Be a control freak,
She will disappoint you.
Let go and be yourself,
She will walk with you.
Be kind and serve all,
She will run after you.
Nature’s a playful child,
Value her creation, and
She will value you!
In the ancient scriptures, there are many manifested forms of the Divine. Each tradition revered one of these deities as supreme. Consequently, they wrote Puranas, historical fiction, with their chosen deity.
Moreover, a few tried to establish their deity’s supremacy by narrating unflattering tales about the other gods. For instance, if we examine the inscriptions of Lord Vishnu, we find all sorts of interpretations. Rig Veda’s oldest sections consider Vishnu as an epithet of Indra, the God of Rain. Tantrik scriptures see Vishnu as Devi’s equivalent, and many Vedic scriptures say that he was the same as Shiva (Rudra). In some Puranas, Vishnu is the quintessential Divine.
Furthermore, in many aspects, the Vedic and Tantrik scriptures had a different view of the Divine than the commoners. Few scholars even propose that Rudra, Vishnu, Brahma, and others were Divine humans who spanned the earth’s surface.
Nevertheless, one commonality that sprouted from the “original” scriptures of the ancient world remains. Whether it is Rudra, Vishnu, or Devi, they’re all containers of the unified masculine and feminine energies of creation. Irrespective of which form we worship, it is considered as praying to Nature!
Sri Lalita Ambika, The Playful Divine Mother
In Sri Vidya tradition, Śrī Mātā, Ādyā Śakti, or Lalita Ambikā symbolizes that blended form of masculine and feminine energies. Following the principles of simplicity, to start with, there’s no masculine or feminine. Initially, everything is simply energy. However, based on our mindset, we can view it as masculine, feminine, or neutral.
For those who’re seeking a mother, that energy is Śrī Mātā or the Mother Sri Devi. In other words, she represents the Formless Divine Brahman of the Advaita philosophy. As the universe expands into creation, the division into masculine and feminine occur.
The Nobel laureate Erwin Schrödinger said, “What we observe as material bodies and forces are nothing but shapes and variations in the structure of space. Particles are just appearances.” In layman’s terms, everything in this universe is a play of energy. When we drill deep into the physical objects, we see nothing but clusters of energy. In other words, this material world is merely a Maya or illusion of that energy.
Sri Vidya extols that energy (Shakti) that can neither be created nor destroyed as the Divine Mother. She is that powerful Force of Nature who can convert from one form to another at will!
Leela, The Progressive Fun
Lalita Sahasranamam, an integral part of Sri Vidya Tantra, begins with Śrī Mātā, the Formless Mother Sri Devi. Her baby, this entire creation, resides in her womb. The concluding name in the same Sahasranamam is Lalita Ambikā, the Formless Playful Mother of this universe.
That is, this entire universe expands from her formless state and collapses back into the same. As the Lalita Sahasranamam encapsulates, everything happening in the interim is her Leela, the play of the divine.
In more contemporary terms, Leela means Progressive Fun. This universe continuously functions with the purpose of progress. Yet, the happenings are nothing more than Nature’s game. Precisely like those hobbyist sportspersons! They understand that their games account for nothing, but still prefer to put their hearts and souls into it.
Imagine if we could live every moment of our life like that. We immerse ourselves in meaningful endeavors and do it with vigor and joy. Not for praise, not for personal gains, and not even for the sake of anyone else! Only because we enjoy this creation and appreciate the gift of life given to us by Nature.
Why Progressive Fun?
The pursuit of advancement culminates in stress. Meanwhile, in the long run, fun-inducing activities that don’t target personal growth leave us feeling purposeless. Separately, both progress and fun are like stagnant water that breeds diseases.
On the other hand, Progressive Fun is like fresh running water! When we value our lives, love this creation, and work on something meaningful with joy and objectivity, our lives become purposeful.
In essence, when we exercise Progressive Fun alongside being kind, we are automatically serving this world. If our meaningful pursuit happens to be a reformative cause, we may even leave behind something valuable for humankind’s benefit. Moreover, functioning in that state of Leela, similar to the Divine Mother, is synonymous with extolling her. As they say, imitation is the best flattery!
In conclusion, let’s all strive to be like the Divine Mother Nature! If we must look up to and follow someone, let it be Her. If we must manifest something in our lives, let it be Her grace. May the Divine bless us on this journey towards our Source.
Eulogies to that Parām Ambikā, the Supreme Mother, the Force of Nature that causes this cosmos to emerge, thrive, and dissolute. Gratitude to that Playful Mother Sri Devi, who radiates through those purposeful souls who love, serve, and value her creation.
All glories to Mother Nature!
Om Śrī Mātrai Namaḥ