Thursday, February 2, 2012

SriVidya - Yes or No?

SriVidya – Yes or No??? – Written on 3rd August 2011

I don’t know where to begin, but just so that this email doesn’t endup as a big novel, let me casually start  by saying that I’m  born in a Tamil family & am married into a Telugu family [mine is a love marriage arranged by both our parents] and currently live in USA..…My spiritual journey started in 1999-2000, initially as a search for mukti – freedom from suffering…..One thing led to another and that’s when I came across Kalki Bhagavan [founder]. My mother-in-law is a very ardent believer in Kalki Bhagavan and for that reason alone, I did not pray to him per se….Because  my-yet-to-be-husband and I were still in college & at a stage where we were not sure if our parents would agree to our wedding and I didn’t want to ‘pray to Kalki Bhagavan, just-so-that-his mother-would -accept-me’….I remember telling Kalki Bhagavan, that if you really have some power, then, let our wedding happen & then I would pray to you and I told him frankly the reason why at that time I was hesitant to pray to him…I didn’t want to use ‘so-called-bhakti’ to influence my future mother-in-law.

I’m skipping a ‘Ramayana-like-proportion-story’ and forwarding to Febuary 2005 when finally we got married, with our parent’s support & approval….In May 2006, I had come on a 2 month vacation to India before joining work and while on this trip, with the sole support of my mother-in-law, I attended the ‘Maha deeksha’ class offered by Oneness University…All the teaching & classes that I had attended before, kind of did the ‘initial cleanup’ that enabled me to sit for this 3 week Maha deeksha class…At the time of Maha deeksha, when the padukas were placed on my head, I remember my body turning ice-cold and a ‘tingling sensation’ and for a few seconds, I saw Mt Kailash and Lord Shiva Himself……And then things came back to ‘normal’……We were told that a seed had been planted in us and given the ‘right environmental conditions’ would grow that would eventually lead us to ‘enlightenment’….We were told to be in the ‘now’, to experience life ‘as-is’ and that just ‘watch-your-thoughts’, because the very fact that you are observing your thoughts,  takes off the ‘charge’ in it and a few other things which I had written in my book and later, forgotten…..We were initiated to give ‘deeksha’ and be a ‘medium’ through which higher power would spread Itself…..We were told that a ‘Golden age’ would be beginning in 2012 and if humanity, as a whole, has to make it, 60000 enlightened beings need to be present on earth, inorder to make-a-dent-in-human-conscious and  usher in the Golden Age.

May 2006 – August 2011:

During this phase in life, spiritually-speaking, ‘moksha’ was my new destination….I had finally realized the futility of it all….Going round in circles, doing the same thing again & again, lifetime after lifetime….So “moksha” was it for me….There were times when I ‘watched-my-thoughts’ but most of the times, I was ‘carried-away’ and still going around in loops….The quest for ‘moksha’ was so intense that I had decided, “Enough is enough…I’m not coming back….Nothing is going to make me want to take rebirth again”…..In the outside world, mine was a happy family with my husband and a blessed son Pranav who was born in 2008…One thing lead to another and while my husband & I wanted to complete our family with a daughter, it never happened….I remember in May 2010, when at my doctor’s office, my doctor said to me “I don’t know what to tell you…There is nothing more that I can do medically, to make you conceive. You may need to see a specialist”….That afternoon, as I sat in my office crying, I had randomly browsed the web about rudhraksha [I think] as I had no interest in working, and I don’t remember how it started but I ended up on a website reading “Srimad Devi Bhagavatam”……Reading about rudhraksha on "Srimad Devi Bhagavatam" …...Just to ease the pain-in-my-heart, I thought I’ll order a few rudhraksha & wear them…..I thought,” I did see Lord Shiva during my Maha deeksha…maybe that’s where my journey continues….But hmm….I didn’t see Parvathi Devi…I wonder why?…But anyway, let me get some rudhrakshas”.

June 4th 2010:

I started wearing rudhraksha – a 3 mukhi, 4 mukhi, 11 mukhi & 12 mukhi…. And my husband thought I was crazy…I had even bought a few for him and he was not-so-serious about wearing it & would on-and-off wear it…I had read that wearing a 11 mukhi would enable a person to be regular in his/her spiritual sadhana & maybe it was indeed because of the rudhrakshas but my spiritual sadhanas ‘came alive’….I spent a few minutes morning & evening in front of God  [I hadn’t before]….I started Ekadasi upavasam during this time & though once-upon-a-time, it was tough for me to skip even one meal a day [my college friends would tease me because if I was even late in having my lunch I would get a headache], I could go the entire Ekadasi day with just fruits & milk .….I remembered reading in Devi Bhagavatam, that “If one wears rudhraksha on one’s wrist, one attains moksha”…..That led me to place my 2nd order for rudhaksha – a 7 mukhi bracelet ,8 mukhi bracelet and a 2 mukhi earring which arrived just in time for Navarathri along with a 6 mukhi bracelet that Neetaji [at the rudhraksha website] felt like sending to me.

Somewhere during this period, I watched a  video of Swami Dayananda Saraswati at a TED conference. It was an interesting topic & the only thing I remembered, a few days later is “Fake it and make it” --- If you don’t have compassion, fake it and make it….Few months later, I can’t remember exactly now, but one day, as I was breaking my Ekadasi fast, a thought came to me, “Why not offer the fruit of this Ekadasi fast back to Narayana Himself?” The first reaction was “No, I need this merit for my spiritual journey”.. And then the above words “Fake it & make it” came to mind… FAKE IT & MAKE IT….So, I said “Narayana, I’m faking it in order to make it… I offer the fruits of this Ekadasi fast to you….Om Tat Sat Brahmaarpanamastu..I offer it all to BRAHMAN”…And thereafter, all  the following Ekadasi fast’s merit too were offered to HIM….It didn’t feel so bad after all….Fake it & make it indeed…..

Navarathri 2010:

Maybe it was my desire for a daughter that lead me to ‘feminine’ slokas  i.e prayers to Devi but while browsing the St. Louis Hindu temple [4.5 hrs from my home] website, I learnt that they were having Sri Chakra Navavarana puja during Navarathri, at a cost that was reasonable, and anybody could sponsor it…I had randomly read about Sri Yantra in the same website that I had ordered my rudhrakshas from & this lead me to ‘research-about-SriChakra’ ..…And while my family contributed towards 3 days of the Navarathri Sri Chakra Navavarana puja at the temple – one day each for Durga, Lakshmi & Saraswati, I was curious to know more about Srichakra……This led me to a google group [Foundation for Indian Scientific  Heritage] and in turn to Dr. Ramakrishna S. Sharma [hereafter called aacharya], a Srividya upasaka himself and he emailed me a powerpoint presentation of “How to draw a Srichakra”….Aacharya called it a ‘drawing’ as it was not a complete Srichakra.

Spiritual sadhanas really took off after that..I was able to wake up early in the morning at 3.45am [the only time when I had time for myself]…Started chanting/listening to Sri Suktam, Kanakadhara stotram, Aditya Hrudayam, Lalitha sahasranamam [not regularly…and only because the audio took 30 min to complete and I didn’t have 30min in the morning in addition to my other sadhanas]…I would, when time permitted draw the ‘drawing’ that  Aacharya sent me, with Lalitha Sahasranamam playing in the background…All my spiritual sadhanas needed to be wrapped by 5.30 – 5.45am when I had my ‘earthly’ duties as a mother/wife/person and lunch & breakfast needed to be prepared & finished by 6.30am , when it was time to wakeup Pranav & get him ready for daycare, feed him breakfast [really challenging] and leave home to be in-time for work at 8 am after dropping off Pranav….

Did I mention that when I first wore rudhraksha in June 2010, for the next-5-minutes, I was sweating profusely ?? I had read that it takes a while for the rudhrasha to ‘align-with-your-body-chakras’ and that it was normal…Same thing happened, though not to such an extend with the next batch of rudhraksha…I would have severe headaches when I was wearing the rudhraksha earring and though I knew that it was just re-alignment of my ‘body-energy’, there were times when I would take off the earring and the headache would go away….And I would wear it again the next day….It took, maybe about a week for things to get ‘aligned’ and things were ‘normal’ after that….

Sometime during November – December 2010, I happened to read the book called “Autobiography of an Yogi”…An excellent book about the experience of Paramahamsa Yogananda…..I wondered, “Will I be able to recognize my Guru like the way Yogananda did?.....Will my Guru and I also share the same ‘spiritual chemistry’ that Yogananda & Sri Yukteswar did??”……That evening as I was preparing dinner, a thought came to me “Lahiri Mahasaya found his Guru Babaji Maharaj when he was 33 years old…..I’ll be 33 years old next June….O Babaji Maharaj, will you lead me to my Guru, when I too am 33 years old?”

It was during December 2010, that again, at the St Louis Hindu temple, they were having Vaikunda Ekadasi celebrations & I thought we’ll send in a donation for that, in addition to having the ‘Dattatreya abishekam’ done there….Now thinking back, it was after the Dattatreya abishekam, that I came across Dr. Pillai's website  and there was a morning ‘time-shakti’ puja that was being done everyday & I called-in to listen to it…I had read that the naadi leaves [ancient leaves] proclaim that Dr. Pillai, in earlier lifetimes was Sage Agastiar, Saint Tirujnanasambandhar, Dattatreya and other such incarnations…It might sound strange to you, but I do believe that there is a certain element of in-sight in his talks and I do believe that he is an ‘enlightened Master’.

God, this email is taking longer than I had hoped, but I need to give you a background info on Sage Agastiar, inorder to put things in perspective.

Sometime after wearing the rudhrakshas, while praying, I had asked God for guidance….I remembered listening to stories of Agastiar while growing up & had thought,” I have no one to guide me, I don’t know the path to moksha or whatever-is-the-highest-truth….I’ve had enough of ridicule from my family [parents & their side of the family] for my belief in Kalki Bhagavan, because he was a ‘human’…So, just so that I don’t waste anymore of my energy in justifying my beliefs, I seek guidance from Sage Agastiar……At least scriptures say that he was a great sage & if anyone needs to argue, they can argue with the scriptures”……So mentally, I would pray to Sage Agastiar and say “I don’t know the mantras, puja methods etc to pray to you….All that I know, is your name and that’s all I can chant…And I would chant his name 9 times– Om Sri Agastiar Maha munivare namaha”  [English Meaning: My salutations to the great Sage Agastiar]

Few months later, Dattatreya abishekam later, I landed on Dr. Pillai's website  and him being Sage Agastiar in an earlier lifetime, kind-of-agreed with my earlier request-for-guidance.

So continued my journey and one day, I endedup reading about Sri chakra puja on this website and found the Panchadasakshari Mantra. I thought to myself, “Why not chant the Panchadasakshari Mantra when I’m not able to chant Lalitha Sahasranamam in the morning?”….And so I did….I used the rudhraksha mala that I use to chant my other mantras and I chanted one round of Panchadasakshari Mantra. Later that day, while ‘googling’ about Panchadasakshari Mantra, I read that one should not chant Panchadasakshari Mantra without initiation and that Panchadasakshari was like “an honorable lady who must be had only through marriage” ie only through initiation from a guru….I asked myself, ”Well, aren’t there other types of marriage?? Like gandharva marriage where the partners can choose themselves? Few days ago, I didn’t even know what that mantra was and I ‘accidently’ ended up reading it & chanting it”….But again, who was I to question HER rules about HER vidya….If it says Panchadasakshari Mantra can only be had from a guru, so be it……And I didn’t chant it again.

There was a time when I thought “I’m wearing rudhraksha and asked Sage Agastiar – a vedic sage for guidance….Can Agastiar be in any way related to Devi puja? {I now realize what a stupid thought that was}..….Maybe God/SHE heard me, for SHE led me to read Lalitha Sahasranamam introduction and Sage Agastiar’s name there, was again, proof enough for me that I was being guided.

Life seemed ‘incomplete’ for me. I wanted to get some more rudhrakshas and my husband refused..He said “You look like a sanyasi as such….No more.” Moreover, the rudhraksha that I wanted were ‘higher mukhis’ - all the remaining rudhrakshas from 1 mukhi to 21 mukti and a bit expensive but definitely affordable .….My husband had said “Ask for a gold or diamond necklace and I will buy it but no more rudhraksha”…I said “What difference does it make to you whether I buy gold/diamond or rudhraksha…Let me get something that I want & like”.....He said “No more rudhrakshas”…God only knows how many lifetimes it took for me to realize that there is a ‘Higher Truth’ other than regular day-to-day existence and now that I try to go in search of it, why is it that my very family is the hindrance?  Frustration, anger and desperation later, I said “God, I give up……If you want me to move forward, you do it”.

It was a week before Shivarathri 2011 and a few days later, while talking to my school friend, she said “I’ve been meaning to ask you…You’ve given me deekshas many times before & helped me in the past. You also suggested that I wear rudhraksha…I’ve not had a chance to repay you and now I would like to…Can I send you some money?” {Her marriage was almost at the stage of separation/divorce & I asked her to wear rudhraksha as a last-resort to save her marriage & it did}…..It could have come only from God……I told her “I don’t need money but I’ve been asking my husband for a few rudhrakshas and if you don’t mind, can you please buy them for me???” …She was very happy to do it and so the day before Shivaratri 2011, my friend placed an order for my rudhrakshas – a 5 mukhi, 9 mukhi, 10 mukhi, 13 mukhi, 14 mukhi, 16 mukhi & 17 mukhi and they arrived exactly a week after Shivaratri…..I can truly say that Shivaratri 2011 was the first Shivaratri that I observed because it was the 1st time that I had tried to stay awake during Shivaratri and managed to do so until 2am.

These higher mukhi rudhrakshas were in a bracelet because I was told, that’s how they have been scientifically proven to work-the-best…..Well, science or not, it definitely helped me….For almost until upto a week to 10 days later, my hands were ice-cold while wearing the bracelets….I knew that it was the rudhrakshas working to again ‘re-balance’ my chakras/body/aura etc…..

On a different track, last year on Mahalaya Paksha, I had read how important it is to observe and thank our forefathers…But I thought “Can a woman do tharpanam? I’ve seen my father & uncle do it but not any ladies”….And so, I left it as such…..I had also read on the Agasthiar website the importance of tharpanam…Earlier during this year, I had again & again come across articles on Dr. Pillai’s website that stresses the importance of tharpanam… "If I have to recommend one solution for every one of our problems, be it financial, relationship or health, it is doing Tarpanam. Miracles do happen after the performance of the rituals”, says Dr. Pillai….In one of his articles, Dr. Pillai mentions how he had almost given up teaching because he didn’t see any change in humanity’s approach…..I knew exactly how he felt…..Didn’t I try to give rudhraksha to my family members?? “I’ve not heard about ladies wearing it” said my mother. “I’ll wear it, if I feel the urge to wear it” said my father. “It’s so sacred that I don’t know if we would wear it. Maybe we would keep it in the puja room” said my brother & his wife. “Don’t even think about asking me to wear it again” said my husband. “I’ve heard that one would ‘go crazy’ if rudhraksha is worn by a woman” said my aunt……Fine…...What can I do if it’s not in their destiny to wear it?.... When I asked God for the higher mukhi rudhraksha beads, I had said  “Since I’m still ruled by fear & so is everyone around me, if I get these higher mukhi rudhraksha beads, I’ll consider it a sign from God that I’m on the right track & that it’s ok to do tharpanam”…..Sure enough, S/HE sent the rudhrakshas my way, and so the same day I wore these higher mukhi bracelets [a week after Shivaratri 2011], I started doing tharpanam – Pitr tharpanam [to my forefathers] and Karunya tharpanam [ to other relatives, plants etc]….Didn’t I read in Devi Bhagavatham that “Even if one holds merely one rudhraksha seed purified & surcharged with Mantra Sakti, he uplifts his 21 generations…” So, even though I had the names of only the last 3 generations of my forefathers, I offered the tharpanams to the last 3 – 21 generations and said “I’ve heard that if one wear’s rudhraksha & does tharpanam, it greatly benefits one’s forefathers…Hence  I offer this pitr tharpanam..I don’t know the mantras/slokas to be chanted…This is all I know.. Please accept it, bless my family and go INTO LIGHT....And since this is the first time I’m doing tharpanam, please thatha & paati [my paternal grandparents] send me a physical sign – something that this mind & body can understand – that you’ve received this tharpanam”….I was at work, around 10am that morning, when my right eye [in my belief it’s considered good luck if your right eye flickers] started flickering……CONTINOUSLY-FOR-THE-NEXT-ONE-HOUR…..And didn’t stop even though I tried to ‘hold my eye down’ with my hand..….I said “Ok, ok…..I get it that you got the tharpanam”.....Later, I learnt that after doing tharpanam, the results were to be offered back to Narayana…So, ‘Om Tat Sat Brahmaarpanamastu..I offer it all to BRAHMAN”…And I was not faking it now {to make it}.

I can’t remember exactly when, but one day I read about Lalitha Trishati stotram here….Sage Agastiar’s name in the introduction of the stotram, again only made it more clear to me, that it was him guiding me….I used to listen to the stotram whenever I had time….Reading Lalitopakhyana and Tripura Rahasya too followed...

During this time, one day as I was cleaning out my pooja altar, I noticed that I had a picture of a Devi [from the Maangadu Kamakshi Amman  temple at Chennai] and it had a 'Sri Chakra-like' drawing on it. I was surprised because this picture had been on my altar for the last many years and I didn't really 'look' at it….I wasn't sure if it was a Sri Chakra and I remembered from my conversations with aacharya that if one keeps a picture of Sri chakra on one's altar, then one's future generations is bound to pray to it...That was the reason why I dont keep my 'drawings' of Sri Chakra on the pooja altar...I then remembered reading somewhere [on the many articles that I've read about it] that "Only someone who is chosen by DEVI gets Sri Vidya. It is said you do not choose Sri Vidya, but Sri Vidya chooses you. When you get it, when you look back you will see how you have been guided slowly and surely to your guru"…....So, I tried not to get too excited about this picture and thought that I'll know, if I was destined to know more about the picture...

May 2011:

We had been to India for my brother-in-law’s engagement ceremony..….During this India trip, I also had a chance to visit Thiruvannamalai and do girivalam [circling the mountain] as I had read that doing girivalam just once, would burn up the sins of 10 million previous births….Half a dozen temple visits later, we visited Maangadu amman temple in Chennai – my husband’s favorite temple and a temple that I’ve been visiting [on and off] since I was 15 years old….While in the sanctum of the temple, I casually asked the priest what ‘that thing’ was in front of Devi……Imagine my surprise, when he said that it was a Sri Chakra Meru { a 3D meru whose height was upto the priest’s waist}……’That thing’ was infront of my eyes since I was 15 years old & I didn’t even ‘see’ it !!! How blind was I???......And then I remembered reading in one of the forums “…….When you get it, when you look back you will see how you have been guided slowly and surely……” Yes, I can see how I’ve been guided, but where is my Guru? How will I know it’s him when I find him?? When will I find him? Is he/she already in my life & I haven’t yet ‘seen’ him?? Those unanswered questions remained…..

Once back in US after the India trip, I emailed aacharya & told him about the Maangadu Sri chakra experience…The next day, May 24th 2011, he sent me an email which contained a file – a preliminary sadhana he had said and his email also mentioned Devipuram ….. Devipuram???  It’s the first time I had heard about it…..The next day, on May 25th 2011, I began to ‘watch’ the video called ‘Devipuram Empowerment’ … I couldn’t clearly understand the mantras being chanted, but I watched the video anyway…..Everyday.

During this time, on Dr. Pillai’s website, there was a group chanting that was to take place, on a mantra SHREEM BRZEE…A mantra Dr. Pillai said was given to him by Sage Viswamitra himself…A mantra that would enable one to live a 200% life – 100% material & 100% spiritual…..Well, that sounded exactly like the life I wanted and extra money was always welcome, especially when I could use it in my spiritual path…My husband had said,”If you get any ‘free’ money, you can use that to buy rudhraksha ”.  I thought to myself, “If I have to beg, why not beg from God – whether God is HE, SHE or IT…No more asking my husband”.. And so, since May 17th 2011, I started the SHREEM BRZEE chanting …about 15-20 minutes in the morning, before sunrise [ I was told it was the best time]….I had read somewhere on Dr. Pillai’s website that pouring a few drops of water/milk on a shiva linga had untold benefits….I thought “Well, I don’t have a shiva linga at home, but I have a saligram…Shiva or Vishnu, what does it matter?…Isn’t it all a different form of the same BRAHMAN?”…..And so, I started bathing the saligram – Lakshmi Saligram - with water & milk every morning……Didn’t I read somewhere that bathing & worshipping the Saligram gives one a lot of punyam?? And that By taking the remnants of foodstuffs offered to shalagrama, one will get the result of performing many sacrifices.”--- Skand Puran…..Fine….. The water & milk after the abishekam [prasadam] became a part of our morning breakfast.

June – August 2011:

Did I mention how crazy I was after ‘moksha’??   I had read on the Shakti Sadhana webgroup and I quote “It is said in Tantra that for a person to be initiated properly into Tantra one must verily be SHIVA himself, or that it must be his last incarnation on earth…”

Didn’t I read in Devi Bhagavatam that if one wears rudhraksha from 1 mukhi to 14 mukhi then his/her body becomes verily the body of Shiva??

My interest in HER was fueled up…The main thing that attracted me to Srividya was the mention that inorder for a person to be initiated into tantra, it must be his/her last incarnation on earth or if a person gets initiated, it becomes his/her last birth....The quest for 'moksha' was so deep that it immediately related to me....Spiritually, I was at a stage where I was ready to do anything -- Anything for 'moksha'.

I had found the Devipuram website and spent a lot of time going through the materials posted…The FAQs on keeping a meru at home, finally, atlast clearly answered my deep questions about it…Until then I had come across websites that kind-of-ok’ed it, bluntly rejected the idea of keeping a meru at home etc…For the 1st time, I felt that someone was talking about a ‘practical-way-to-see-DIVINE’….More ‘googling’ about Guru Amritananda and Devipuram followed and I found this website where I came across the powerpoint presentation {that aacharya had initially sent me} on ‘How to draw a Sri Chakra’…..I also found the scribd document of the 2006 July Kadambari magazine… Ancient wisdom for modern day folks….It kind of quenched the thirst I had for so long…I would randomly read it, whenever I found time.

On page  4 of the above magazine, I quote, in pieces " Seven crore (70 million) mantras – sapta koti maha mantrah – are said to have emanated from the five faces of Shiva.......Obviously, it would be difficult to recite or do sadhana of all these mantras......."


Didn’t I read on the rudhraksha website that  “A Siddha mala ” [1-14 mukhi rudhraksha, gaurishankar rudhraksha & ganesh rudhraksha] is also called an “Akshamalika [garland of letters]. All mantras [whose count is 7 crores] & all knowledge reside in this mala” ?

On page 11 of the above magazine, I quote " It is said that the prescribed worship of the Sri Yantra, the Navavarana Puja, once performed, is equivalent to conducting 1,000 Asvamedha yajnas or horse sacrifices"

Didn’t I read in Devi Bhagavatam that the fruit obtained through the performance of 1000 horse sacrifice [Asvamedha yagnas], 100 Vajapeya sacrifice and making gifts of 100,000 cows are obtained by wearing a 11 mukhi rudhraksha ???

It was during this time-period that I was again told, that in order to chant the Lalitha Trishati stotram [and Panchadasakshari Mantra], one needs to be initiated by a Guru…It was really frustrating that any ‘Devi sloka’ that I came across had a ‘copyright’ [meaning ‘initiation required’ tag]…I was angry with HER, for HER rules….One morning, as I sat down to meditate, I was very disturbed….I said “ If everything is YOUR will  & when you know that initiation is required, why do you bring such slokas before me? What are YOU trying to say?”…I then remembered reading [page 59 of the above magazine] “Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly”.

I said, in anger, “Fine…Let’s see..YOU have a set of rules….A set of mantras/slokas that only an initiated can chant… Lalitha Trishati stotram and Panchadasakshari Mantra are ‘patented and copyrighted’…Fine…I won’t use them…I don’t want to ‘break’ your rules but I can find my way around it, right? What can I do if my tongue isn’t ‘pure’ enough for me to chant/pronounce the Lalitha Sahasranamam? If everything is according to YOUR will, then my situation is also because of YOU”……I then remembered that some Devi [I forgot HER name] had composed the Lalitha Sahasranamam – the 1000 names of Lalitha from HER infinite names….I said, “It was because of YOUR grace that ‘that Devi’ composed the Lalitha Sahasranamam and it is also because of the lack of YOUR grace than I’m unable to pronounce the Lalitha Sahasranamam…. Ok….. If I can’t use YOUR existing slokas, I will comeup with my own….I don’t know Sanskrit and YOUR slokas [other than Lalitha Sahasranamam] that I’ve come across are ‘patented and copyrighted’  [meaning ‘initiation required’ tag]……..Fine…..Let’s see…I know that ’namaha’ means ‘salutations’ and ‘vasini’ means ‘one who lives in’. I also know that YOU reside in the SriChakra along with crores of other Devis….So, my simple prayer to you will be [in Tamil, my native language] Sri Chakra vasiniyae namaha……Sri Chakrathil irukira kodana kodi Devigalaku namaha…..English Meaning: I salute the one who lives in SriChakra, I salute the crores [billions] of Devis who live in SriChakra….As far as I’m aware of, these 2 lines do not, in any way, violate your ‘patent and copyrights’….So, I will use them hereafter….Can you please, send me physical confirmation that this is ok??”…..And I chanted one round of these 2 lines on my rudhraksha mala… And when I finished chanting, I realized that it had started raining and it rained for the next hour or so.

And so, on-goes the insights in me, until finally, I reach page 45 of the above magazine and I quote “Anakapalle Gurugaru, Guruji’s Guru – an avadhoota, an adept in 42 of 64 tantras – said of Guruji in one of his speeches that for his tapas on brahma jnana, he should have been in samadhi forever – but because of Devi’s will, He came to build this temple at Devipuram"

It was an excellent article, only that on reading the above line, the 'castle-of-hopes-on-moksha' that I had built up, CAME CRASHING DOWN.....I said to myself "If someone like Guru Amritananda, irrespective of his tapas, had to come to earth because of HER WILL, then what about an ignorant person like me??.....So, isn't 'moksha' permanent?....Is 'moksha' also temporary??"......It was a very disturbing thought and very very deep....For a while, I lost all interest in spirituality...What was I pursuing??? For what??? When it is all HER will, what does it matter if I'm enlightened or an ignorant fool??.....And then the thoughts-in-my-head go:

  •  Do you still want SriVidya?
  • If I say no, it means that I wanted SriVidya only because of 'moksha' and now that I know that there are no 'guarantees', I'm backing out, which means that I'm selfish....And which means that no matter how 'pure' it sounds, 'moksha' was still like a business-agreement with HER....Like me saying 'conditions apply' to HER, to get HER vidya........
  • If I say yes, it means that I go through all those 'protocols' and 'work' and in the end, I may still have to come back to earth if it's HER will.....
  • Can't I have them both??? SriVidya & moksha??
  • Well, if Guru Amritananda irrespective of his tapas, had to come to earth because of HER will, what chance do I stand??

And so, continued the back and forth thoughts and I couldn't, with 100% conviction say that I wanted SriVidya....It was like I was in 'Trishanku swarga'...Neither here nor there....I couldn't say with 100% conviction that I wanted it nor that I didn't want it....

It was during this turmoil period, that in an argument, my husband *unknowingly* [HER WILL??] said “Fine….You do what you what with your salary and I’ll do what I want with mine”…. I thought “Why not do some of the things that I’ve wanted to do?”..... There was a temple in Meppad, Kerala that offered pujas/homas etc and I had spoken to the Aacharya of the temple [who happened to belong to the lineage of Guru Amritananda of Devipuram] and had requested Varahi kola mukhi puja, Sri Durga nitya puja and Mahalakshmi puja to be done for my family. For the puja sankalpa [desire] I asked that SHE give what SHE thinks is best for my family and all that I asked for myself was to ‘Guide me in the path of the Higher Truth’…..PS: A week later, after things cooled down at home and things came back to ‘normal’, well, shall I say that my husband was surprised to find out that I had spent ‘X’ amount for the puja….I said “You said I could do whatever I wanted ”… He said,“ From now on, I have to be careful in what I say to you in anger…” And all I could do was smile….Didn’t I read somewhere that the Goddess loves fun??

 And so I remained in 'Trishanku swarga' until last week [July 28th 2011] when in an email to the google group, aacharya mentioned his Guru lineage -- That he was a 5th generation direct disciple of Sri Bhaskararaya Makhi. I hadn’t heard the name before, so I ‘googled’ information on Sri Bhaskararaya Makhi and clicked on the first link that came up..It took me to a website that had stories about the life of Sri Bhaskararaya Makhi...And while reading further, I landed on this link on the same site and on reading the 2nd lakShaNas listed, it answered the deep question that had been bothering me for so long....I quote from the above site

 "Prema which involves a desire of any kind cannot be bhakti. Many worship the Lord for various desires and some for mokSha or salvation. shAstra rejects both these attitudes as ashuddha bhakti. A true bhakta showers prema on the Lord without any desire, be it bhukti or mukti…. Till the ghost of desire for bhukti and mukti lingers in one's heart, how can true premarUpI bhakti arise? Moreover, mokSha kAmi is the greatest of kAmi-s.”

And I realised that my bhakti, no matter how 'pure' it sounded to me, was still an ashuddha bhakti....

It was infact yesterday [2nd August 2011] that I wrote to aacharya about the above insight and I haven’t yet heard from him…I told HER, “ Now that I don’t have anything to ask of you, neither a desire for a daughter [isn’t a daughter too a ‘temporary’ thing in life?] nor a desire for ‘moksha’, what do you want me to do??   If Srividya is YOUR vidya and YOU choose who gets it, what role do I have to play??” And yesterday, before I left work, I casually visited the Devipuram website and under “Latest from the Guru” section, it said  “Sri Vidya online course – Basic Level”……….And I cried.

It’s been 78 days since I started chanting SHREEM BRZEE. It’s been 69 days since I first started watching the “Devipuram Empowerment video” and tomorrow – August 4th 2011 is when the “Varahi kola mukhi puja” will be conducted at the Meppad temple, Kerala.

Strange indeed is HER WILL and sense of humor.