Did you catch the hidden message in the Shri Suktam?
It seems obvious now but it took me a long time to figure it out. I went through a dozen sessions of the yagnas by Om Swami ji before the penny dropped. Hint: it is in the back stories about the Sri Suktam verses, as told by Om Swami ji.
The message is so powerful that it applies to almost everything we do in life.
Swami ji told us a powerful story about Kubera, the richest man on the planet. He had an evil brother, Ravana, who plotted to take all his wealth for himself. He took over Lanka, the richest city in the world, at that time, and kicked his brother Kubera out of the kingdom.
Kubera then went to all the principal male deities seeking justice. Each deity tells him to go somewhere else. Finally, Medha Rishi advises him to seek refuge in the divine mother. Once he does this, his problems disappear. He finds his own strength and his own ability to generate wealth. He becomes, again, the richest man in the world.
In another story, the sage Narada is in deep trouble, mainly because of his own ego. Being a frequent traveller, he runs to all the gods seeking a solution to his problem. He is turned away at each point, until he seeks the refuge of the Mother Goddess. Once he does this, his ego is shattered and his problems disappear.
The same story is repeated again and again with all the other sages who contributed verses to Shri Suktam.
Hence, the message is very clear: for any success in life, we must seek the blessings of the divine mother. There is simply no other way; without invoking the female principle, nothing works in life. This is a universal law, much like the Law of Gravity, and it applies everywhere.
It is often said that behind every successful man, there is a woman. This is quite true, because no one succeeds in anything, even spirituality,without support from the female energy. Buddha attained self-realization after eating some food prepared by Sujata. Jesus had the support of Mary Magdalene and, there are so many other examples.
It is often said that the man is the head of the family. However, in the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding, a lady says: if the man is the head, then the woman is the neck. She can turn the head any which way she wants. Trust me, it’s true. I know, because I am a married man.
Om Swami ji invoked the feminine principle during his period of intense Sadhana in the Himalayas, as he has written in his books and discussed in his talks. He was rewarded with a vision of the goddess, and his life changed forever.
Om Swami ji also shows us the right way to invoke the divine mother, and again, the lessons apply to everything in life. Near the beginning of each Yagna, he invokes the presence of Lord Ganesha, the remover of all obstacles. Lord Ganesha is also Deviji’s son. If we want to invoke the best in a lady, win the heart of her children first, and the rest will follow.
After this, Swami ji invokes the guru’s presence; this is important because the guru provides the proper direction to the disciple. This ensures that we approach the divine mother with the utmost purity in our hearts.
In each Yagna, one particular verse of the Devi Suktam is invoked. The verse comes to life as Om Swami ji explains its meaning both at a literal and at an esoteric level. Then the verse is repeated a number of times, with offerings to the sacred fire. This induces a trance-like state in us, where we can sense the presence of the divine mother. The lesson here is that we should focus on one thing at a time and do it really well, with all our heart and soul.
During the Yagna, we make pure offerings to the havana kund. This is symbolic of the sacred fire in our belly. If we invoke the divine presence and make the offering of pure food to our body, we can keep the sacred fire going for a long time.
Swamiji concludes each session with the forgiveness mantras. This is supremely important in every one’s life. If we can seek forgiveness from the Devi ji every morning, we can lead a happy, contented life wherever we are in this world.