In Chapter 8, we meet Raktabija, the seed of desire and watch how She slays him.
Rakta means passion, blood, red, desire; bija is seed.
Questions and Answers:
1. What is the significance of the energies adorning the same dresses and features of their male counterparts?
Consciousness is masculine and energy feminine. She acts and looks just as he.
2. Does Raktabija represent both fulfilled and unfulfilled desires?
Only unfulfilled desires.
3. If we have no desires, we would lose the zest for life? Does this chapter suggest that the sadhana will lead to a desireless state?
All desires are not done away with. Desire is inherent in creation. Only selfish desires are taken away by the Goddess. Then we are left only with selfless desires. You still will have the desire to eat and sleep.
4. Are the desires to pronounce better, sit longer in an asana, etc. forms of Raktabija?
These are Raktabija in a positive form. By pursuing these, we take away our negative desires. As we spend less and less time with the negative, we spend more time in the positive.
5. Is blood symbolic or the gross substance that courses through our veins?
It is symbolic. It symbolizes the negative passionate desire that draws us into worldliness.
6. What is the significance of water (that Brahmani sprinkles on the thoughts) and how can we use it in our daily lives?
Taking a bath is our first act of purification. When we do achaman in puja (sipping water) we purify our lips.
Water symbolizes equilibrium. It is always at the same level, always seeks its own level.
7. What is the benefit of recording our spiritual experiences in a journal?
The only benefit is some years later I can read my journal and say that I do not need these journals any more. The objective is to know the experiencer. Remember the intensity of the experience and not the manifestation of the experience.
8. How do we offer desires to Mother?
Increase time spent with the Guru. Also think how would your Guru respond to a certain situation (where the desire arises). This would be like engaging in satsang throughout the day.
9. We have a strong desire to chant the Chandi. But then we have to do karma in the world and that prevents us from chanting. How can we overcome this?
You can say to Mother I love you and so I am going to demonstrate my love by doing karma. Then read whatever you can.
10. Surath and Samadhi abandoned their families and kingdom. This was not their highest ideal. Was it?
Both were driven from their kingdom and families. They had no choice. What they did subsequently was certainly their highest ideal because we remember them even today so many years later.
Also, when they left their family kingdom they had good thoughts about their families and kingdom.
11. What questions to ask or not ask our Guru. How do we decide?
Love them with all your heart. Ask the right question at the right time. Do not interrupt Her when She is talking. Be natural, be free.