The Divine Mother of the Universe

“My Mother is the principle of consciousness. She is akhanda satchidananda; indivisible Reality, Awareness, and Bliss. The night sky between the stars is perfectly black. The waters of the ocean depths are the same. The infinite is always mysteriously dark. This inebriating darkness is my beloved Kali….”

Reality with attributes, saguna brahman, has been unanimously declared by the Vedas, Puranas, and Tantras to be Mahakali, the primordial energy of awareness. Her Energy is like the rays of the sun. The original sun is attributeless Reality, nirguna brahman, boundless awareness alone. Proceed to the Original through its Radiance. Awaken to non-dual Reality through Mother Kali. She holds the key. — Sri Ramakrishna in “Great Swan”, by Lex Hixon, p.184

durgaFar too little is known about the Divine Mother of the Universe and what little of this is available comes to us in the form of either scriptural references couched in archaic language or contemporary representations of the Divine Mother emphasizing limited concepts which concern arcane metaphysics or the worship of nature and the elements. Whereas neither of these interpretations are objectionable, each presenting a portion of the picture of what She embodies, it is time, especially in this auspicious day and age when the Avatar of Kali, Sri Ramakrishna, has appeared in our midst, to offer up a more comprehensive rendering of Her all-pervasive presence and all-enthralling appearance.

In such an undertaking, we must naturally part company with those who maintain that the infinite Mother of the Universe is merely an anthropomorphic goddess, merely a nature spirit, merely a universal power, merely a concept or a symbol for Reality, merely a feminine principle. Her appearance in form always springs from Her formless essence called Brahman, and the two are inseparable.

“The calm sea is the Absolute; the same sea in waves is Divine Mother. She is time, space, and causation. God is Mother and has two natures, the conditioned and the unconditioned. As the former, She is God, nature, and soul (humanity). As the latter, She is unknown and unknowable. Out of the Unconditioned came the trinity god, nature, and soul, the triangle of existence…
A bit of Mother, a drop, was Krishna, another was Buddha, another was Christ. The worship of even one spark of Mother in our earthly mother leads to greatness. Worship Her if you want love and wisdom.” — Swami Vivekananda, Inspired Talks, July, 1895

The five elements are only Her tools for fashioning the universe and obey Her will. She is never restricted to the physical universe alone, but instead remains fully detached yet intrinsically involved — a baffling secret which only She knows how to implement. She is the living Reality underlying and animating all sentient and insentient beings and objects, perpetually existing as their very essence and is therefore the Conceiver of all concepts, the Symbol for all symbols the eternal Subject. Finally, She is the Shakti of the gods, pure and changeless, transcendent and genderless, permeating everything with limitless Consciousness.

kaliThroughout the three worlds She is acclaimed as the Deva Devi Svarupaya, the essence of all gods and goddesses the ancient, primordial Mother of the Universe whose nature is non-dual Truth. This ever-present Goddess epitomizes both the bliss of unlimited Awareness, static and supine, and the diverse play of universal projection, dynamic and fascinating. She manifests countless beings abiding in an infinite set of worlds, seen and unseen, gross and subtle, hidden and exposed.

Her existence is confirmed by the holy scriptures since She is perceived intellectually by means of the six Darshanas, Her perpetually flowing streams of eternal spiritual knowledge. She is approached and contacted by the devotees through intense sadhana — spiritual disciplines prescribed by the guru — and She is intimately accessible through contemplation and meditation. Ultimately, She is to be realized as the essence of limitless Consciousness, infinite, indivisible, all-pervading and Absolute.

Eternal salutations to Sri Durga, to Sri Kali, the boundless ocean of spiritual Wisdom worshiped as the Divine Mother of the Universe!

Manifestations of Her glory show in power of immeasurable might,
Throughout the universe, powers that swell the sea of birth and death,
Forces that change and break up the Unchanged and changed again.
Lo! Where shall we seek refuge, save in Her? — Swami Vivekananda, from “Hymn to the Divine Mother”

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