Durga Eyes, and She said: "Well, are you coming? Get down from there and follow me!"  

I hopped down and immediately left with her out of the store with all of its materialism and wealth, and happily followed Her.  The joy and relief was enormous! I then awoke with a start.

This dream deeply resonated with me, although I knew I was a mature man in the dream, her loving approach to me elicited both a son like sense, and also a childlike sense.  I knew I had done something, and felt like I might be in trouble.  So I was trying hard to hide from 'Mom'.

Still, when Ma Durga 'found' me, I was overcome by several feelings at once, love, acceptance, and reassurance. I expected wrath, but got deep love. I also knew I was totally safe with her, protected, and that all my troubles were solved and no longer as important as I had thought they were. So I was eager and readily able to hop down and follow her out of the store.  Happily returning to everyday life and then, transcending the world, protected by the Goddess, I suddenly awoke with this realization deeply embedded in my consciousness.

It was a wonderful experience, and although some people think dreaming is just the firing of neurons, that dream was one of the most meaningful dreams I've ever had.~~TK

Poet's afterword:  Later, I wrote a poem called Ma Durga's Eyes.  Although it could never capture the true magnificence of Her eyes, it is a step in that direction. It is one of the most popular poems on my blog and can be read here: Ma Durga's Eyes (the poem)

Also, as I write this, the significance of the calendar in regards to Ma Durga cannot be overlooked.  We are just now in the beginning of the Hindu holiday, Navratri, also known as Durga Puja, where all over India and the world,  Ma Durga is celebrated in her various manifestations across Nine Nights of  bliss. ~~TK

And now it is April 2013, and we are on the eve of Vasant Navratri again and as India, Indians, and Hindus all over the world prepare to celebrate Nine Nights of Celebrations of Goddesses; I am again reminded of my blog entries about the Goddess, Ma Durga.  Including (not linked last time) my newer "More About Goddesses column that features Mahadevi Durga .~~TK

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