Navaratri Satsang, at The Ashram
Shree Peetha Nilaya, 05 October 2019
On the seventh night of Navaratri, Paramahamsa Vishwananda introduced us to Kalaratri: the Destroyer of External Reality, the Goddess of Samadhi, and the one most fierce, but yet the one most sweet. Here are some excerpts from this satsang. (The longer stories He told this night are not included here, but will be published in a separate talk.)
Jai Gurudev, everybody!
Today is the 7th day which is Goddess Kalaratri. ‘Kala’ means time, ‘ratri’ means night. I asked once, ‘When do you work the most?’ Here I am talking about your physical body. Actually, your physical body works the most at night. During night time when you are relaxing, actually, your physical body is doing so much work that you don’t notice what is happening inside of you. You know, all the dead cells inside of you have to repair, and all the things that they have to do. Your body is constantly working. So, at night, this is the time when you are resting where a different kind of energy takes place inside of your body, and that energy comes in the absence of your pride and ego. It is not the food that you have eaten which is transforming, like science tells you, into energy. No! It is a cosmic energy which is descending upon you when you are sleeping. You are in a deep state where your mind is not aware what is happening. So, the mind is aware of everything through the ego. But in the absence of that mind, in the absence of the ego, then that Divine energy flows through you. And you will notice that very often you are very tired, you come from work then you say, ‘Let me rest for 15 minutes.’ No? Probably you will drink something and you will lie down, listen to a nice music, and you sleep, no? Has this happened to you?
And then after 15, 20 minutes you wake up, you are fully energised. If you are lazy, you will still be tired. You know, very often people who think so much, even when they sleep, they sleep in a state of nervousness. But when these people wake up, due to that nervousness that they have and that they live their lives with, that nervousness also carries on when they sleep. So, until that energy rectifies that, that nervousness has taken such a monstrous aspect that still, if you wake up after that, you are still tired. But those who go deeply into the state of deep sleep, that Divine energy energises each part of themselves. And by energising each part of your body, this is where all the things which are dead inside are expelled outside. All the work which your body goes through! Actually, it is amazing because that energy which you generate while you are sleeping is much more than what you are aware of when you are walking and working and doing all the other things with the pride and ego. Kalaratri represents that energy you reach in an ego-less state. And that happens most of the time at night when you are resting.
And when we look at Kalaratri, She is very fierce, no? Very terrifying. Why do you think She is terrifying? To whom is She terrifying? A Mother, however terrifying She is, actually, She is the sweetest of all. But for all the demons that are inside, She will appear very terrifying. So, even in that form, She is the sweetest in what She gives, in how close She is. You know, when we say Krishna, what does Krishna stand for? Black, no? Krishna means black, the whole attractive element. When we look at Kali, Kali, what does Kali mean? It means black. There is no difference between Krishna and Kali, because they absorb everything, they are infinite, they can bear anything. Krishna is not limited. People think that, ‘Yes, for me to worship Krishna I must be very good, otherwise I can’t worship Krishna.’ Very often Shiva devotees say, ‘No, I can’t worship Krishna because I am very wild, I can’t worship Him.’ No, Krishna can bear everything, He can absorb everything inside of Him. That dark colour He is, and when we see Kali, whatever colour you put onto Her, the darkness will prevail. That’s why it means that She can take everything. All that Her children give Her: the good, the not good – She can absorb everything. Lord Krishna is the same, He can absorb everything, and transform everything. And Kali, She represents that aspect of detachment; She is not attached to anything. But yet, to understand detachment, we have to understand what is attachment. And this is bhakti, actually.
When we say the word bhakti, we are talking about attachment. But when we use that word attachment, what is happening inside of your mind? Because you have been told that attachment is bad: it’s not a good virtue, it will entangle you in everything that you are attached to. It’s very strange, no? But first we have to know, in the Bhakti path attachment is called raga. So, in the minds of people, attachment means attachment to things in a material way, attachment to object, attachment to the world, attachment to the senses, attachment to the people. So, that’s what happens inside of the minds of people, you know, when we talk about attachment. But when we talk on the Bhakti path about attachment, we are talking about a closeness, the closeness of the individual soul, something which is deep inside of you, because that attachment to Bhagavan doesn’t happen like that. He is the Supreme Consciousness, He is the Lord of lords, you know, He is everything. He is that cosmic Consciousness. And you are the pure consciousness because when you come to the point of Realisation.
When we talk about Self-Realisation, for example, when your Atma reveals itself, it reveals itself as pure consciousness. Until you reach that level of consciousness, the Atma doesn’t reveal itself just like that. You may say, ‘Yes, I know myself’, and He will give you glimpses. But a glimpse doesn’t mean it’s the fullness of who you are. But once that glimpse gives you that power, that glimpse gives you that awareness of what you have, what potential you have inside of you even if your mind is completely rubbish, but deep inside you are that pure consciousness. That pure consciousness longs for something Supreme; it longs for the Supreme Lord Himself. Because that which is eternal inside of you can’t have any relationship with anything that is limited.
For that Supreme Bliss to awaken itself, you have to remove, to cut, to destroy all these limitations that your mind has created.
Kalaratri is the one that destroys that awareness of the outside, and makes you come to that point where you understand that, yes, you must destroy what you are always thinking that you are. Because you have been taught since very small that you are like this, you are like that, you must be like this, you must be like that, and if you are not like this, it’s not right. No! This is the external consciousness; that’s not you.
You are more than that. You are that pure consciousness inside of you when all these limitations are removed from your mind. You remember when we were talking about when Krishna came and stole the clothes of the gopis to remove that body consciousness, that external reality, which is so based on limitation. In bhakti, when we talk about attachment, we are attaching to something which is Supreme, we are attaching to the Lord Himself, we are relishing this Raas, you know. And that’s what our true attachment is, not only to things outside. For that supreme bliss to awaken itself, you have to remove, to cut, to destroy all these limitations that your mind has created. And it is through that limitation that you go into the world saying, ‘Yes, I know better than anybody else.’
If you really knew, then you would really know that everything is pervaded by Sriman Narayana. That’s the true knowledge. When you have this relationship, then when we talk about attachment, it is that purity inside of you which is attaching itself to that Supreme transcendental beyond any limit. The same as in the case of bhakti when the devotee’s soul longs for that eternal service.
What is a concept in the mind of eternity? Do you know what eternity is? No! You don’t know what eternity is! You have heard about it, yes, and you can think, ‘Oh, it’s something which is never finishing.’ But yet, you don’t know what eternity is. Even when you talk about eternity, your mind doesn’t know about it. But there is something inside of you which is eternal and that thing which is eternal inside of you does know what eternity is. And that’s why it’s said, ‘Okay, how will I make this a complete understanding?’ Then it gives you a certain feeling, a feeling of, ‘Okay, I am on the path, I know about it, but yet, why am I still being unsatisfied? Why? Why do I still long for something? Why am I still attached to this reality when I know, yes, I have to long for something Supreme? There must be something which is not right here, no? I want to serve Him eternally, but yet, I am so drawn to the outside.’ So, there is this mind game between the two, that feeling which is longing for something eternal and then the mind which is logical and which wants to understand certain things and be free at the same time. The mind doesn’t want to let go.
Like when Swami Revati was saying that you have a certain concept in your mind and you attach yourself to that concept. You love – then you say you don’t know how to love. You love all the things which are around you, you love the people who are dear to you, but yet, when it comes to truly love, you say, ‘No, I don’t know how to love.’ So, you see, when these two entities, one inside of you and the Supreme Lord Himself, come together, you can say they attract each other, they build this bond between them? You can’t call it that attachment ‘attachment’, because these are two eternal things; two entities that are pure in themselves. How can they be limited? There is no limit to them; their relationship is eternal. They’re not like mundane things that you long for.
When we talk about attachment in bhakti, it’s not considered as attachment, because through that kind of attachment, you actually become free.
When you long for mundane things, today you are happy, tomorrow you are not happy. You have felt it, no? You long for a beautiful car; it’s so beautiful as long as it is serving you, you keep it beautiful and you are so attached to it. What happens afterwards? One dent in that car, finish! You long for a beautiful relationship, and when one time your beloved tells you ‘no’, you will see how love disappears. But the relationship with God which your soul has is not as the same as you have in the gross material world, in this mundane attachment. So, that’s why when we talk about detachment, you know, what is detaching? It’s not about this type of detachment: ‘Okay, I have something now and I will just let go of it, I am detached.’ It’s not about that. It is the detachment of not attaching oneself to the external. So, what is not attaching itself? The One who is eternal inside of you is not attaching Itself. It gives you that understanding that you are beyond that. When we talk about attachment in bhakti, it’s not considered as attachment, because through that kind of attachment, you actually become free.
Now you have to understand, this attachment to the pure consciousness, this attachment which is Bhakti Itself, is through love and devotion. Love and devotion to the Supreme Lord; love and devotion to Giridhariji. That love and devotion to Giridhari is beyond the understanding of the mind. Even if you want to understand it with the mind, you would not be able to understand it with the mind, because everything that you can understand with the mind is limited. Love and attachment to the Supreme Lord Himself is different from the attachment which you understand. It’s different from the understanding of a limited mind because the limited mind gets infatuated with the world. Then you become a slave of the world, you are slave to the sense organs. But when we talk about bhakti, it’s different, you know. Yesterday we were talking about the gopis, and you saw that every part of them was for Krishna. Their bodies were for Krishna, their minds were for Krishna, their souls were for Krishna. There was no personal gratification in that.
You see, for the people who are longing for the world, the senses are turned towards the outside. Whereas, for those who are longing for the Divine, the senses are turned within. One attachment entangles you to the external world, another one frees you. So, this attachment to Giridhari creates this affinity and closeness between the devotee and the Lord Himself. It’s forging that bond of love. Only then can you really understand what love is. Only then can you start to feel through that bond of love, that eternal bond of love. You can talk about love, but there is always something which has expectations in it, as long as you have not turned it towards the Supreme Lord. So, this attachment to Giridhariji awakens something inside of the devotee which is called samadhi. This is the Goddess of Samadhi, Kali. She is always intoxicated. You know, when the scriptures talk about Her, they say that Her eyes are red. What were the eyes of Krishna? Also red. Aha. Because He is always in that bhav, you know, He is always in love, intoxicated with love. So, She is also in that state of intoxication and love.
In the Bhakti path, we don’t talk about samadhi very often, but in reality samadhi is a secondary aspect of bhakti. It is called a subtle and silent aspect of bhakti, and because it happens so naturally, it is a natural accompaniment of success in bhakti. When we look at those who have attained that state of union, that relationship with Bhagavan, they are always intoxicated. When we talk about Narada, for example, Narada was always intoxicated with the love of Bhagavan. But this intoxication is not limited; this intoxication is a permanent intoxication. It is said that once you have that intoxication, it never leaves you. Once you have the taste of love, true love, you never forget about it, you are burning. Because you have put your focus on something else, that intoxication of love never awakens. When you look at Kali, Her eyes are always intoxicated. So, this state of samadhi, like I said, is side effect of bhakti. Just as you have a side effect when you take drugs, no? In bhakti also. You have a side effect and the side effect of bhakti is samadhi.
Bhagavan said, for the devotees, they also reach that state in a very simple way and a very easy way. Through bhakti they also come to the state where their thoughts are lost from the outside. Here I’m talking about those devotees who have really expelled the external reality, who long for the Lord, who see the Lord only. But they live outside like everybody in the physical world. Their body is outside living and acting. Like the gopis, they are living in the outside world, they are doing everything, but their Atma is connected to their Beloved. The body, the presence of the body and the mind becomes irrelevant for those who have reached to that state. Like scriptures said they don’t feel, they are immune to hot and cold, hunger and thirst, even physical pain doesn’t bother them. Like yesterday we were saying, when Uddhava Maharaj came to the gopis, he saw them in a state of intoxication, drunk, not aware of their body, not aware where they were going, what they were doing. Their body was there, but their mind was enjoying the Raas with Krishna.
So that is what Ma Bhagavati Kalaratri represents, that spiritual bliss and ecstasy. I know you take ecstasy, you also go in ecstasy, but it’s limited! Here Bhagavan is saying, ‘I will give you eternal ecstasy, come to Me. Build your relationship to Me. That’s what you are truly looking for, that state of Realisation, that Self-Realisation, I am ready to give that to you. I am ready even to reveal Myself to you.’
In the Bhakti path, we don’t talk about samadhi very often, but in reality samadhi is a secondary aspect of bhakti. It is called a subtle and silent aspect of bhakti, and because it happens so naturally, it is a natural accompaniment of success in bhakti.
Do your first step really. First thing, stop listening to your mind. That’s one thing that you are so expert in. You look for awareness, but yet, you are so much listening to your mind, to everything around you. When something good is given to you, you don’t want to listen, but when something bad is given to you, you enjoy it, no?
In these few people, you are the lucky people. Because it doesn’t happen just like that, you know. It happens through many lives of penance, many lives of longing, praying. Just let your mind go beyond your limitations. So simple! Don’t let that mind attach to something that is limited. Attach that mind to something that is unlimited. It is easy to say, very difficult to do. But Bhagavan has given also His Name, no? He said, ‘Attach your mind.’ Because the mind is not something material. You see, if the mind was something material, you could tie the mind and drag it and say, ‘Attach yourself to that Name.’ But the Name is also not material. It is vibration. So Bhagavan has given the Name so that you can transform that limited mind and let that love awaken. And that happens only when you have this attachment to Him. Become aware of things around you.
By being aware you become more and more awake. You don’t fall asleep. Those who fall asleep are in the state of laziness. They are not aware of life. People go around doing so many things in life, saying ‘Yes, I am fully concentrating, I am fully dedicating what I’m doing.’ But you are doing it as a machine, as a robot. Your awareness is not there. Just take time and watch yourself while you are walking, while you are eating, while you are praying, when you are doing your japam; watch how you are doing it. Because that’s what will bring Him closer to you; that’s what will attract Him. If you are doing things just mechanically, He doesn’t come.
Look at the saints and in what state they have reached in a very simple way. They were just aware of His Name only. They were continuously chanting His Name in everything that they did.
And this is His Leela and how He called you all. So, if one has that longing for Him, He will come. You see it is a very simple way. Most of the time, you yourself put limitations to yourself, you yourself put judgement upon judgement. You put blankets of judgements upon that and you limit what is inside of you, you limit that longing inside of you, you limit that light inside of you, you limit that awareness inside of you.
So, Kalaratri is that Mother that removes all that darkness from your mind and makes you realise that you have something beautiful inside of you. You are perfect as God has created you. There is no mistake in His creation. There is no mistake in how He has made you. Learn to accept that, love it.