In Chapter 10 the Goddess is fighting Self-conceit on behalf of the Gods.
Questions and Answers:
1. What is the difference between Mahishasura from the second episode and Self-conceit in the third episode?
Mahisasura is the Great Ruler of Duality, of all dualities. He is the controller of the six ripus (limitations): desire, anger, greed, ignorance, avarice, and jealousy.
Self-conceit says, “Boy, did I do a good job. Look at my success. Even I admire me. I am sure everyone else does.” Self-deprecation says, “Poor me. I blew it again. I am not good enough.”
They are similar. All three episodes are going on concurrently. It is not a linear progression. It all happens at once. All the asuras are acting simultaneously. What can we do? We can cry, “Maa, please help us.”
2. What is the significance of the half-moon on the Goddess’ head in the Dhyanam of this chapter?
The moon is the emblem of devotion. The Goddess wears devotion as an ornament.
3. Does Swamiji recommend that we introspect on our negative thoughts in addition to chanting the Chandi to cut down asuras?
No. Instead of dwelling on negative thoughts, dwell on presence of Mother – “She is within me, She is in my heart.” Dwelling on negative thoughts increases the strength of self-conceit and self-deprecation. Fill yourself with full, pure, loving, positive, joyous devotion.
4. If the goal of sadhana is to transcend the ego, how do we understand the ego’s desire to chant the Chandi?
God within us is inspiring ego to become Divine Ego. Purpose is not to destroy ego but to expand the ego become the greatest egoist. I am Shiva. Aham Brahmasmi. No negative small ego left.
5. Sumbha wanted to fight only one Mother and not her manifestations. What is the significance of this?
He was conceited that he thought that if She withdrew Her manifestations, he would be able to defeat her.
6. Can you please talk more about Verse 8?
When there is manifested existence, everywhere we look we see a different form. When Mother withdraws forms we are moving to non-duality, there is only Self-conceit and Mother: Savikalpa Samadhi. Now, he is trying overcome and bring her to duality. She is saying, “No, you have to leave your self-conceit and see all the energy of the Universe within me”: Nirvikalpa Samadhi.
7. What is the significance of Self-conceit bringing his fist down on Devi’s heart?
Heart is love center. He is striking at the devotion of the devotees, disrupting the love in Her heart.
8. In Chapter 8, Maa is the Shakti of Shiva and Shiva resides in the sahsrarara, what is the significance of Shiva being sent as messenger of Mother?
Consciousness is going to self-conceit and gives an order. Consciousness comes down from Sahsrarara and illuminates the chakras.
9. What is the significance of the Goddess striking Self-conceit with the palm of Her hand?
He struck Her with her fist, She just gently strikes him with a palm. That’s enough to knock him down.
10. Maa Kali cuts off the heads of Her devotees during their sadhana. How does one visualize the ishta when one has no head?
It takes a lot of prayer to lose your head. And once you lose your head, no prayer is required, until it grows back.
11. Is there a correlation between the Goddesses that we meditate in each chapter and the negative forces She vanquishes in each chapter?
Yes. In this chapter, when you have surrendered to Kameshwari, you have only one desire left, to be with Her. If you contemplate her form, you will lose all your self-conceit, you have no more desires.
12. If Mother wants us to take us Samadhi, why do we hold on to worldly objects?
Ego rebels, when we say we going to kill it. There is a sense within that if I don’t survive how can I enjoy samadhi? It wants to enjoy samadhi and be there and then come back and tell everyone about it. Ego is devious when he comes out.
13. If we go back to original desire, will Devi destroy that too?
When we enter into the one desire to be with Mother, we lose all other desires. That is pralaya, dissolution of manifested existence. Then there is another creation. If we are fortunate we remember what it is like to be in samadhi, and we quickly learn how we can unite with God and what good karmas I can do to inspire others to attain the same.
14. In verse 8, Chapter 4, Divine Mother is Svaha. Why do Gods become content upon hearing the word?
Svaha is the wife of Agni. When we make an offering, Svaha takes it away from Agni and gives it to Gods. So Gods become contented.
15. In Chapter 1, can the forest also be seen as symbolic of consciousness mind?
Yes. Absolutely. We are moving to the forest of purity, tapasya, and non-attachment where we can contemplate purity and clarity and how we can unite with God without selfish desire.
16. When Mother fights Self-conceit, why did all Gods just look on without participating?
They knew that only Mother can slay self-conceit. We (the Gods) become witness of Mother slaying self-conceit.
17. In Chapter 8, there were many energies of Goddess that could not defeat Raktabija. Why?
They could not because the Seed of Desire had won the boon that each time a drop of blood fell from his desire a new desire would be created. All energies wounded him and his blood poured profusely. And there was a new desire. Only Mother Kali could drink up all the blood.
18. Is it better to pray to Mother to take away desire than to pray to fulfill it?
Better to pray to be with Divine Mother. Then all the other desires go away of their own accord. They pale in significance to the desire for Mother. That’s why chanting the Chandi is such an important tool. Singing the Chandi is a desire to be with You.