Friday, July 28, 2006

Mother of the World...

{submitted to the Yoga Workshop for publication: }

Mother of the World, Mother of all Creation…

Jai Jagadambe Ma Durga! To you I sing infinite praises. In my seeking, alone and afraid, a lost child of God, you came to me, enfolding me in your embrace. That I could be accepted, fully loved – a miracle! That all my faults could be absolved – pure grace!

Jagadambe is said to be the "mother of the world." Some say the mother of the universe. Others say mother of humanity. Regardless, her role is that she embraces all, welcomes all into her infinite arms. Loving her children, she wishes pure happiness for them. To this end, she devours our suffering. Just as the Earth Mother devours and transforms our waste into new life – new trees, spring flowers, baby birds… - she devours and transforms our suffering into a life of happiness, joy, and peace. I call this process "Grace."

How does one conceptualize the immensity of this Grace? Some may have been blessed with the miracle of an earthly mother who held this same role – who held you when you cried, tended your wounds, and loved you when you failed. But others, how do we open to even the possibility of being loved in this way?

I began to receive this Grace when I began chanting her name, her many names - for all aspects of the Divine Mother are part of her whole. Om Mata, Om Kali Ma, Durga Devi Namo Namaha. Om Shri Matre Namaha. Jai Ganga Ma. Om Aym Sarasvati Namaha… I had no conscious intention, such as "save me, make me whole, love me, lend me your strength!..." But chanting simply evoked the deep longing of these unconscious emotions anyways. And in the residual silence, I could feel her answering embrace. Tears would pour forth, cleansing me of my doubt and shame, filling me with a sense of belonging and wholeness. I didn't even know for what I was seeking, but she knew exactly what I needed.

Sometimes, in her presence now, I feel like a little child again, finally in the arms of her mother. As this divine child, I allow myself to play, to explore the world, to make mistakes, and to believe in my dreams. Other times, I feel so full that I become her, and can extend that same Grace, that same infinite mercy, to those around me, my community, humanity. I have become more forgiving, more compassionate, and more able to give. Like the earth that sustains all, I feel the weight of all her inhabitants, and I love them all equally. For we all are divine children, innocent and pure.

I continue to chant. This is my practice. I listen inside to what/who wants to be called – sometimes the playfulness of Radha/Krishna, or the stillness of Shiva… But always I return to the Great Mother, Jagadambe. I chant to her when I need personal healing. I call her name when I feel the pain of the Earth. I sing her praise as a prayer for wholeness and peace for all humanity. She is a great healer in this time, and we are blessed to receive this ancient wisdom teaching of chanting her name. For truly, when we call, she answers.

"In the arms of the Mother, you are always whole"

Ariana can be found chanting endlessly. You are welcome to visit her website to learn about kirtans, workshops, and performances in your area:

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