The battle between the Divine Mother and Great Ego begins.
The Ego’s generals are:
Devoid of clear understanding: chikshura
Great Deceiver: mahahanuh
Want of Resolution: asiloma
Wandering to and fro: parivratah
These are the thoughts that tell us to give up the search of divinity, to become a somebody, rich and famous.
If you inhale the moola mantra of the Chandi (the Navarna mantra and exhale the verses of the Chandi) you are breathing out more energy into the army of the divinity.
Whenever we are attached to thoughts and we have a prejudice , a point of view, we don’t see what is. When we can defuse this prejudice, these projections, we become Shiva. That’s the goal.
Questions and Answers
1. On a daily basis, how do we monitor if we are truthful in thought, word, and action?
You know when you cross the line. Either we sacrifice our goal or sacrifice our truth. For example, did I leave the plate in the sink. If I did, I sacrificed my truth. As a sadhu, I have a sankalpa not to cause trouble to anyone. I have breached my contract. Ask the question, am I giving the most and taking the least, or vice versa?
2. How can we experience small gaps of stillness (the eternal witness i.e. Chandi Maa) during the hustle and bustle of daily activities?
There is only one way to do it. Take a couple of minutes from time to time and check out, close all your senses. Swamiji demonstrated Shambhavi Mudra: Close ears with thumbs, ring finger and little finger on lips, middle finger on nostrils (lightly, so that you can breathe), index finger on eyes (lightly).
3. I’m wondering about the difference between being distracted by the asuras from our path and seeing truth in many places. If we maintain our sankalpa and remain focused on our spiritual goals, can this sankalpa include teachings from various traditions, or is that considered to be digging many shallow wells? Or can we consider this to be a way of deepening our understanding?
It’s important to learn from different sources. When you cultivate your practice, you will have to pick one language, one heritage, and go deeper and deeper in that tradition.
4. In some traditions, self deprecation is considered a spiritual virtue, one that attenuates the ego. The Chandi seems to say that it is equal to self-conceit as a manifestation of ego. Can you please explain?
Self deprecation says I, so does self conceit. Self conceit is a positive I and self deprecation is negative I. The only ego we want to have is Aham Brahmasmi, I am Shiva. Self deprecation is different from humility. Humility is I respect you. Self deprecation is I do not respect myself.
5. Some thoughts perished with only Her breath and some by her lion but for a few she had to use more force. Could you please explain this.
She has so many weapons at her disposal, sword, conch, discus, etc. When we chant Chandi Path with pranayama, many asuras die. For others she uses wisdom, inspiration, refinement of practice, tapasya, etc. Some thoughts take more work to destroy. Sometime we need wisdom, inspiration, sometimes we need grace of Shree Maa.
6. How do we set goals for “focus” when chanting the Chandi, goals in which we can evaluate our progress in our intensity of our concentration?
We have a master plan and chanting the Chandi is part of that master plan. Idea is not have to goals in chanting Chandi (a to do list); the idea is to have goal of chanting the Chandi everyday and trying to understand its meaning for our lives. Each of the generals is going to meet their death at the hands of the Divine Mother. That’s the goal.
7. What is that the purpose of Mother Nature installing all the asuras inside me? Why does the path in spirituality involve renouncing everything Mother Nature has installed inside me?
It is inherent in the creation that where there is dharma there will be adharma. Dharma and adharma (devas and asuras), all the opposites, are all oblations to the fire. The mind is using the sruva (spoon) that offers the dharma and adharma to the fire. If she gave you divinity she gave you asuras as well. In our quest of divinity, we are going to offer asuric thoughts to Divine Mother, and we have done that we become pure devotees.
8. I heard if we look at the mind itself as being divine, that way of looking at the mind helps to over come it. Is that true?
Absolutely. If mind is divine it gives birth to divine thoughts.