In addition to exploring Gratitude in a variety of hues, the issue also features pieces on the inner significance of Navaratri, the festival of Devi, and the cultural significance of Ramayana. Other highlights include a reflection on patriotism and leadership in the light of recent events in Afghanistan, and ‘The Real Gandhi’, an insightful essay approved by Sri Aurobindo.
The Festival of Devi is celebrated in India to mark the victory of the great Goddess Durga over the demon King Mahishāsura and his demon cohorts. Though outwardly it seems to be symbolic of the victory of Truth over falsehood which of course it is, there is much in it to help us understand the process of individual and cosmic evolution. A 3-part essay explores the deeper, inner significance of this festival.
The symbolism of the birth of Mahishasurmardini is presented here. The author also briefly outlines how the nine forms of the goddess form an ascending hierarchy of shakti or energy rising from the root chakra at the base of the spine, mulādhara, traveling upwards gaining strength and force and momentum with each upward gust and impulsion until it reaches the crown and passing beyond unites with its Lord.
The author, in this part, cites some significant descriptions given by the Mother of her realisations. These passages speak of how Sri Aurobindo’s Integral Yoga takes a giant leap over tradition wherein he is not content with the slaying of a demon or many demons but by their conversion or dissolution for good. But for this not only man but even the gods must collaborate.
This special issue is dedicated to invoking several of the names and forms of Shakti – from Aditi, the Divine Mother to Mother India, the Bharat Shakti; from Mahashakti and Her Four Great Powers to Woman as Shakti, Nāri Shakti. It is an expression of our adoration of the Divine Mother because Hers indeed is the force that moves all and acts in all, the universal Energy, the Conscious-Power.