Many years ago, I read this wonderful story in a Chinmaya Mission book.
Once, when Vinayaka was very young, he went out to play. Finding no one around, except a cat, he tried to play with her. But the cat seemed in no mood to play. Vinayaka tried to coax her by caressing her and offering her food, but she would only run away from him. After many futile attempts in getting her to play with him, Vinayaka lost patience. In a fit of rage, he hit her so hard that she fell a few yards away and was bruised badly. Finally, Vinayaka thought that it was a waste of time and ran inside to his mother.
When he went inside his mother’s chamber, he was aghast at what he saw! Ma Parvati had bruises all over her body. Vinayaka was so sad at seeing his beloved mother in this condition that he started weeping. Ma Parvati drew him close and calmed him down. Vinayaka, crying desperately, asked: “Ma! What happened? Who did this to you?? Just tell me the name!!” Ma replied compassionately: “Darling, who can dare to hurt me? I can burn anyone to ashes by just one look. It was you who did this to me and hence, I didn’t oppose. I love you very much, my son!”
Vinayaka was baffled! How can this be? Still sobbing, he said: “What are you saying, Ma? How can I even think of hurting you? So much so that I did not even come near you all morning!” To this, Ma Parvati, with the shine back on her beautiful face, replied: “I know dear that you love me so much and wouldn’t think of hurting me. But in the morning, didn’t you hit the poor cat who didn’t want to play with you?
From now on, know that, everything and everyone that you see is my own manifestation. Whatever you say and do finally comes to me!!”
Vinayaka was stunned. Although young, he was very sharp. Ma Parvati didn’t have to say anything more. Vinayaka apologized to her. He had realized that ‘All are Mother’s forms’.
The non-dual Brahman expresses itself as ‘Purusha’ and ‘Prakruti’. Prakruti is the manifested creation and that is what we call ‘Divine Mother’. The entire creation is One being! Everything and everyone is a part of the Divine Mother.
Durga, Kali, Saraswati, Lakshmi are all different aspects of the Divine Mother. She loves variety and intends that we enjoy the diversity rather than be fanatics! The knowledge of the divine mother puts to rest the inferior tendencies of the mind like greed and jealousy. We stop abusing food, wealth, power, natural resources, even our own bodies, because everything is a form of the Divine Mother.
Navratri, for me, is the time to adore and pamper the Divine Mother. And in turn, get pampered! It is the time to relax and enjoy the beauty around and inside us.
As our beloved Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is in silence at our Art of Living Banglore Ashram, let us take time off to remember this gift of knowledge and abundance that we have received by His grace.
Jai Guru Deva!
PS: This time of the year, it is Fall season here in Utah and the Divine Mother is busy flaunting her sense of fashion.