35. Spiritual Basis Of Dashara Festival
Sri Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol 25 (1992)
Spiritual Basis Of Dashara Festival
The Lord created everything from Truth and everything is permeated by Truth. Realise that there is nothing in the world that is not based on Truth and everything is composed of Suddha Sarva (the divine essence). Man has forgotten this fact. Man has emerged from the Divine (Madhava). Forgetting this truth is the Maya (delusion) from which man suffers. A true human being cannot suffer from this delusion.
Embodiments of Divine Love! Humanness is inextricably linked to divinity and is not separate from it. The same Atma resides in all beings. There are various limbs and organs in the body such as hands, legs, eyes, nose, mouth, ear, etc. All of them are integral parts of the body. There is an intimate connection between these different limbs and the Shareeri (Indweller) in the body. The Jivatma is the Indweller. The limbs constitute the body. The relationship between the Indweller and the body is integral. All limbs belong to the individual. Hence the Indweller will not hate any limb. The Shareeri (Indweller) will not feel happy if any limb suffers because all limbs belong to him and their experiences are also his.
Likewise, Vishnu pervades the cosmos as His body. All things in the cosmos are limbs of the body of Vishnu. Hence no one should have any aversion to anything in the universe. You should not hate anyone, because the same Divine is present in you and in everything in the universe. The cosmos has three forms: the gross, the subtle and the causal. The physical universe represents the gross form. The subtle form is the mind and subtler than the mind is the Atma.
The five Kosas or inner coverings
A human being has five sheaths. These five sheaths have been grouped into three. The gross sheath is the Annamaya Kosa . The three Kosas, Pranamaya (vital breath), Manomaya (the mental sheath) and the Vijnanamaya (the intellectual sheath) together constitute the subtle sheath. The causal sheath is the Anandamaya Kosa (the Bliss sheath). Even the last sheath does not represent total bliss, because there is a higher entity above the Anandamaya Kosa. This is known as Mahakarana or supracausal entity. This is the Atmic principle. Because every individual has these three bodies, he is called Tripurasundari . Every human being has these Thripuras (three cities). The three puras are the body, the mind and the heart. Since the Prakruthi element, which is feminine in nature, is present in greater measure in the body, it is termed as Sundari (a beautiful damsel).
Spiritual truth of Navarathri
During the Navarathri festival Tripurasundari is worshipped. Unfortunately, from ancient times people have been observing only the external forms of worship without understanding the inner significance of these festivals. The entire cosmos is a temple. The Lord pervades the cosmos. Prakruthi (Nature) teaches the spiritual truth about Navarathri. Realise the love of Sai through spiritual practice. The Lord has to be realised through sadhana. Sadhana does not mean adoring God in a particular place or in a particular form. It means thinking of God in all that you do wherever you may be. It may be asked whether this is possible. The answer is that it is possible by dedicating every action to God. During Navarathri there is a form of worship called Angarpana Puja . In this form of worship, all the limbs of the body are offered to the Divine in a spirit of surrender Sharanagathi. Surrender means offering everything to the Divine and giving up the idea of separation between oneself and the Divine. There can be no true surrender if there is a sense of separation. There must be the conviction that it is the same Divine who dwells in all beings:
Eko Vasee Sarvabhutha-antharatma
The true meaning of Angarpana Puja
In the performance of Angarpana Puja, there is a form of self-deception. When a devotee says, "Nethram Samarpayami " (I offer my eyes to the Lord) and offers only a flower to the Lord, he is indulging in a kind of deception. The proper thing would be to say that he is offering a flower. Actually manthras like "Nethram Samarpayami" are intended to indicate that one is using his eyes only to see God. The real significance of the Manthra is that you think of the divine in whatever you see or do.
Therefore, the true meaning of the Angarpana Puja is to declare that you offer all your limbs in the service of the Lord. This means that whatever work you do should be done as an offering to God. Nowadays selfishness is rampant among devotees and they love God not for God's sake but only to get their selfish desires fulfilled. As long as selfishness prevails, the Divine cannot be understood.
The Navarathri festival should be used as an occasion to examine one's own nature whether it is human, animal or demonic, and strive to transform the animal nature to the human and divinise the human nature. Wisdom cannot be acquired from outside. It has to be got through inward Sadhana.
Vyamohas is the dust that settles upon the glass of the chimney of the lantern and dims the light. The attachment to sensual objects and to the pleasure they give is the soot that sticks to the inside of the chimney; that too dims the light. Clean the chimney by Namasmarana every day and the flame will shine for you and others.
– Sri Sathya Sai Baba