अजं शाश्वतं कारणं कारणानां
शिवं केवलं भासकं भासकानाम् ।
प्रपद्ये परं पावनं द्वैतहीनम् ॥
(S(h)e is without birth/beginning. Ever existing eternally, S(h)e is the primal cause behind all the causes. S(h)e is the prime reason (and energy) behind everything that happens in this cosmos (and beyond). S(h)e is ever auspicious who is peerless without a second. S(h)e is the internal manifesting light of Consciousness (the Chetna) in all the external manifesting lights of appearances. Everything that can be seen, felt and touched and the things that cannot be seen, felt or touched are external manifestations of that all pervading Shiva/Devi. Beyond all ignorance, beginning and end, S(h)e is the very state of Turiya (Super-Consciousness) Herself. I take Refuge in that Transcendental Purity, who is beyond all dualities).
The year 2020 has been a strange year for some while for some it was a year of profound loss. However, for introverts like me, it was a peaceful year. I have started spending most of my time amidst nature. Nights are especially magical. In that stillness of night when everything loses its identity and turns pitch dark, in the all pervading Oneness, I feel Mother Divine most strongly. The trees turn dark. The animals are dark. The houses are engulfed into darkness. The humans can no more be distinguished as different from each other. They all turn into darkness. I become darkness. Nothing exist except that hauntingly silent darkness. Only S(h)e exists. May be that is why Ma is called “कालरात्रि महारात्रि मोहरात्रिश्च दारुणा।“
It was the Saptami evening of Shardiya Navratri this year. I had just completed my daily prayers amidst the Nature when my mother asked me if I can take her to one of her friends’ place. I readily agreed as always. My Master says that it is extremely important for someone doing Maatri-Sadhana to be able to serve and love all women in house, be it mother, sister, wife anyone. Also, this is one of the profound experiences I have ever felt- establishing a state in my psyche wherein I see my birth mother as the Divine Mother Herself. In that way, I can hug Mother Divine whenever I feel like to. I can serve Her in human form. It’s like literally living with Devi every second of life. That is the main reason why I never say no to my mother. How can I say no to Devi if S(h)e asks me for something!
As she took her seat behind me on scooty, I almost felt like Ma’s lion! In about 40 minutes, we reached her friend’s place. She went inside while I was parking. This aunty has a huge house in one of the biggest villages nearby our colony. It’s a typical rural landlord kind of house with big iron gates. It takes a while to open and close the heavy gates. She has 5 cows and a cute little furry baby, Caesar. Whenever we go to her place, mostly I would stay in the courtyard and play with the cows. Caesar would wag that tiny tail and ask for some patting.
This time it was different. As I went inside those heavy gates, I was drenched in extreme melancholy. A calf was lying on the ground and crying out of severe pain. Its bones were protruding out its body and the face had gone pale. There wasn’t a single soul around it. At a distance, its mother was sitting quietly with sad, gloomy eyes. It was dark but the courtyard was well-lit. I went inside and asked aunty what the matter with the baby was. She told us that it had contracted some disease and was also suffering from severe malnourishment. It hadn’t even had mother’s milk from for the past 4 days. It had been suffering since 4 days but death hadn’t even come near it. I asked her if she had taken it to the vet. She replied, “We did. The vet said that we should take it back and there’s nothing that can be done.” I turned towards my mother almost unbelievingly. She said, “It’s time, dear. It is about to embrace death.”
Death. That word dissolved my shock almost instantly and a gloomy understanding took its place. I looked at the calf from a distance. It was already night, beautiful dark Saptami night, the great night of Ma Kalratri, the One who is the force behind dissolution.
Letting out a heavy sigh, I went near the ailing calf and sat behind it near its ears. There still wasn’t any soul near us and I thanked Ma for the much needed solitude. The night went more silent as if every single tree in the vicinity was mourning. Night, Silence, Solitude, Ma was indeed present in three of Her most pristine forms. Caesar came near us and sat quietly as if joining the Nature in mourning. I started caressing the baby’s head gently and the baby let out a heart-wrenching cry. After a few seconds, I started reciting Ma’s Mantra which Master often recites while starting any discourse on Mother Divine. As the Mantra started to proceed, the calf’s eyes gradually started to roll back. Towards the end of the Mantra, its eyes were almost looking at me (I was sitting behind it). That stare I would never forget in my life. It will go along with me to my cremation pyre. As if all the pain of the three worlds were contained in those beautiful round eyes of that little calf, as if it understood every word of Her Mantra, as if it recognized Her name, the Mother of all that have been born.
As the Mantra ended, it let out the most painful cry I have ever heard in my life. But it was one final cry and then, it cried no more. The baby continued its journey with its Eternal Cosmic Mother.
The four days and four nights long torture came to an end in matter of minutes. That is the power of Her name. S(h)e, alone, is capable of elevating all suffering. When S(h)e protects, nothing can touch Her child. S(h)e, the Bharavi, is the Bhairavi Yaatna of death (the extreme suffering that one goes through on his/her death-bed) Herself. And S(h)e, alone is the Death, that elevates that suffering.
May we all be as blessed as the calf was. May we all be mindful of Ma’s presence amidst the torments of death-bed. May we realize how Death is nothing but Her lap itself. May the fear of Death be ceased from our hearts by Her grace. May we be blessed enough to die with Her name on our mortal lips.
Om Shri Matre Namah.
Featured Image Courtesy: https://os.me/gurukula/nava-durga-sadhana-in-navaratri/