In this connection we have to remember that there is no vehicle of mind and matter which does not display in varying degree some Chit-Sakti or consciousness and there is no vehicle of Consciousness which is not in perpetual motion. In-the universe Maheswari is the Static Aspect of the Maha-Maya Sakti and Maha-Kali, Maha-Lakshmi and Maha-Saraswati, the various Cosmic, Kinetic Saktis ever working in this globe of our earth-plane. Cosmic creative evolution
SYMPOSIUM ON SAKTI
being in the nature of a polarisation in being into Static and Kinetic aspects of Chit-Sakti thus differs from evolution in the universe itself.
While in the creative evolution of the universe, from the standpoint of Chit-Sakti, it is true that the Cosmic Being or Iswara is the cause of the universe yet it is also equally true that while the universe as effect is the cause modified, the Cause as cause remains what it was, is and will be, e.g., Light from Light.
But in the case of evolution in the universe itself, the material cause when producing an effect ceases to be what it was, e.g., milk turned into curd ceases to be milk. We have to bear this basic distinction always in mind when dealing with creative Sakti of Para-Brahman as Creator of the Universe and evolution in the created universe itself.
According to Saktha doctrine the universe is a Dynamism—an expression of Sakti (kinetic) and an infinite reservoir of Power or Sakti (Static). It is, however, auto-dynamic as such expression of Power or Sakti.
From the Vedantic or metaphysical point of view Pure Chit-Sakti as Supreme Will is the efficient cause (Nimitta) and Maya-Sakti as Mula-Prakriti is the instrumental and material (Upadana) cause of the Universe. Metaphysically speaking it may be said that the whole creation is a movement between two involutions, spirit in which all is involved and out of which all evolves downward to the other pole of matter, and matter in which also all is involved and out of which all evolves upward to the other pole of Spirit.
There are other great personalities ofthe Divine Mother, but they are more difficult to bring down and have not stood out in front with as much prominence in the evolution of the earth-spirit. There are among them Presences indispensable for the supramental realisation—most of all one who is her Personality of that mysterious and powerful ecstasy and Ananda which flows from a supreme divine Love, the Ananda that holds the key of a wonderful divines t life and even now supports from its secrecies the work of all the other Powers of the Universe. But, human nature bounded, egoistic and obscure is inapt to receive these great Presences or to support
their mighty action. Only when these Four have founded their harmony and freedom of movement in the transformed mind, life and body, can those other rare Powers manifest in the earth-movement and the supramental action become possible. If you desire this transformation, put yourself in the hands of the Mother and her Powers without cavil or resistance and let her do unhindered her work within you.
Three things you must have—consciousness, plasticity and unreserved surrender. For you must be conscious in your mind and soul and heart and life and the very cells of your body, aware of the Mother and her Power and their working ; for although she can and does work in you even in your obscurity and your unconscious parts and moments, it is not the same thing as when you are in an awakened and living communion with her. The unreserved surrender of your inner and outer being will bring this plasticity into all the parts of your nature ; consciousness will awaken everywhere in you by constant openness of wisdom and light and force, the harmony and beauty, the perfection that comes flowing down from above. Even the body will awake and unite at last its consciousness subliminal no longer to the supramental consciousness force, feel all her powers permeating from above and below and around it and thrill to a supreme love and Ananda. But be on your guard and do not try to understand and judge the divine Mother by your little earthly mind. The human mind shut in the prison of its half-lit obscurity cannot follow the many-sided freedom ofthe steps of the Divine Sakti. The rapidity and complexity of her vision and action outrun its stumbling comprehension ; the measures of her movement are not its measurements.
Open rather your soul to her and be content to feel her with the psychic nature and see her with the psychic vision that alone makes a straight response to the Truth. Avoid also the error of the ignorant mind's demand on the divine Powers to act always according to our crude surface notions of omniscience and omnipotence. For our mind clamours to- be impressed at every hour by miraculous power and easy success and dazzling splendour ; otherwise it cannot believe that here is the Divine. There are conditions that have been laid down by Supreme Will ; there are many tangled
SYMPOSIUM ON SAKTI
knots that have to be loosened and cannot be cut abruptly asunder. The Divine Consciousness and Force are there to do at each moment the thing that is needed in the conditions ofthe labour, take always the step that is decreed and shape in the midst of imperfections the perfection that is to come. But only when the supermind has descended in you, she deals directly as the supramental Sakti with supramental natures. Follow your soul and not your mind ; your soul that answers to the Truth, not the mind that leaps at appearances. Trust the Divine Power and she will free the godlike elements in you and shape all into an expression of Divine Nature ; but that the change may arrive, take form and endure, there is needed the call from below with a will to recognise and not to deny the Light when it comes and there is needed the sanction of the Supreme from above. The power that mediates between the sanction, and the call is the presence and power of the Divine Mother. The Mother's power and not any human endeavour and Tapasya can alone end the lid and tear the covering and shape the vessel and bring down Truth and Light and Life Divine and the Immortal Ananda into the world of obscurity, falsehood, death and suffering.
OM SHANTIH, SHANTIH, SHANTIH
Assamese Tantrikism : Its Significance
(By Sri Anwarul Hasan, Dhubri)
Like Malabar, Assam is the cradle of Hindu Tantrika philosophy and religion. In the Tantra Sastras, Kama-rupa in Assam has been called the jewel of all sacred places. The famous temple of Goddess Kamakhya has attracted millions of devotees- from all over India. In the texts of Tibetan Buddhism, translated by Dr. Evan-Wentz, there are evidences that many Lamas and \Yogis from Tibet came to Kamarupa for initiation. \
Assam was also reputed to be a. land of occultism and psychical research. Among the common p eople of India ' the magic of Kamarupa ' was famous. History tells us that one medieval Muslim divine and mystic, Hazrat Muham-
mad Gahuth, whose tomb is at Gwalior, went to Assam for the study of the Hindu Tantrika philosophy. The result of his researches he embodied in a Persian book, Abi-Hyat or the ' Water of Life.'
Tantrika philosophy, though often misunderstood, is a wonderful product of the spiritual genius of the Hindus. It is suited for subtle and philosophical minds. As it was not meant for the common masses, the initiates of Tantrikism expressed their doctrines in obscure and symbolic language. A knowledge of the following basic ideas will help to clear many misunderstandings. They are (a) Mother worship, (b) Symbol of the subconscious mind, (c) Sex-symbols, (d) Idol worship, (e) Kundalini Sakti.
We shall deal with these one by one :
In the Tantrika philosophy God is worshipped in the form of the Divine Mother, or Devi. She is invoked by various names such as Lakshmi, Saraswathi, Maha Kali, Durga or Tripurasundari.
In the Semitic religions, such as Islam, or Judaism, or Christianity, God is 'worshipped as Father. Mother worship appears to the followers of these religions as something novel and strange.
In fact, the worship ofthe Divine Mother is older than the worship of God as Father. Essentially, God is neither male nor female. He is the absolute Reality. But human language is bound to express its ideas about Him in relative terms. Naturally, in a society where the father is the head ofthe family, and the child is accustomed to treat its father as the man in authority, it can easily imagine God in the form of a father.
But this kind of conception is of a later growth. Anthropological research shows that primitive man everywhere lived in a matriarchal society. In this kind of society, the wife or mother was the head of the family. The wife did not go to her husband's family after marriage, but the husband went and lived with the family of the wife. Such types of societies still exist in Malabar and are very common in
SYMPOSIUM ON SAKTI
Tibet. The renowned Sanskrit scholar and the erstwhile Sanskrit professor of the Leningrad University, Rahul San-krityayan, has proved that among the ancient Aryans the matriarchal patterns of society did certainly exists. '
It is in such societies that the worship of the Divine Mother was developed. This kind of worship became very popular and soothing to the mind, as none could exceed in the filial affection of the mother for her child. This conception was a great help to the devotee. Just as child felt more at ease with its mother than its father, the devotee was also attracted to the Divine Mother than anything else. The absolute surrender of the soul became a main feature. Thus it is significant that in other forms of Hindu religion as well. Mother worship is synthesised with the worship of God as Father. Sita and Rama, Radha and Krishna are worshipped together.
Devi-worship is a potent instrument for the removal of sex-cravings. The aspirant sees the Divine Mother in every female form and tries to maintain his attitude as such. Carnal emotions cannot thrive in this case, for anyone can imagine how sacred is the person of one's own mother.
The sacred word ; Om ' is also a 'relic of the ancient Aryan Mother worship. In every language of the world, the sound Ma expresses the idea of mother, as for examples, in English, mother ; in Latin, mater ; in Sanskrit, Matri ; in French, mammon ; in Persian, madar ; in Arabic, umm and so on. In fact, this sound comes to the child naturally while it is sulking at the breast of its mother. When it tries to make some sound, as the nose is obstructed by the bosom of its mother and the mouth engaged in suckling, the sound ma is produced.
The sacred Mantra ' Om ' occurs in every religion ofthe world. In Christianity it occurs as Amen ; in Islam as Amin. The Buddhists chant ' Om Mani Padme Hum.' Om is really a universal name for God. \
Symbols of the Subscons'cious Mind
The researches of modern psychoanalysis reveal and emphasise the great importance ofthe symbols in the emotional
life of man. Primitive man thought in symbols as he had no vocabulary to express abstract ideas and qualities. Before the alphabet was invented there was only picture-reading or writing. The ancient Egyptian ' Book of the Dead ' is written in picture symbol.
Modern psychology has shown that man has got two minds, the conscious and the subconscious mind. In the sub-conscious mind, all the memories ofthe childhood and also all the experiences undergone by the human race since the dawn of history are treasured and stored up. It is the place of all our great feelings and emotions, as distinct from intellectual thoughts and reasonings. It is also the seat of telepathy, clairvoyance, hypnotism and other occult powers. In normal man the activity ofthe subconscious mind is shown in dreams.
The subconscious mind thinks entirely in symbols. While sleeping if some feeling of ambition is aroused we dream that we are flying in the air ; if there is some fear in our mind we dream of demons and frightful animals, and so on. The subconscious mind is also influenced by the suggestion or repetition of the same idea again and again. It can also be influenced by loud sounds like ringing of bells or music.
The subconscious mind can hardly be influenced by intellectual ideas.
Modern psychiatrists like Dr. Carl Gustay Jung have developed several systems of healing mental and nervous diseases by a careful study of the symbols of the subconscious mind as shown in dreams and hallucinations and attitudes created by past experiences of the patient. They have found that symbols are almost the only way to reach the subconscious mind ofthe patient, and to direct his emotions towards health and sanity.
The great symbols like the Cross, the Tau, the Swastika, the circle, etc., occur again and again in history.
The presence of sex-symbols in Hindu temples has drawn the criticism of various foreign writers who have not cared
SYMPOSIUM ON SAKTI
to delve deeper into the meaning of the objects. The phallus was the symbol for creative power in the primitive man. It is still so in the subconscious mind of the modern man. These symbols are found in all religions of the world, expressed differently. They represent God, the Creator. There is no vice in their symbology. It was a natural, straightforward and healthy imagination of the primitive man and his successors. There was nothing indecent, or immoral, or wicked bias in the minds ofthe simple, primitive people who created these symbols.
The normal sex-instinct can never be outright denounced or ignored. It can only be sublimated. By drawing our attention to the cosmic, creative aspect ofthe sex-instinct and by raising ourselves over the realms of physical desires, through discrimination, reflection and Yogic discipline the sex-instinct can be transmuted into spiritual energy. The Hindu Tantrik symbols are therefore, intended for gradually converting the sex-desire into Ojas for spiritual attainments. They do no advocate suppression but sublimation.
Idols are of two kinds, (a) those representing the images of Jesus Christ, Buddha, Krishna , or Rama, whom the devotee believes to have been incarnation of God, and (b) those representing the symbolic image of some aspect of God, as for examples, Saraswati (knowledge of learning), Lakshmi (wealth or beauty), and so on.
About the former class of idols there cannot be any philosophical difficulty. If the devotee believes them to have been Divine incarnations, he has a right to worship their images, exactly as he would have idolised them had they lived. Idolisation is not unknown among materialistic nations, as for examples, V. I. Lenin or J. V. Stalin. The utility of the latter class of symbols has already been explained. Indeed, symbols are much more powerful and effective in arousing the emotions of the subconscious mind than merely abstract, intellectual ideas : it is now a well-established truth of modern psychology.
Some Semitic religions as Islam and Judaism forbid idol worship because their prophets felt that the worship ofthe
idea of God as an. abstract entity was sufficient. But really the use of symbols is common to all religions. For example, in Islam and Judaism sacrifice of animals on certain occasions is permitted. The purpose, it is explained, is to bring to our mind the necessity of sacrificing ourselves our lower nature, to God. Even metaphysical ideas of God are in fact symbols, and without some kind of association or other, conception of God is not possible for the human mind.
There is another mystic reason for idol worship. Thoughts are potential entities. They continue to remain in the subconscious mind and influence our conscious thoughts and attitudes. A devotee who worships Krishna or Rama is helped by the thought-forces of millions of devotees who have meditated upon and worshipped these divine symbols through centuries. Here the racial, traditional mind is touched.
The name of God is also a symbol. There must be some sort of association to capture our attention. If I invent a new name for God for myself, for example, AQB or P. 239. I shall not feel much religious emotion while uttering these names. If on the other hand I use a symbol which has been used by mankind for a long time, as Allah or Krishna or some pleasant and sacred personality, I shall be easily inspired. The reason for this has already been explained.
Sankirtan, Namaz, Church choir, or simple repetition ofthe Lord's name also arouse the emotions ofthe subconscious mind. Religious music, the ringing of bells in temples, or the sonorous chants of Kalmas or psalms are definitely useful and almost universally necessary for the same purpose.
Kundalini Yoga is the occult process for transmuting the physical energy into Ojas Sakti. The human consciousness is taken through six different grades of perception until it merges in the Absolute. There is some direct evidence on this point coming from Tibetan systems of Yoga. Dr. Evans-Wentz has translated some Tibetan scriptures in his book Tibetan Yoga and Secret Doctrine, where the Hatha Yogic exercises, by which Lamas could endure the cold rigour of
SYMPOSIUM ON SAKTI
Tibetan winters without any warm covering are described. The six Chakras or the plexii ofthe Kundalini Yoga and other Tantrik Yantras are ancient symbols of the subconscious mind. Some of these symbols have been deciphered independently by anthropologists and psychoanalysts like Dr. Jung (vide : The integration of the personality, C. G. Jung). The Yogic Kriyas and the processes of ascending the Kundalini Sakti have been described in detail by Swamy Sivananda in his book, Kundalini Toga.
Worship of God as Mother
(By Sri Anwarul Hasan)
The worship of God as the Divine Mother has been prevalent from times immemorial. Prof. Sigmond Freud says in his Totem and Taboo : " The great maternal deities have perhaps everywhere preceded the paternal deities." The ancient Egyptians worshipped Her under the name of Isis.
It would be a matter of great interest to the students of comparative religion to trace the parallel development of this idea in the Hindu and Christian Religions.
A brief outline of the Hindu ideas on this point may be given here in the inspiring words of Swamy Sivananda Saraswati. " Mother worship is the worship of God as the Divine Mother—Sri Mata. Her manifestations are countless. Durga, Kali, Bhagavati, Bhavani, Ambal. Ambika,Jagadamba, Kameswari, Ganga, Uma, Chandi, Chamundi, Lalita, Gouri, Kundalini, Тага, Rajeswari, Tripurasundari etc. are all Her forms. Radha, Durga, Lakshmi, Saraswati and Savitri are the five Prakritis. Though each name produces a specific result, yet it may also produce a general result. You may repeat any one of the names of the Devi. If you wish to obtain a particular fruit, you must invoke the goddess by the corresponding name.
" The Upasana or worship of' Devi, or Universal Mother leads to attainment of knowledge of the Self. It behoves, therefore, that the aspirant should approach the
Mother first so t hat she may introduce Hei spiritual < lull I to the Father for its illumination or Self-realisation. Thai is why the devotees have placed Radha, Sita, Gouri first in the Jugal names viz-, Radha Krishna, Sita Rama, t roul i Sh,inker, Uma Shanker, Bhavani Shanker, Lakshmi N.u iv.in.i.
" Mother's grace is boundless. Her mercy is illimitable. Her knowledge is infinite. Her power is immeasurable. Her glory is ineffable. Her splendour is indesi ribable. Shir gives you Bhukti (material prosperity) and Mukii liberation) also.
"The Kundalini Sakti is both cosmic and individual. The cosmic is called Ma ha Kundalini and the individual one the Kundalini. She lies dormant in the Muladhara Chakra in the form of a serpentine power or coiled up energy known as the Kundalini Sakti. She is at the centre, of the life of the Universe. She is the primal force ol life lh.it underlies all existence. She vitalises the body through the Sushumna Nadi and nerves. She nourishes the body with chyle and blood. She vitalises the universe through Her energy.
" Worship of Devi in the form of Sri Vidya is of two kinds,
viz., internal for advanced students and externa! for the less
Practical instructions are given by Swami Sivananda
for the external form ofworship of Devi, in his book. " Ananda
Lahari Translation and Commentary " :—
" Get up in the morning at 4 a.m. Have your bath and
other purificatory acts. Then perform your Nitya-karma
in a separate Pooja room. Place therein the photos of your Ishta Devata, \ our Guru and that of Tripurasundari, the World Mother and generatrix of this Universe in whose praise Ananda Lahari is sung. After performing your Nitya-karma have a full reading of Ananda Lahari with extreme faith and devotion. Keep a ghee lamp burning throughout your Pooja time. In the end, wave lights, burn incense and camphor before the Devi, your Ishta Devata and others.
' Place the offerings of cocoanut, honey, milk, fruits etc. before the deity and take the sacred Prasad. 1 )o this regularly without fail.",
SYMPOSIUM ON SAKTI
" This will relieve you of all pains, miseries, and tribulations. You will attain high position and success in life, and ultimately attain Sayujya Mukti also as stated in stanza 22. Pray to Mother Goddess with a melting heart with faith and devotion. I assure you, you will have rapid success in life and spiritual progress."
The internal form of worship of Devi is described by Swami Sivananda as follows :—" In the internal form of worship there are neither rituals nor ceremonies. The supreme being in the form of Siva united with the Sakti is worshipped at the various centres of energy of the human body or Chakras or lotuses. Those who perform the internal mode of worship believe in the identity of Siva and Sakti, in the awakening of Kundalini, and in taking it up through the various Chakras, to Sahasrara or the thousand-petalled lotus, through worship, Japa of Mantra, where the individual soul unites with the Supreme Soul.
" Saktism helps the aspirant to arouse the Kundalini and unite Her with Lord Siva and to enjoy the supreme bliss of Nirvikalpa Samadhi. When Kundalini sleeps man is awake to the world. He has objective consciousness. When she awakes, he sleeps. He loses all consciousness of the world and becomes one with the Lord. Mother Kundalini Sakti unites with Lord Siva in Sahasrara during Nirvikalpa Samadhi.
" The Yogi opens the mouth of Sushumna through Pranayama, Bandhas and Mudras and awakens the sleeping Kundalini or the primordial energy in Muladhara and takes it to Sahasrara at the crown of the head through the lower six chakras. The lower six Chakras are the resting places or stages of Kundalini. He experiences different kinds of bliss and power at different centres. Ultimately Kundalini unites with her Lord Parama Siva at Sahasrara. Now Nirvikalpa Samadhi takes place. The Yogi attains liberation and gets highest knowledge and bliss\ The Yogi is tempted in the lower Chakras or resting places. He gets powers and various sorts of happiness. He should try to reach his final or permanent abode, the Sahasrara. He should shun all Siddhis.
" Fearlessness, unruffled state of mind, dispassion, constant meditative mood, desirelessness, contentment, spiritual bliss, peace, inner spiritual strength, discrimination, self-restraint, one-pointedness of mind, strong faith in the existence of Ishwara, and devotion are the signs that indicate that the Kundalini is awakened. Steadiness of mind, steadiness of Asan, purity, strong yearning for liberation, mercy, sweet voice, lustre in the eyes, peculiar glow in the face and charming personality are the marks of one whose Kundalini is awakened.
All the above quotations have been taken from Swami Sivananda's commentary on Ananda Lahari. In his " Wisdom of Siva " he has thrown some further light on the subject of Kundalini Yoga.
" Sadhana, Dhriti, Sthirata, Dhairya, Laghava, Pra-tyaksha, and Nirvikalpa Samadhi are the seven stages of Kundalini Yoga. When the Kundalini begins to rise upwards, the Yogic practitioner sees it as a beam of electric light."
Readers who are desirous of obtaining further information about the mysteries of Devi worship and the Sakta school of philosophy should read Swami Sivananda's English commentary on Ananda Lahari. Ananda Lahari is a devotional poem of forty-one stanzas by Sri Sankaracharya, containing beautiful hymns in praise of Devi or the goddess Tripura-sundari. In the words of Swami Sivananda, " Ananda Lahari is universally recognised as an ancient and authoritative Tantric work. There are thirty-five commentaries on this book. The stanzas contain various Mantras or mystic formula, along with Yantras, or diagrams, for worship of Devi, and for the attainment of various Siddhis or powers. Worldly people generally use the verses of this hymn for invoking the Devi for the fulfilment of worldly desires."
The starting point of our research to trace the development of these ideas in the Christian religion is a paper by Dr. Ernest Jones, included in his " Essays in Applied Psychoanalysis/' published in the International Psychoanalytical "Library. In this paper, Dr. Ernest Jones draws our attention to the Christian Trinity, consisting of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. He points out that it would be more
SYMPOSIUM ON SAKTI
reasonable to suppose that the third person in a Trinity the other two of which are the Father and Son should be the Mother and not the Holy Ghost. How then did the Holy Ghost come in ?
Quoting various historical sources, Dr. Jones, says that originally the Christian Trinity really consisted ofthe Father, Son and Mother (i.e., the Holy Virgin Mary, Mother of God). But later on, due to various historical reasons which need not be discussed'here, the Semitic mind developed a repugnance to the idea of a feminine deity, and the Holy Ghost was substituted for the Divine Mother.
We shall not repeat the arguments of Dr. Jones, but shall try to find verification for his central thesis in other fields of human knowledge.
It is remarkable that, using another viewpoint of Depth Psychology, Dr. Carl Gustav Jung arrives at the same conclusion. He says, in his Integration of the Personality :— " The femininity in the Godhead is kept secret and to say that the Holy Ghost is Sophia counts as a heresy. It was quite in line with this psychological fact when the Holy Ghost was taken as Sophia according to the heretical interpretation, for the Holy Ghost was the mediator of the birth in the flesh, and thus made it possible for the luminous Godhead to become visible in the darkness ofthe world. It was this connection that aroused the suspicion that the Holy Ghost was feminine, for Mary was the dark earth of the field, ilia terra virgo nondum pluviis rigata (that virgin soil not yet watered by the rains) as Augustine called her.
Dr. Jung says that he has found the feminine aspect of God recurring as a spiritual problem in the unconscious minds of his Christian patients. Let us summarise here some relevant characteristics of the Holy Ghost as it occurs in Christian literature.
(1) The feminine symbol of the dove is often used for the Holy Ghost in the Bible.
(2) The symbol of fire is also used for the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost is experienced as a Celestial Fire. On the day of Pentecost, the Holy Ghost came down on the Apostles in the form of" tongue of fire."
(3) The Holy Ghost confers seven spiritual gifts on the sincere believer. The Christian hymn says,
Come Holy Ghost our souls inspire And lighten with Celestial Fire. Thou the Holy Spirit Art— Who dost thy sevenfold gifts impart. Thy blessed unction from above, Is comfort, peace and fire of love.
(4) The Holy Ghost is experienced as a condition of great spiritual bliss and serenity. That is why it is called the Comforter in the Holy Bible. In the Christian hymns we find :—
Come Holy Ghost, eternal God
Proceeding from above
Both from the Father and the Son,
The God of peace and love
Thou art the very Comforter
In grief and all distress
Thy heavenly comfort from on high
No tongue can it express.
The fountain and the living spring
Of joy celestial,
The fire so bright, the love so sweet
Thy unction spiritual. But the four attributes ofthe Holy Ghost described above are the very same attributes we have found in our study of the Kundalini Sakti. The Holy Ghost is a feminine symbol oi God, and similarly the Kundalini Sakti is only an aspect of the Devi. She is the Cosmic Kundalini. Kundalini Yoga is simply the internal, philosophical mode of worshipping Devi.
Again, the Holy Ghost is represented by the symbol of fire, and as Swami Sivananda tells us, when the Kundalini begins to rise upward, the Yogic practitioner sees it as a beam of electric light. The Kundalini Sakti has also been called by-some writers " the Serpent Fire."
The Kundalini Sakti passes through six lower Chakras and finally comes to the Seventh Centre, the Shasrara. There
SYMPOSIUM ON SAKTI
are seven stages of Kundalini Yoga according to Swami Sivananda. Similarly the Holy Ghost confers seven spiritual gifts on mankind.
Both the Kundalini Sakti and the Holy Ghost, when experienced, lead to a feeling of spiritual joy, serenity of mind and divine ecstasy.
When the Kundalini rises, the Yogi gets various kinds of Siddhis or miraculous powers. Similarly Saint Paul tells us, in the Holy Bible that all kinds of gifts, like the gift of prophesy, the gift of feeling etc., are conferred by the Holy Ghost.
Thus we find that the internal, philosophical mode of worshipping Devi as individual Kundalini Sakti indwelling within us, and the external ceremonial worship of Devi as Durga, Kali, Bhavani or Tripurasundari, which exist as one unified system of devotional thought in the Hindu religion, have become separated from each other in Christianity, the individual Kundalini being represented as the Holy Ghost, indwelling within us, and inspiring us to all good work, and the Cosmic Sakti or Devi being represented by the Holy Virgin Mary. These two parallel lines of thought which have become disconnected or torn out of their context in the Christian religion, are seen as two aspects ofthe same spiritual experience in the symmetrical and synthetic philosophy of the Tantras. Various puzzling problems of Christianity are solved in the light of Hindu mystical philosophy. The Holy Ghost is not only a substitute figure for the Virgin Mary, but is identical with Her.
Although the Holy Virgin, Mother of God, was left out from the Christian Trinity, the original tendency continued to assert itself in Christian thought. Let us make a brief historical survey of Mariolatry, or mystical devotion to Mary.
(1) Very early in the Christian Church, August 15th was fixed as the date of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin, that is to say, ofthe miraculous passing ofthe Mother of the Lord. Juvenal, Bishop of Jerusalem, gives the following account of the event (quoted in Smith's Dictionary of the Bible, article on Mary the Virgin, Vol. II, page 269) :—
"From an ancient and most true tradition, we have received, that at the time of the glorious falling asleep of
Holy Mary, Mother of God, all the holy apostles......borne
aloft in a moment of time, came together to Jerusalem ;
and when they were near her they had a vision of angels......
But after three days, on the angelic music ceasing, those ofthe apostles who were present opened the tomb, as one of them, Thomas, had been absent, and on his arrival wished to adore the body which has borne God. But her all glorious body
that He, who had chosen to take flesh ofthe Virgin Mary......
was also pleased, after her departure, to honour her immaculate and unpolluted body with incorruption, and to translate her before the common resurrection of all men."
Some believed that she had never really died, but had been taken to God.
(2) Near about this time, the dogma of the Perpetual Virginity ofthe Holy Mary was also developed. This dogma means that not only there had been the Virgin Birth of Jesus Christ, the son of God, but also, that the so-called brothers of Jesus were not real brothers, but step-brothers.
(3) On December 3th, 1854, Pope Pius IX, by his Bull, ' Ineffabilis Deus ' announced the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception ofthe Virgin Mary, to an Assembly of Bishops, at St. Peters, Rome. The Christian teaching asserts that all men, excepting Jesus Christ, are born with the taint of original sin. Jesus Christ is an exception to this rule, as he was really an Incarnation of God. The dogma of the Immaculate Conception of Mary means that as the Son of God was born sinless, similarly His Holy Mother was free from original sin from her very birth, by a special decree of God.
These dogmas produced a state of mind in which the Virgin Mary came to be regarded as something,akin to divine. It came to be believed that the son of God had made His Holy Mother Queen of Heaven, put all things under Her authority, and that She by her powerful intercession with God, could bestow all kinds of benefits, both spiritual and material, on Her devotees. Or as Swami Sivananda says in his introduction to Ananda Lahari, " He has handed over the power of attorney to His consort Durga. It is Mother Durga only who looks after the affairs ofthe world."