Goddess As The Guru In Tripura Rahasya

Goddess As The Guru

Luthar.com

Sri Sri Anandmayi Ma

The classic Goddess scripture Tripura Rahasaya is well known to Sanskrit scholars and now a number of translations exist in English.

Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi often quoted from Tripura Rahasya and considered it one of the greatest works that expounded Advaita philosophy. Bhagavan’s close devotee Munagala Venkataramaiah (later known as Swami Ramanananda Saraswathi)  translated Tripura Rahasya into English in 1936. That was the first translation of this classic, I believe. A number of Sanskrt scholars since then have made their own translations into English.

In many Hindu scriptures like Tripura Rahasaya, the ultimate Guru is Devi, the Supreme Goddess.  She gives instructions to the sages so they can know the highest truth of Reality and attain Self-Realization.

In the path of Tantra, the sciences explaining the mystery of mantra, mind, and breath are explored and explained. Tantric texts focus on the nature of the divine energy within the body, also…

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Mother Divine: The Supreme Goddess

Happy Navratri!

shak24

Luthar.com

When I was very young, my meditations made me soar so high that I was afraid of falling and felt anxious. In those moments the most gentle and angelic female presence firmly held me from behind and guided my flights over celestial regions like a mother showing a child how to ride a bicycle. It happened often.

This angel was always behind me at my back holding my shoulders in the most reassuring manner. Gliding over the heavenly realms of light with this divine companion was pure joy.  But I could never see her face and wondered who she was.

Who was this motherly angel who manifested in my meditations to protect me from fears? Who was this being that embraced me with such tenderness and silently guided and navigated the path?

This went on for many years. She was my guardian angel. Where she came from, I don’t know.

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Mother Kali: By Alx Uttermann

AMMA

I have walked the ground where they made you, Mother
whirling with dust & wind
my mouth dry & pacing
the sound of your eternal hum in my ears
whipping my mind into you
whipping all minds into you
melting all Mind. Continue reading

Mother Divine: The Supreme Goddess

When I was very young, my meditations made me soar so high that I was afraid of falling and felt anxious. In those moments the most gentle and angelic female presence firmly held me from behind and guided my flights over celestial regions like a mother showing a child how to ride a bicycle. It happened often.

This angel was always behind me at my back holding my shoulders in the most reassuring manner. Gliding over the heavenly realms of light with this divine companion was pure joy.  But I could never see her face and wondered who she was.

Who was this motherly angel who manifested in my meditations to protect me from fears? Who was this being that embraced me with such tenderness and silently guided and navigated the path?

This went on for many years. She was my guardian angel. Where she came from, I don’t know.

As time went by and I got older, I felt her less and less often. Perhaps I had matured in some ways and did not need her. I don’t know the psychology of it. Still, I did not forget her.

She was very real to me at a young age and  always seemed to be around especially in contemplative and meditative states. Her form was that of a gentle motherly presence. It was absolutely unmistakable. Whenever she came, I knew it instantly just like a newborne knows his mother by smell.  Who was she and where had she gone, I thought at times.

Many many years passed. I was much older now. I was 39.  One midnight, I lay down for meditation. Without warning, suddenly, she appeared in full bloom right before me. For the first time, I saw Her with the utmost clarity. She was the epitome of purity and innocence and the very essence of beauty. Her Being radiated bright blessings.

Speechless I gazed at Her face and spontaneously folded my hands in “Namaste” with reverence and bowed slightly. Through Her eternal and watchful eyes that see  into the Heart, the Supreme Goddess looked at me intently with tenderness and smiled sweetly. Then she disappeared.

Note: The Supreme Goddess did not look like any of the pictures that artists have drawn and are found in Hinduism.  I have chosen to describe Her by accurately stating, “She was the epitome of purity and innocence and the very essence of beauty.” Those words are the truth.  Harsh K. Luthar

shak24

Goddess As The Guru In Tripura Rahasya

Sri Sri Anandmayi Ma

The classic Goddess scripture Tripura Rahasaya is well known to Sanskrit scholars and now a number of translations exist in English.

Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi often quoted from Tripura Rahasya and considered it one of the greatest works that expounded Advaita philosophy. Bhagavan’s close devotee Munagala Venkataramaiah (later known as Swami Ramanananda Saraswathi)  translated Tripura Rahasya into English in 1936. That was the first translation of this classic, I believe. A number of Sanskrt scholars since then have made their own translations into English.

In many Hindu scriptures like Tripura Rahasaya, the ultimate Guru is Devi, the Supreme Goddess.  She gives instructions to the sages so they can know the highest truth of Reality and attain Self-Realization.

In the path of Tantra, the sciences explaining the mystery of mantra, mind, and breath are explored and explained. Tantric texts focus on the nature of the divine energy within the body, also known as Kundalini Shakti, that moves through the chakras (centers of power) giving rise to various super-conscious experiences and leads to Samadhi.

When the aspirant is spiritually mature,  the Shakti, the Supreme Goddess Herself, takes and merges the mind of the devotee in the Heart and then reveals HerSelf to be the Heart. Then there is no more Goddess or devotee and the universe disappears.

Eternal Bliss as Self-Revelation, the very essence of Beauty, remains as ItSelf. That is what the ancients called Sat-Chit-Ananda. The One without a second. That is the Self. That is Brahman.

Lovers Love Completely: The Goddess Mystery. By Dr. Harsh K. Luthar

image

Picture of Arunachala by Gabriele Ebert

Song to the Goddess

Either let me be intoxicated
in your love completely
or put on my robes of joy
and rob me absolutely.
Judge me guilty
in the court of love
or absolve me absolutely;
find me flawed if you like
but never hold me weakly.
No middle ground is possible
for lovers who love completely! 

Love, Consciousness, and Bliss

The great sage of Arunachala, Sri Ramana Maharshi, used to say that all deep thinking people are fascinated by the nature of consciousness. The outer world of time and space is known only through ones’ own mind. Therefore, the mystery of mind and consciousness has been a magnet of attraction for philosopher, yogis, sages, and scientists. Upanishads say that one should know “That” by which all else is known.

What is “That”, which makes all else visible and known? The ancient philosophy outlined in the Upanishads, the sacred Hindu scriptures, refers to “That” as Sat-Chit-Ananda, the core of one’s being which is Absolute Bliss, Absolute Existence, Absolute Consciousness, and we can also say that it is the same as Absolute Love which makes all human love possible. Sri Ramana used to say that “Love is the actual form of God.”

For one irresistibly pulled by the hunger of Self-Knowledge that manifests in one’s own heart, the turning within to “That” Absolute Love and Bliss happens at some point. When consciousness spontaneously starts the process of scanning its own formless form, this churning results in the beauty and self-delight of awareness which underlies all manifestations of energy (Shakti).

Appearance of the Supreme Goddess

In many of the mystical traditions of Hinduism, the manifestations of this energy, resulting from consciousness becoming focused on its own nature, take the forms of Devi. Devi is the Supreme Goddess, who appears in visions and dreams of devotees according to their mental and spiritual condition to nurture, protect, bless, and guide them.

The Goddess is depicted in Hindu art in hundreds if not thousands of ways. This art is part of the Indian history, culture, and Hindu traditions. It comes from the inspired imagination of the artists and is based on the ancient stories about the Goddess and Her powers.

However, no artwork can really capture the form of the Goddess who appears in the mystic eye of the aspirant. She appears to each devotee in a unique way according to what best suits the nature and personality of the person at that time. As the yogi evolves in the spiritual path, the visionary forms of the Goddess can change along with that.

So a relationship develops between the devotee and the Goddess or the Divine Beloved. Like human relationships between lovers, it is not always easy.

Sometimes, the devotee cannot bear the separation and wants immediate union and consummation. He may even blame and question the Goddess as to why She has left him in the middle of the path after taking his hand.

Song of Despair to the Goddess

Play hide and seek
not too much longer
and risk this longing
get even stronger;
when people ask unashamedly
why your love flees from me
what honest answer can I make
and can you also say for sure
that in choosing me as your lover
you have made some grave mistake.

But the Goddess realizes that it is not time and waits for the moment to be ripe for the final liberation. Many of the love poems of mystics to the Goddess have come from this intermediate level of spiritual experiences where the Supreme Beloved appears to plays hide and seek with them.

Sri Ramana and Marital Garland of Letters

In the classic Tamil poem, “The Marital Garland of Letters” the Sage of Arunachala, Sri Ramana Maharshi, chides the Divine Beloved in some of the verses and apologizes for having done so in other verses. He begs Arunachala to fully embrace him (as the devotee) and utterly consume him in love; Because only then he will have peace.

Ramana writes:

Verse 23. “Sweet fruit within my hands, let me be mad with ecstasy, drunk with the bliss of Thy essence, Oh Arunachala!”

Verse 34. “Unless Thou embrace me, I shall melt away in tears of anguish, Oh Arunachala!”

Verse 60. “In my unloving self Thou didst create a passion for Thee; therefore forsake me not, Oh Arunachala!”

Hindu Mystical Bhakti Poetry

The love pattern of alternating between despair and ecstasy (Does She/He love me or love me not), joy and sadness (When will the Goddess/Divine Beloved visit again) is common in the poetry of many Hindu saints and mystics. Even the seeming confusion about the relationship itself, which makes the devotee beg sometimes for love and other times actually blame, chide, and command the Goddess/Divine Beloved, can be seen in some of the poems including the Marital Garland of Letters.

Although the Marital Garland of Letters by Sri Ramana is embedded in the Indian spiritual, historical, and cultural context, the symbolism of a lover who is in complete despair because of an incomplete consummation with her/his beloved is universally understood.

Summary

People who are in love with and fascinated by the mystery of consciousness have felt that mysterious pull of the Heart from within themselves. Who can really explain ways of the Divine and the different forms She/He manifests in.

What is the first step on this path of love? No one can say for sure. Was it the smile and look of a Sage, the grace of the Divine Mother, the kiss of the Goddess, or the kindness of a teacher or a friend? There must be many possibilities that make us aware of the Heart within, whose nature is Sat-Chit-Ananda, that which is the source of the ultimate bliss.

This memory once awakened brings upon the experience of pure being, and attracts the devotee to the truth of her/his own nature. This gentle pull within makes itself felt. It does not let go until the Truth of one’s own Heart is recognized, and there is nothing left to let go.

Some say that it is the Goddess Herself, who takes the devotee into the Heart and then reveals Herself as the Universal Heart. The complete identity between the devotee, the Goddess, and the Heart thus established, everything disappears. There is only that Heart of Love and Fullness, eternal consciousness completely at rest in its own nature.

Knowing That is Self-Knowledge. That is the final consummation.

I came to feed on Thee, but Thou hast fed on me; now there is peace, Oh Arunachala!” Verse 28. Marital Garland of Letters.

NOTE: Some of the verses on the Goddess in this article are from a longer poem on the Goddess by Dr. Harsh K. Luthar.

kurta