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Books > Hindu > Mother Divine The Supreme Being: Meditation on the vision of eternal Presence
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Mother Divine The Supreme Being: Meditation on the vision of eternal Presence
Mother Divine The Supreme Being: Meditation on the vision of eternal Presence
Description

About the Book

A unique book of absorbing study meant for seekers of wisdom and truth of all faiths to ponder. A reader gifted with a spiritual stance will find the entire text revealing the Reality. The author's incisive grasp on the analysis of the subject characterizes his keen inquisitiveness and personal experience.

The attempt is a seeker's quest to know the base lines of teachings of the renowned masters of Bhakti and Jnana. Competence to express spiritual principles comes naturally to those who can be in tune with the Divine. The study has undoubtedly a soothing and edifying influence over the mind that is distracted by the preoccupations of the modern age.

The approach avoids and appearances of narrow and sectarian dogmas.

The book has very clearly highlighted and succeeded in establishing the truth tat the Reality 8s One, Though it may be called by different names.
Swami Gokulananda Ji

The treatise is a laudable endeavour.
Swami Satyamitrananda Ji Giri

THE author has clearly brought out the teachings and practices of a multitude of enlightened souls. The English-speaking devotees will benefit the most from this text.
Prof Vachaspati Upadhyaya

The author deals with a large canvas and gives adequate feedback to the serious sadhaka.
Swami Anubhyavananda

About the Author

Shri Kaushalji has explored the devotional aspect of religious theism with great acumen and depth. This perspective of God enables the devotee to form an intimate relationship with the Transcendent. God as Mother is seen to be the ocean of love and grace.
Sri Moti Lal Pandit

Nowhere in the book MOTHER DIVINE, THE SUPREME BEIGN' has the author sought to twist things to suit his own theses His ideas are clear and he has no intention to interpret the ideas of others as a peg on which to hang his own.
Dr. Balbir Singh

I was quite enthralled by Sri Kaushal's open- ended depiction of the female Divine. He has tried to portray the mystic aspect of Mother Divine into a living reality.
Ramesh Vishwanath Ji

 

Foreword

WHAT is the greatest boon God has given to all living beings? It is mother's love, undoubtedly. It must then be the unique quality of mother-child relationship that worship of God as mother became so wide-spread. In the Vedas the goddess Usas is identified as the goddess of Dawn, the coming of light to the world. The concept expands to include Prithvi, the Mother Earth; Aditi, the mother of aditya-s; Vak who reveals herself through speech, and Ratri associated with Night, besides many minor goddesses.

The worship of Devi is enriched through various hymns. In the Kena Upnishad Devi Umeshvari imparts knowledge as a Guru. In the Rarnayana we see Rama worshipping Durga for success in battle. In the Mahabharata, we see Pandava- s doing the same at the instance of Krishna. In Srimad Bhagavata, gopi-s pray to Devi: "O Katyayani, Thou who art Mahamaya ! Deign to make the son of Nanda my husband. Prostrations to You." The image of Devi is further highlighted in various Purana-s such as Markandeya Purana, Srimad Devi Bhagavat Purana. She is portrayed as the Creator, Preserver and Destroyer of the universe and ruling the Trinity. In the tantrik scriptures the concept of Sakti as the Supreme Principle, gains fullness. Durga Sapatsati and Saundarya Lahari further elevated the rank and image of Devi.

The aim of the religious and devotional writings is to inspire love of God in human beings, and raise them step by step to the level of Self- realisation. This treatise under review comes very close to serve this purpose. Through the study and practice of this work, we seek to free ourselves from the chronic diseases like moha (attachment) and ahankaras (ego) by expanding our awareness beyond the material world.

Mr. Kaushal has clearly brought out the teachings and practices of a multitude of enlightened souls in a concise and comprehensible volume in an easy and flowing style.

The thematic contents of this book make one believe that they are entirely based on the personal experiences of the author. The book will not only inspire and help the aspiring devotee but will also be of immense service to the novice reader. In the Invocation the author draws inspiration from Mam Sarasvati. He glorifies the Divine Being with all his heart and soul and suggests that each one of us.should emulate the same. He is very clear in his mind that Adyasakti and Brahman arc not two separate entities but one and the same.

The book is neatly and methodically divided into six Parts, each Part is sub- divided in a number of chapters. Part One meant "For the Inquisitive" is "humbly definitive". Here the author makes us well acquainted with some very important concepts e.g. brahman, seguna-nirguns, sraddha (faith), Anuraga (divine love), Krpa (divine grace), Svarupa (divine form), Jyoti (divine light), Ista-devata (chosen deity) &c. The treatment of each topic is exhaustive and all the concepts are carefully set forth.

Part Two is "For' the Upcoming Aspirants". The thrust area of this Part is to discern such important aspects like Purity of Mind, Ego, Illusion, Time, Harmony, Silence and Surrender. Those who are desirous of attaining the final beatitude will surely appreciate the usefulness of the material provided in this part of the book.

Part Three deals with a catalyst: "Know Thyself" (atmabodha) leading to God- realisation. Self-realisatiou, he says, is not attainment or achievement but a discovery of the Self in one's own heart. The knowledge of the Self is sine qua non (indispensable) for attaining summum bonum (the highest perfection) of spiritual ends of life. "It is this T which is the essence of man and this T is never seen".

In order to make his points clear the author takes cue from very interesting and instructive anecdotes, parables and stories. To him, Knowledge (jnana), Devotion (bhakti) and Action (karma) are equally important for God-realisation but he docs hint that the path of Knowledge is suitable for the intellectuals who are adept in making proper use of rhyme and reason; the path of Devotion for those who are emotional and sentimental; and the path of Action for those who are practical in life. The three paths of course, are not mutually exclusive. Each is complementary to the other two. The accomplishment of one is at once the fulfilment of the other two.

Part Four deals with the actually designed feature of the book, "matrdevobhava" Mother is none other than God. Spread into fifteen chapters under headings like Mam And Me, God As Mother Divine, Siva-Sakti, Mercies of Divine Mother, In Praise of Mother Divine, Durga Sapatsati &c. the glory of the Absolute is sung in a dedicated manner. To the author the universe is the mother-heart whose manifestation can be easily seen and realised in the cosmos. "Divine Mother could not be everywhere, so SHe made mothers". The amount of careful thought given to each one of the topics deserves all praise.

Part Five "Towards Soul Emancipation" raises certain issues for the advanced aspirants and resolves them in a convincing manner with a touch of experience. It is meant to serve as a word of caution as well as of encouragement for the "now-grown-up" aspirant.

Part Six "Wisdom Dispensed" covers a vast treasure of practical moral and spiritual knowledge in the form of Thoughts and Quotes which mothers a vision of the One beyond the beyond.

The book undoubtedly embodies the results of a long and devoted study undertaken by the author and is a very valuable addition to the world of literature on the "Faith in the Absolute". In fact with his intimate knowledge of the subject he has succeeded in giving a full and connected account of the chosen theme. He writes in a simple, facile and precise manner and his exposition is interspersed throughout with face renderings into English of sloke-s from the original source. Another noteworthy feature of the book is the examples which he now and then gives from the teachings of saints and savants.

In the religious life of Hindus today there is no need to resuscitate the Great Goddess referred to by the author as Mother Divine,-Adyasakti. Most of the topics are based on "Devi Mahatmyam'' which is recognised as a text of unique significance to Hindu religious traditions. In a lecture delivered in 1840, H.H. Wilson ranked it "amongst the most popular works in the Sanskrit language" and to this day its hymns are recited with great devotion and dedication by a vast number of people all over the world. The verbatim repeated recitation of the hymns, believed to possess an eternal power, not only helps the mind to get rid of its dross progressively but also pleases the Deity the most. The ultimate Reality in the universe is here understood to be feminine, the Goddess Devi.

There has been the need for a reliable and readable book on the subject for Mother's devotees and the present meets that need exceedingly well. The English- speaking devotees will benefit the most from this text. I heartily recommend "Mother Divine, the Supreme Being" to all those who are desirous to dive deeper in search of Truth.

Introduction

ICAME in contact with Shri Chaman Lal Kaushal through my father, Late Pt. Amir Chandra Shastri, about 12 years ago. He would come to my place whenever my father was in Delhi, and discuss with him concepts like brahman, saguna, nirguna, universal Consciousness and above all, the concept of the Adyasakti, the Supreme Being, the Mother Divine. They would sit for hours together; Shri Kaushal putting forth his queries persistently and my father replying to them very serenely and patiently. The quest for the substance was so great in this man that I, sometimes, wondered what has this businessman to do with metaphysics and spirituality. Unable to control my curiosity, once I asked my father what he thought of this man and he replied: Here is a true devotee of the Mother, who aspires to achieve Her blessings and affection and that is why he is more concerned about the tattva Janna« and not just the manifestations of the Goddess Durga, since he wants to know Her in totality. At that time naive as I was I could not understand the import of this statement. By and by both of them allowed me to peep into their spiritual world by letting me take part in their discourses.

Later on when Shri Kaushal approached me with the manuscript of his book 'MOTHER DIVINE, THE SUPREME BEING' under review, I was taken aback by the thought that he even considered me worthy of it. Here before me was humility personified. As I went through the pages of the manuscript I was astonished to find the clarity of his thoughts, the purity of his vision and the depth of his faith. Herein is an author who neither claims originality nor erudition, yet in a very subtle and simple manner establishes the Supreme Being, the God as Mother, as against the common belief that He is a Father. For him the reality ought to be She as SHe inclndes He, and thus together they constitute the neutral brahman, the Absolute.

But for the sad demise of my father, I would not be writing these lines. Instead it would have been my father himself who would have showered his blessings on this great piece of remarkable work, because the intellectual chemistry between the two of them was par excellence.

I have been with this work from the very hour of its conception and I have seen it growing step by step, stage by stage, into a glorious and magnificent bunch of f1owers. Shri Kaushal welcomed suggestions from all quarters and gracefully incorporated them in his work. As my knowledge was bookish and his was inherent, I would be hesitant in expressing my views at times but he would goad me to say something which might be contrary to his basic idea. Thus, he, by inviting negative criticism, comes across as a man who in reality is a seeker of Truth, and for whom the opposite is complementary as it constitutes the whole.

There is no attempt on his part to start a new school of thought or a sect or philosophy. Instead it is a saga of faith and total conviction in 'that' faith; that is why he rightly calls it 'An Exposition of Faith'. This is an outcome of long years of contemplation and meditation on the part of the author on the 'vision of the eternal Presence'. He bows before the God as Ma, a matter of personal choice as it is the most 'intimate and informal mundane relationship'. Thus he starts with God as a mundane reality and through the course of the book establishes Her as the only transcendental Reality, without going into the jargon of philosophical terminology, lexicography of -definitions, denotations and connotations, and makes his point of view crystal-clear by his simplicity of expression and honesty of quest.

He has quoted extensively but his presentation of the quotations is not verbatim. They have been put forth in a manner as he understands them. He does not preach sermons about values or morality or religion or chastity, nor does he insist upon performance of rituals like Yajnas or Arati. He does not want an aspirant to go through the nuances of controlling breath and thus elevating oneself to the higher stages of yoga. He does not refer to the twenty four tattva- s of Sankhya, yet is able to differentiate between the Manifest and the Unmanifest 'Prakrti and Pradhana'. He is neither a rationalist like Descartes who gropes in the dark with his meditations of a 'thinking thing' nor does he try to differentiate between transcendental and empirical reality in the Kantian way. His 'esse est percipier' is his 'esse est percipi'. That is why he sees a mundane mother in God and is able to establish Her as a Supreme Transcendental Reality without any doubt or dogma, for his approach is that of love for, of faith in, and of inquisitiveness about Truth and Truth alone.

His method to seek the ultimate Reality leading to Self-Realisation is simple but entails certain sacrifices like 'give and take'. Spiritual unfoldment is nama-rupa tyaga

One starts with the query into the Absolute, the Divine Player (brahman) that . is related to our very existence, with the faith of a child. Faith is the pointer of the soul that leads to the divine abode. Chant the divine nama with love and devotion to qualify for the divine Grace. Divine Form is the hidden Light, the cternal Presence perceived everywhere and conceived in everyone and everything. The seeker experiences a glimpse of the vision of that Form and establishes a bond of relationship with the Divine. The mind thus is freed from all impurities, the ego takes to its wings, the illusion behaves in all modesty, the harmony prevails and makes its mark resulting in silence (the language of Truth) and complete surrender (the transcendence of ego).

The aspirant is now ready to get closer to embrace divinity, the Mother Divine, the embodiment of love, compassion, mercy, grace and glory. He traverses through sixteen chapters comprising some hundred pages describing all aspects and facets of Mother Grace, the Adyasakti and takes off to the unfathomed heights of a dreamless world of bliss and bliss alone, in a state of transformation and sheer ecstasy.

Preface

THIS STUDY is an endeavour to offer an exposition of the nature of the ultimate Supreme Power, the Brahman, worshipped as Divine Mother in Its infinite manifestations.

The conception of the Infinite as Mother is ages old. The Rgveda bears testimony to the fact that even in ancient times, there was the persistent belief that the . , Ruler of the universe is the All-Compassionate Mother, Adyasakti, the Primordial Power, the Supreme Godhead. Mother is synonymous with Sakti, the Divine Power that manifests, sustains and transforms the universe as the one unifying force of Existence. She conceives, bears, produces and nourishes the entire universe. Mother is the personality that appeals most to the human heart.

Although God in the transcendental realm is beyond conceptualisation in terms of gender, It is commonly referred to with the male pronoun 'He'. Why should God be addressed only in masculine terms as Father? Why not speak of God in feminine terms, too, as Mother? The fact remains that God is a personal being with whom we can truly choose to have any relationship. Our rsi-s expressed God by using the neuter pronoun 'That'. Calling God as Mother is not at all meant to show any distinction of sex in Divinity. It is just a matter of appeal and devotee's faith and choice.

An ignorant villager was travellirig by train. The ticket checker thought of having some fun with him and told the villager that he could not travel on the ticket which was for ladies. The villager changed his dress. The ticket collector at the gate joined the ticket checker. "It is a male ticket," he said. The villager got angry and said, "Well, if it is a male ticket then surely I can travel on it as I am only dressed like a lady." A ticket is just a ticket. It is neither male nor female just like Truth. Truth is One. Expressions differ.

The doctrine of Sakti as Divine Power is one of the greatest doctrines evolved through spiritual intuitions by human mind, and is the manifestation of the Divine Consciousness Itself. When anybody needs protection from an imminent danger, is it not the word 'Mam' that comes out spontaneously from his mouth?

It is one of the greatest contributions of Sri Ramakrisna to Indian religious , . tradition that his spiritual experience has identified Sakti (Mother Divine), not as a mere female counterpart of the Absolute, but as the Absolute Itself.

The appellations of God are as endless as the attributes. Since Sakti cannot be worshipped in its essential nature, the mind must have an image, a form, a vision, a Personal God (Ista) to contemplate upon. Ram Prasad, a staunch devotee of Kali, says, "My Mother is formless. What then is the use of your making images of metal, stone or clay? Make an image out of the stuff of your mind and install it on the lotus seat of the heart." Fatherhood and motherhood are mere distinctions of address and just two aspects of the selfsame Reality.

The Supreme Self is known as Universal Mother because the universe with all its organism evolves in the womb of that Mother. There is a pulse of the Mother-heart. Our sages discovered that pulse of Energy behind Prakrti in the tangible universe. So they sang of God as Mother, as Prakrti, as the Supreme Energy, the Supreme Nature. Mother Grace hearkens all our prayers and meets all our wants. And when She seems to deny what seems our right, in denying She grants. The Supreme Ruler manifests Herself in all Her glory to shower Her blessings upon Her progeny. She fulfils the worthy ends of man's life: dharma, artha, kama and mokse.

God whom we call Mother has certainly a form, Sweetness has no form but sugar has. Qualities have no form but the things that possess these qualities have form. Similarly, peace, bliss, purity are formless but their possessor does have a form. Therefore God who is an inexhaustible source of such characteristic qualities, virtues and attributes has surely a form and an abode. It is left to us to realise God rather than describe Him.

Nothing that is being written today on metaphysics, can claim to be original or anybody's own. Our scriptures provide wholesome knowledge leaving no margin to additions or subtractions. Adi- Sankaracarya explains that the Gita is a modified version of the Vedas and that Lord Krishna is only a narrator. Truth always existed much like the geometrical truth that three angles of a triangle are equal to two right angles. The preceptors and great messengers from the High Above are only narrators. Sages alone seem to be the actual founding fathers of the noble Truth.

The idealistic thoughts given by the mystics and seers and by the scriptures are real only when we make them real, otherwise they remain closed books to us. We may be fortunate enough to come in contact with the highest and the holiest, but we must have the openness, the readiness and the receptivity to be blessed.

Search for Truth is as old as man. Whence we come from and where we go to is a mystery that has intrigued mankind. How the universe came into existence and what will be its end has been the enigma of the ages. We must recognise therefore the state of our ignorance and the nature of our beliefs and adventures as our own.

No two schools of thought are identical in their approach to Reality. There is always a grain of truth or a useful doubt in the reasoning. However, the message replete with knowledge, albeit borrowed or plagiarised, always inspires and is welcome. The fortunate one does not entangle himself in the complex labyrinths of philosophy. Without trying to find differences where they do not exist, the earnest seeker should apply the infallible test of the peace of mind brought about by different modes of expressions of the Reality and be convinced and satisfied.

A nobleman who was a student of Gautama, the Buddha, went to the Master and said, "Sir I will practise meditation, the technique of total liberation, that you have taught, only if you answer all my questions." And the student asked a long list of questions including "where does the universe begin, where will it end and who created the same?" Buddha replied: "O foolish one, I have taught you all that you need to know. If an arrow has pierced you, would you immediately try to pull out the arrow and end your suffering, or would you ask Endless questions, such as, what the arrow was made of, or who made the arrow or who made the bow and who shot the arrow?”

CONTENTS

 

Invocation   vii
Cosmic Tree.   viii
Dedication.   ix
To dear Readers.   x
Foreword.   xi
Introduction.   xv
Preface.   xix
Blessings.   xxv
This Study.   xxvi
PART ONE : FOR THE INQUISITIVE(humbly definitive). 1
1. Brahman, The Absolute. 2
2. God Is. 5
3. Personal-Impersonal God. 7
4. Man Needs God. 10
5. Faith in God (Astha-Sraddha). 13
6. Divine Name (Nama). 17
7. Divine Love & Devotion (Anuraga & Bhakti). 20
8. Divine Grace (Krpa). 25
9. Divine From (Svarupa). 29
10. Divinity Calling. 32
11. Divine Light (Brahmjyoti). 36
12. Relationship with God (Sambandha). 39
13. Focal Point 43
PART TWO : FOR THE UPCOMING ASPIRANTS. 51
14. Purity of Mind. (Visudha Mana). 52
15. Ego (Ahankara). 56
16. Illusion (Maya). 60
17. Time (Kala). 64
18. Harmony (Tala-Mela). 66
19. Silence (Mauna). 70
20. Surrender (Saranagati). 73
PART THREE : TRUTH REALISATION (Satya Jnana). 75
21. Self-Realisation, Who am I? (Atmabodha). 76
22. God-Realisation (Brahamajnana). 81
PART FOUR : GLORY OF MOTHER DIVINE (Gunagana). 89
23. Aspects of Mother Divine 91
24. Mother Divine, The Thing-in Itself (Svarupa). 98
25. Reminiscences and Inspirations. 101
26. Woman As Mother. 107
27. Mam And Me. 115
28. Siva-Sakti, the Ultimate Authority. 120
29. God As Mother Divine 123
30. Worship of Mother Divine. 131
31. Mother Divine, The Supreme Sovereign. 135
32. Mercies of Mother Divine. 138
33. To Gracious Mother Divine. 146
34. In Praise of Mother Divine (Her Glory). 146
35. Thus Spake Mother Divine. 151
36. Prayers and Praises: Solemn Address). 154
37. Durga Saptasati (The Essence). 163
38. Shrimad Devi Bhagavatam (The Gist). 178
39. 108 Tributes to Mother Divine. 194
40. Sri Ramakrsna Paramahansa. 200
PART FIVE : TOWARDS EMANCIPATION OF SOUL. 203
41. Is Worldly Life A Hurdle? 204
42. Pray, Save the Soul. 206
43. More for the True Seeker. 209
44. An Enlightened One (Characteristics). 213
45. In the Hours of Meditation. 215
46. The Soul's Lone Journey. 218
PART SIX : WISDOM DISPENSED. 229
47. Thoughts To Ponder. 230
48. Meditative Quotes. 245
PART SEVEN : APPENDIX A :Glossary & Transliteration Guide. 256
  APPENDIX B : ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS AND REMEMBRANCES. 263
  APPENDIX C : REVIEWERS' VIEWS. 266
  Prayer for Forgiveness. 277
  Thus Far and Further. 278

 

Sample Pages

















Mother Divine The Supreme Being: Meditation on the vision of eternal Presence

Item Code:
IDH032
Cover:
Hardcover
Edition:
2003
ISBN:
8186880976
Language:
English
Size:
9.8" X 7.3"
Pages:
278 (Color Illus:50, B & W Illus:8)
Price:
$50.00   Shipping Free - 4 to 6 days
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About the Book

A unique book of absorbing study meant for seekers of wisdom and truth of all faiths to ponder. A reader gifted with a spiritual stance will find the entire text revealing the Reality. The author's incisive grasp on the analysis of the subject characterizes his keen inquisitiveness and personal experience.

The attempt is a seeker's quest to know the base lines of teachings of the renowned masters of Bhakti and Jnana. Competence to express spiritual principles comes naturally to those who can be in tune with the Divine. The study has undoubtedly a soothing and edifying influence over the mind that is distracted by the preoccupations of the modern age.

The approach avoids and appearances of narrow and sectarian dogmas.

The book has very clearly highlighted and succeeded in establishing the truth tat the Reality 8s One, Though it may be called by different names.
Swami Gokulananda Ji

The treatise is a laudable endeavour.
Swami Satyamitrananda Ji Giri

THE author has clearly brought out the teachings and practices of a multitude of enlightened souls. The English-speaking devotees will benefit the most from this text.
Prof Vachaspati Upadhyaya

The author deals with a large canvas and gives adequate feedback to the serious sadhaka.
Swami Anubhyavananda

About the Author

Shri Kaushalji has explored the devotional aspect of religious theism with great acumen and depth. This perspective of God enables the devotee to form an intimate relationship with the Transcendent. God as Mother is seen to be the ocean of love and grace.
Sri Moti Lal Pandit

Nowhere in the book MOTHER DIVINE, THE SUPREME BEIGN' has the author sought to twist things to suit his own theses His ideas are clear and he has no intention to interpret the ideas of others as a peg on which to hang his own.
Dr. Balbir Singh

I was quite enthralled by Sri Kaushal's open- ended depiction of the female Divine. He has tried to portray the mystic aspect of Mother Divine into a living reality.
Ramesh Vishwanath Ji

 

Foreword

WHAT is the greatest boon God has given to all living beings? It is mother's love, undoubtedly. It must then be the unique quality of mother-child relationship that worship of God as mother became so wide-spread. In the Vedas the goddess Usas is identified as the goddess of Dawn, the coming of light to the world. The concept expands to include Prithvi, the Mother Earth; Aditi, the mother of aditya-s; Vak who reveals herself through speech, and Ratri associated with Night, besides many minor goddesses.

The worship of Devi is enriched through various hymns. In the Kena Upnishad Devi Umeshvari imparts knowledge as a Guru. In the Rarnayana we see Rama worshipping Durga for success in battle. In the Mahabharata, we see Pandava- s doing the same at the instance of Krishna. In Srimad Bhagavata, gopi-s pray to Devi: "O Katyayani, Thou who art Mahamaya ! Deign to make the son of Nanda my husband. Prostrations to You." The image of Devi is further highlighted in various Purana-s such as Markandeya Purana, Srimad Devi Bhagavat Purana. She is portrayed as the Creator, Preserver and Destroyer of the universe and ruling the Trinity. In the tantrik scriptures the concept of Sakti as the Supreme Principle, gains fullness. Durga Sapatsati and Saundarya Lahari further elevated the rank and image of Devi.

The aim of the religious and devotional writings is to inspire love of God in human beings, and raise them step by step to the level of Self- realisation. This treatise under review comes very close to serve this purpose. Through the study and practice of this work, we seek to free ourselves from the chronic diseases like moha (attachment) and ahankaras (ego) by expanding our awareness beyond the material world.

Mr. Kaushal has clearly brought out the teachings and practices of a multitude of enlightened souls in a concise and comprehensible volume in an easy and flowing style.

The thematic contents of this book make one believe that they are entirely based on the personal experiences of the author. The book will not only inspire and help the aspiring devotee but will also be of immense service to the novice reader. In the Invocation the author draws inspiration from Mam Sarasvati. He glorifies the Divine Being with all his heart and soul and suggests that each one of us.should emulate the same. He is very clear in his mind that Adyasakti and Brahman arc not two separate entities but one and the same.

The book is neatly and methodically divided into six Parts, each Part is sub- divided in a number of chapters. Part One meant "For the Inquisitive" is "humbly definitive". Here the author makes us well acquainted with some very important concepts e.g. brahman, seguna-nirguns, sraddha (faith), Anuraga (divine love), Krpa (divine grace), Svarupa (divine form), Jyoti (divine light), Ista-devata (chosen deity) &c. The treatment of each topic is exhaustive and all the concepts are carefully set forth.

Part Two is "For' the Upcoming Aspirants". The thrust area of this Part is to discern such important aspects like Purity of Mind, Ego, Illusion, Time, Harmony, Silence and Surrender. Those who are desirous of attaining the final beatitude will surely appreciate the usefulness of the material provided in this part of the book.

Part Three deals with a catalyst: "Know Thyself" (atmabodha) leading to God- realisation. Self-realisatiou, he says, is not attainment or achievement but a discovery of the Self in one's own heart. The knowledge of the Self is sine qua non (indispensable) for attaining summum bonum (the highest perfection) of spiritual ends of life. "It is this T which is the essence of man and this T is never seen".

In order to make his points clear the author takes cue from very interesting and instructive anecdotes, parables and stories. To him, Knowledge (jnana), Devotion (bhakti) and Action (karma) are equally important for God-realisation but he docs hint that the path of Knowledge is suitable for the intellectuals who are adept in making proper use of rhyme and reason; the path of Devotion for those who are emotional and sentimental; and the path of Action for those who are practical in life. The three paths of course, are not mutually exclusive. Each is complementary to the other two. The accomplishment of one is at once the fulfilment of the other two.

Part Four deals with the actually designed feature of the book, "matrdevobhava" Mother is none other than God. Spread into fifteen chapters under headings like Mam And Me, God As Mother Divine, Siva-Sakti, Mercies of Divine Mother, In Praise of Mother Divine, Durga Sapatsati &c. the glory of the Absolute is sung in a dedicated manner. To the author the universe is the mother-heart whose manifestation can be easily seen and realised in the cosmos. "Divine Mother could not be everywhere, so SHe made mothers". The amount of careful thought given to each one of the topics deserves all praise.

Part Five "Towards Soul Emancipation" raises certain issues for the advanced aspirants and resolves them in a convincing manner with a touch of experience. It is meant to serve as a word of caution as well as of encouragement for the "now-grown-up" aspirant.

Part Six "Wisdom Dispensed" covers a vast treasure of practical moral and spiritual knowledge in the form of Thoughts and Quotes which mothers a vision of the One beyond the beyond.

The book undoubtedly embodies the results of a long and devoted study undertaken by the author and is a very valuable addition to the world of literature on the "Faith in the Absolute". In fact with his intimate knowledge of the subject he has succeeded in giving a full and connected account of the chosen theme. He writes in a simple, facile and precise manner and his exposition is interspersed throughout with face renderings into English of sloke-s from the original source. Another noteworthy feature of the book is the examples which he now and then gives from the teachings of saints and savants.

In the religious life of Hindus today there is no need to resuscitate the Great Goddess referred to by the author as Mother Divine,-Adyasakti. Most of the topics are based on "Devi Mahatmyam'' which is recognised as a text of unique significance to Hindu religious traditions. In a lecture delivered in 1840, H.H. Wilson ranked it "amongst the most popular works in the Sanskrit language" and to this day its hymns are recited with great devotion and dedication by a vast number of people all over the world. The verbatim repeated recitation of the hymns, believed to possess an eternal power, not only helps the mind to get rid of its dross progressively but also pleases the Deity the most. The ultimate Reality in the universe is here understood to be feminine, the Goddess Devi.

There has been the need for a reliable and readable book on the subject for Mother's devotees and the present meets that need exceedingly well. The English- speaking devotees will benefit the most from this text. I heartily recommend "Mother Divine, the Supreme Being" to all those who are desirous to dive deeper in search of Truth.

Introduction

ICAME in contact with Shri Chaman Lal Kaushal through my father, Late Pt. Amir Chandra Shastri, about 12 years ago. He would come to my place whenever my father was in Delhi, and discuss with him concepts like brahman, saguna, nirguna, universal Consciousness and above all, the concept of the Adyasakti, the Supreme Being, the Mother Divine. They would sit for hours together; Shri Kaushal putting forth his queries persistently and my father replying to them very serenely and patiently. The quest for the substance was so great in this man that I, sometimes, wondered what has this businessman to do with metaphysics and spirituality. Unable to control my curiosity, once I asked my father what he thought of this man and he replied: Here is a true devotee of the Mother, who aspires to achieve Her blessings and affection and that is why he is more concerned about the tattva Janna« and not just the manifestations of the Goddess Durga, since he wants to know Her in totality. At that time naive as I was I could not understand the import of this statement. By and by both of them allowed me to peep into their spiritual world by letting me take part in their discourses.

Later on when Shri Kaushal approached me with the manuscript of his book 'MOTHER DIVINE, THE SUPREME BEING' under review, I was taken aback by the thought that he even considered me worthy of it. Here before me was humility personified. As I went through the pages of the manuscript I was astonished to find the clarity of his thoughts, the purity of his vision and the depth of his faith. Herein is an author who neither claims originality nor erudition, yet in a very subtle and simple manner establishes the Supreme Being, the God as Mother, as against the common belief that He is a Father. For him the reality ought to be She as SHe inclndes He, and thus together they constitute the neutral brahman, the Absolute.

But for the sad demise of my father, I would not be writing these lines. Instead it would have been my father himself who would have showered his blessings on this great piece of remarkable work, because the intellectual chemistry between the two of them was par excellence.

I have been with this work from the very hour of its conception and I have seen it growing step by step, stage by stage, into a glorious and magnificent bunch of f1owers. Shri Kaushal welcomed suggestions from all quarters and gracefully incorporated them in his work. As my knowledge was bookish and his was inherent, I would be hesitant in expressing my views at times but he would goad me to say something which might be contrary to his basic idea. Thus, he, by inviting negative criticism, comes across as a man who in reality is a seeker of Truth, and for whom the opposite is complementary as it constitutes the whole.

There is no attempt on his part to start a new school of thought or a sect or philosophy. Instead it is a saga of faith and total conviction in 'that' faith; that is why he rightly calls it 'An Exposition of Faith'. This is an outcome of long years of contemplation and meditation on the part of the author on the 'vision of the eternal Presence'. He bows before the God as Ma, a matter of personal choice as it is the most 'intimate and informal mundane relationship'. Thus he starts with God as a mundane reality and through the course of the book establishes Her as the only transcendental Reality, without going into the jargon of philosophical terminology, lexicography of -definitions, denotations and connotations, and makes his point of view crystal-clear by his simplicity of expression and honesty of quest.

He has quoted extensively but his presentation of the quotations is not verbatim. They have been put forth in a manner as he understands them. He does not preach sermons about values or morality or religion or chastity, nor does he insist upon performance of rituals like Yajnas or Arati. He does not want an aspirant to go through the nuances of controlling breath and thus elevating oneself to the higher stages of yoga. He does not refer to the twenty four tattva- s of Sankhya, yet is able to differentiate between the Manifest and the Unmanifest 'Prakrti and Pradhana'. He is neither a rationalist like Descartes who gropes in the dark with his meditations of a 'thinking thing' nor does he try to differentiate between transcendental and empirical reality in the Kantian way. His 'esse est percipier' is his 'esse est percipi'. That is why he sees a mundane mother in God and is able to establish Her as a Supreme Transcendental Reality without any doubt or dogma, for his approach is that of love for, of faith in, and of inquisitiveness about Truth and Truth alone.

His method to seek the ultimate Reality leading to Self-Realisation is simple but entails certain sacrifices like 'give and take'. Spiritual unfoldment is nama-rupa tyaga

One starts with the query into the Absolute, the Divine Player (brahman) that . is related to our very existence, with the faith of a child. Faith is the pointer of the soul that leads to the divine abode. Chant the divine nama with love and devotion to qualify for the divine Grace. Divine Form is the hidden Light, the cternal Presence perceived everywhere and conceived in everyone and everything. The seeker experiences a glimpse of the vision of that Form and establishes a bond of relationship with the Divine. The mind thus is freed from all impurities, the ego takes to its wings, the illusion behaves in all modesty, the harmony prevails and makes its mark resulting in silence (the language of Truth) and complete surrender (the transcendence of ego).

The aspirant is now ready to get closer to embrace divinity, the Mother Divine, the embodiment of love, compassion, mercy, grace and glory. He traverses through sixteen chapters comprising some hundred pages describing all aspects and facets of Mother Grace, the Adyasakti and takes off to the unfathomed heights of a dreamless world of bliss and bliss alone, in a state of transformation and sheer ecstasy.

Preface

THIS STUDY is an endeavour to offer an exposition of the nature of the ultimate Supreme Power, the Brahman, worshipped as Divine Mother in Its infinite manifestations.

The conception of the Infinite as Mother is ages old. The Rgveda bears testimony to the fact that even in ancient times, there was the persistent belief that the . , Ruler of the universe is the All-Compassionate Mother, Adyasakti, the Primordial Power, the Supreme Godhead. Mother is synonymous with Sakti, the Divine Power that manifests, sustains and transforms the universe as the one unifying force of Existence. She conceives, bears, produces and nourishes the entire universe. Mother is the personality that appeals most to the human heart.

Although God in the transcendental realm is beyond conceptualisation in terms of gender, It is commonly referred to with the male pronoun 'He'. Why should God be addressed only in masculine terms as Father? Why not speak of God in feminine terms, too, as Mother? The fact remains that God is a personal being with whom we can truly choose to have any relationship. Our rsi-s expressed God by using the neuter pronoun 'That'. Calling God as Mother is not at all meant to show any distinction of sex in Divinity. It is just a matter of appeal and devotee's faith and choice.

An ignorant villager was travellirig by train. The ticket checker thought of having some fun with him and told the villager that he could not travel on the ticket which was for ladies. The villager changed his dress. The ticket collector at the gate joined the ticket checker. "It is a male ticket," he said. The villager got angry and said, "Well, if it is a male ticket then surely I can travel on it as I am only dressed like a lady." A ticket is just a ticket. It is neither male nor female just like Truth. Truth is One. Expressions differ.

The doctrine of Sakti as Divine Power is one of the greatest doctrines evolved through spiritual intuitions by human mind, and is the manifestation of the Divine Consciousness Itself. When anybody needs protection from an imminent danger, is it not the word 'Mam' that comes out spontaneously from his mouth?

It is one of the greatest contributions of Sri Ramakrisna to Indian religious , . tradition that his spiritual experience has identified Sakti (Mother Divine), not as a mere female counterpart of the Absolute, but as the Absolute Itself.

The appellations of God are as endless as the attributes. Since Sakti cannot be worshipped in its essential nature, the mind must have an image, a form, a vision, a Personal God (Ista) to contemplate upon. Ram Prasad, a staunch devotee of Kali, says, "My Mother is formless. What then is the use of your making images of metal, stone or clay? Make an image out of the stuff of your mind and install it on the lotus seat of the heart." Fatherhood and motherhood are mere distinctions of address and just two aspects of the selfsame Reality.

The Supreme Self is known as Universal Mother because the universe with all its organism evolves in the womb of that Mother. There is a pulse of the Mother-heart. Our sages discovered that pulse of Energy behind Prakrti in the tangible universe. So they sang of God as Mother, as Prakrti, as the Supreme Energy, the Supreme Nature. Mother Grace hearkens all our prayers and meets all our wants. And when She seems to deny what seems our right, in denying She grants. The Supreme Ruler manifests Herself in all Her glory to shower Her blessings upon Her progeny. She fulfils the worthy ends of man's life: dharma, artha, kama and mokse.

God whom we call Mother has certainly a form, Sweetness has no form but sugar has. Qualities have no form but the things that possess these qualities have form. Similarly, peace, bliss, purity are formless but their possessor does have a form. Therefore God who is an inexhaustible source of such characteristic qualities, virtues and attributes has surely a form and an abode. It is left to us to realise God rather than describe Him.

Nothing that is being written today on metaphysics, can claim to be original or anybody's own. Our scriptures provide wholesome knowledge leaving no margin to additions or subtractions. Adi- Sankaracarya explains that the Gita is a modified version of the Vedas and that Lord Krishna is only a narrator. Truth always existed much like the geometrical truth that three angles of a triangle are equal to two right angles. The preceptors and great messengers from the High Above are only narrators. Sages alone seem to be the actual founding fathers of the noble Truth.

The idealistic thoughts given by the mystics and seers and by the scriptures are real only when we make them real, otherwise they remain closed books to us. We may be fortunate enough to come in contact with the highest and the holiest, but we must have the openness, the readiness and the receptivity to be blessed.

Search for Truth is as old as man. Whence we come from and where we go to is a mystery that has intrigued mankind. How the universe came into existence and what will be its end has been the enigma of the ages. We must recognise therefore the state of our ignorance and the nature of our beliefs and adventures as our own.

No two schools of thought are identical in their approach to Reality. There is always a grain of truth or a useful doubt in the reasoning. However, the message replete with knowledge, albeit borrowed or plagiarised, always inspires and is welcome. The fortunate one does not entangle himself in the complex labyrinths of philosophy. Without trying to find differences where they do not exist, the earnest seeker should apply the infallible test of the peace of mind brought about by different modes of expressions of the Reality and be convinced and satisfied.

A nobleman who was a student of Gautama, the Buddha, went to the Master and said, "Sir I will practise meditation, the technique of total liberation, that you have taught, only if you answer all my questions." And the student asked a long list of questions including "where does the universe begin, where will it end and who created the same?" Buddha replied: "O foolish one, I have taught you all that you need to know. If an arrow has pierced you, would you immediately try to pull out the arrow and end your suffering, or would you ask Endless questions, such as, what the arrow was made of, or who made the arrow or who made the bow and who shot the arrow?”

CONTENTS

 

Invocation   vii
Cosmic Tree.   viii
Dedication.   ix
To dear Readers.   x
Foreword.   xi
Introduction.   xv
Preface.   xix
Blessings.   xxv
This Study.   xxvi
PART ONE : FOR THE INQUISITIVE(humbly definitive). 1
1. Brahman, The Absolute. 2
2. God Is. 5
3. Personal-Impersonal God. 7
4. Man Needs God. 10
5. Faith in God (Astha-Sraddha). 13
6. Divine Name (Nama). 17
7. Divine Love & Devotion (Anuraga & Bhakti). 20
8. Divine Grace (Krpa). 25
9. Divine From (Svarupa). 29
10. Divinity Calling. 32
11. Divine Light (Brahmjyoti). 36
12. Relationship with God (Sambandha). 39
13. Focal Point 43
PART TWO : FOR THE UPCOMING ASPIRANTS. 51
14. Purity of Mind. (Visudha Mana). 52
15. Ego (Ahankara). 56
16. Illusion (Maya). 60
17. Time (Kala). 64
18. Harmony (Tala-Mela). 66
19. Silence (Mauna). 70
20. Surrender (Saranagati). 73
PART THREE : TRUTH REALISATION (Satya Jnana). 75
21. Self-Realisation, Who am I? (Atmabodha). 76
22. God-Realisation (Brahamajnana). 81
PART FOUR : GLORY OF MOTHER DIVINE (Gunagana). 89
23. Aspects of Mother Divine 91
24. Mother Divine, The Thing-in Itself (Svarupa). 98
25. Reminiscences and Inspirations. 101
26. Woman As Mother. 107
27. Mam And Me. 115
28. Siva-Sakti, the Ultimate Authority. 120
29. God As Mother Divine 123
30. Worship of Mother Divine. 131
31. Mother Divine, The Supreme Sovereign. 135
32. Mercies of Mother Divine. 138
33. To Gracious Mother Divine. 146
34. In Praise of Mother Divine (Her Glory). 146
35. Thus Spake Mother Divine. 151
36. Prayers and Praises: Solemn Address). 154
37. Durga Saptasati (The Essence). 163
38. Shrimad Devi Bhagavatam (The Gist). 178
39. 108 Tributes to Mother Divine. 194
40. Sri Ramakrsna Paramahansa. 200
PART FIVE : TOWARDS EMANCIPATION OF SOUL. 203
41. Is Worldly Life A Hurdle? 204
42. Pray, Save the Soul. 206
43. More for the True Seeker. 209
44. An Enlightened One (Characteristics). 213
45. In the Hours of Meditation. 215
46. The Soul's Lone Journey. 218
PART SIX : WISDOM DISPENSED. 229
47. Thoughts To Ponder. 230
48. Meditative Quotes. 245
PART SEVEN : APPENDIX A :Glossary & Transliteration Guide. 256
  APPENDIX B : ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS AND REMEMBRANCES. 263
  APPENDIX C : REVIEWERS' VIEWS. 266
  Prayer for Forgiveness. 277
  Thus Far and Further. 278

 

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