I embraced this love and the awkwardness faded away. I really needed that little hug from the Lord. As I reached out to the Lord and gave him the biggest hug of my life as if there is never going to be a tomorrow. It was a very intense and beautiful experience. I felt, my head was gripped with this very powerful energy and I had no control over it. My body did not exist and all that filled my vision was a very powerful form of the Lord. I was nowhere. Imagine! what happens when you go and hug a powerhouse of energy. I found my soulmate! No actually my soul! Because when there is Lord there is no Navjot. When there is Lord there is no one else, everyone is merged into that powerful form of the Lord. All you can experience is the lord, the extremely powerful Lord Shiva.

I almost felt electrocuted in the aftermath. Head feels so sore that it is difficult run a comb through your hair. When I put my head on the pillow, there were sore spots. Nose and the sinuses feel like I had a teaspoon full of wasabi. Ears felt sore, it was hard to chew food. It was difficult to feel your body for a long time afterwards, when you eventually feel your body all the tissues are still pulsating with energy. It generates a lot of heat, it made me understand why Lord was seen sitting on a slab of Ice. I read somewhere an expression from Swami Vivekananda, “Shiva got into my head” now I understood what that means! Good thing is you will never run out of energy! I got my energy though, I asked for it! I am not complaining.

If I were to explain this in technical language the vibrations, sounds and energy from chanting, massages the nerve endings in the tissues and then triggered some kind of a signal that stimulates all different areas of the brain and the organs innervated by that area of brain. Including the sympathetic and para sympathetic nerve chains on either side of the spinal cord. It felt like there was a shot of adrenalin in the system. Activity started at the base of the spine and spurts of energy went upwards into the head. As a specific area of brain was energized the corresponding peripheral nerves felt the movement and finally the organs innervated by them felt the energy flows. Including muscle twitching, this is more common in the muscles of the face as the cranial nerve centers in the brainstem got activated. Example, I felt the activity in cranial nerves and heart and when the brain stem felt activated. When the area of the cerebral cortex felt stimulated there was energy flow in the limbs and burning and itching in the hands and feet. Similarly the nerves from the spinal cord that innervate the intestine caused intestinal movement and food digestion and stomach felt lighter and toned. It felt as if the entire body was toned up and rebooted. Even without the deep sleep experience. I don’t know if I am making any sense to anyone. Totally fascinating! This was just my tiny little perception of a grand process happening there. It was lot more than this!

I believe that best way to learn spirituality is through your own innate body intelligence. I let my body and mind explore the spiritual exercise and search for the spirit and essence of the exercise. If I feel I am experiencing something that is not making any sense to me, I will then research it. Just to understand the significance of the experience. I find even this sabotages, the experience sometimes.

This is exactly what I tell my birthing Mama’s. This is your labor and your baby, you got to birth it. I am here only to support you. Your body has the innate intelligence to do it, so explore it. If you run into trouble experts are here to help, but best way to birth your baby is to do it yourself.

I researched the above experience a little bit and found that this was a very effective form of Bhakti. It helped me understand and make sense of what I was experiencing. Entrenched in physicality, palpating the divine becomes difficult. This feeling of falling in love, is very powerful emotion. It overpowers the sense of self-preservation allowing the divine energy to permeate the inner most recesses of mind and body. I think this is the basis of “Samarpan” meaning dedication. This comes with an element of vulnerability because it means purposely, letting your guard down voluntarily to allow intrusion into your space, due to a compelling need to experience that energy and oneness with the divine. Peeling of layers of protective shells around yourself, to experience proximity to the divine. It is this perceived vulnerability that makes us uncomfortable, which in fact is a strength in certain situations. This helped me experience an enhanced energy state during chanting because I opened myself up to welcoming this divine energy.

“Samarpan” appears to be the basic principle that promotes or facilitates divine energy through physical bodies. Offering zero resistance to divine energy. This was the first time I understood the rationale for this form of bhakti, if there is one. I know there is an element of craziness in Bhakti, here I just shared my element of craziness in devotion!

It is that state where there is loss of, the sense of self-preservation to the point that physical body is no longer perceptible and therefore offers no physical resistance to the divine energy. All that is perceptible is the oneness with the divine energy. I guess this is the state which seekers strive for. Being in love is the powerful emotion that makes complete and meaningful “Samarpan” possible to facilitate experiencing oneness with the divine! This was my lesson from Navdurga Sadhna.There are different ways to achieve the same goal, this is just what I experienced.

It is the same concept as “Chinn Masta” that Swamiji was explaining in one of the youtube videos. I was listening to a commentary and person was talking about Guru Nanak Devji, quoting something like this “Anyone who even looks this way (The spiritual Pathway) needs to cut their head and hold it on their hand the first thing.” It makes sense to me, our brain is designed to facilitate a physical existence and all the conditioning is required for a physical system as risk controls. It is not designed to experience oneness with the divine. It is the spirit or the vital life force that is designed to do that. Therefore working with the innate intelligence in the body is helpful to achieve spiritual goals.

Here is the common thread between spirituality and sexuality. In order to have a great experience you need to, Dare! Bare! And let go! In spirit. There is actually no comparison, two are totally different experiences but same intensity! Be strong and dare to go that route, then be ready to bare and remove covers of conditioning and finally let go and enjoy the divinity.

This also helped me understand birth better, why this strong emotion of being in love and have an intense desire to birth her own baby, had to be attached to birth. When giving life to a baby, mother has to become that channel of divine energy to give life to the baby. In order for the mother to receive this divine energy and pass it on to the baby. She needs to experience loss of sense of self-preservation to facilitate the inclusion of this divine energy into her personal space and then pass it on to the baby. No woman would ever open up her circulation and put her life at risk, to sustain life. Unless she experienced an emotion that overpowered her sense of self preservation. With this my Salute to all women, who bring forth life on this planet earth. That is why I guess mother is the child’s first Guru. I have served this profession with a lot of passion, all my life and now it lit the path to my spiritual evolution.

It also helped me reflect on this big word “Guru”. If Guru (Spiritual Teacher) is a channel of the divine energy. Then relationship of a Guru and a disciple does not seem to be an exception to this Samarpan. Looks like you will have to be really in love with your Guru in spirit, without getting entangled in the physicality of this emotion. In order to help the guru to do what you want them to do. Help you experience the divine energy and birth that spiritual baby in you. This is a difficult but worthwhile position to be in, from my perspective. It probably takes a lot to get there to truly tap into its potential. No one said anything worthwhile was going to be easy!  This in my perception is the essence of a relation between a Guru and a disciple. I don’t think it can be achieved by just observing a ritual. Ritual without essence is a body without the soul. And soul is the preferred seat of the divine. When Swamiji says that the conversation between a Guru and a disciple is often monosyllables. I think he is right, there is no place for conflict here, conflict kicks in physicality and physicality offers resistance to facilitating divine energy. There is no conflict in the higher plane, it is a physical attribute.

Lord! Now I sound pretty preachy, I just learnt it myself! Thankfully, at least did at some point in my life.

Going back to my dream earlier with the Gayatri mantra. It is interesting to see that Gayatri Mantra was leading me to Lord Shiva but I was just not ready to accept it with the Gayatri mantra, I did not have the wisdom to do so. Damn this conditioned Mind! Mother divine brought me to the Gayatri mantra, I could have had this experience earlier with the Gayatri mantra or OM chanting, but I guess I was not ready. I did not have the sense to accept it, finally, she brought me to Navdurga sadhna. And I got to meet this beautiful form of Shiva and accepted it. “Please forgive me mother divine, I am foolish. Please bestow the wisdom on me, so that I can experience this world in its real context.”

I also realized that when I opened myself up to allow some divine energy into my personal space, I opened an avenue and become vulnerable to invasion by unwanted energy. I learnt it the hard way. I guess this is the significance of a Kavach. It provides protection from unwanted energies taking advantage of the vulnerability that comes with opening doors to divine energy.

Talking of Kavach, the last two lines translate as “mother divine blesses people and gives them beauty and they live with Shiva happily ever after! The first time I read it, I honestly thought it is just an expression. It was only after my experience with the Navdurga sadhana that I realized that this experience is a blessing from the divine. It actually does happens, mother divine takes us to Shiva. I experienced it with Navdurga Sadhana.

It sort of feels like that I understood what this means. “Shivgyanpradayini” and “Shree Shiva, Shivshaktyaikai Roopini” And I understood the essence of Shree Lalita Sahasranama.

Navdurga Sadhna exposed me to such enchanting energy experiences that I could never have imagined or thought that they existed leave alone experience them. It also gave me the spiritual maturity to understand divine energy and be blessed with it.

Dear Swamiji, I understood that you were an inseparable and non-negotiable part of this Sadhna. Hence, somewhere between these hugs with the Lord Shiva, probably you also got a little squeeze here and there, since all of this came from you. Mother divine brought you, I gave you the same place next to the Lord. Also everyone else in the line of succession who blessed me and helped me experience this. Mother divine was just helping a mother asking for help from the confines of her home, “Bhakti Vinamr Murtibhi” Sorry! I did not know how this works but now I do. I did not deserve this but thank you for giving me that space!

Here is my message to who so ever reads this. The biggest challenge in my life was my daughter with disabilities, she became the reason for me to unite with the divine. So if you have challenges in your life. They are there for a reason, it is the divine reaching out to you. Embrace them and work with them and they might become the reason for your union with the divine. You will find you energy and happiness there!

Dear mother divine! You urged me to write this. I wrote it and now I offer this at your divine feet on this auspicious occasion of Navratri. I hope the wisdom to happy and fulfilled life reaches each doorstep that seeks it!