Spiritual Import of Religious Festivals : 10-2.
Chapter 10: The Esoteric Significance of the Devi Mahatmya -2.
( A talk given on the 13th of October, 1972, during the Navaratri worship.)
By Swami Krishnananda
The Devi-Mahatmya, which is a part of the Markandeya Purana, contains thirteen chapters which are grouped into three sections known as the Prathama Charitra, Madhyama Charitra and the Uttama Charitra.
As in the Bhagavadgita sometimes we are told that the eighteen chapters can be grouped into three sections of teaching, consisting of six chapters in each, the Devi-Mahatmya also, which is an epic counterpart of the methods of the Bhagavadgita in its practical implementations, is capable of a division into three sections.
The march of the soul is graduated into three major steps, though there are many minor steps involved in these three major ones.
While we have to rise through various rungs of the ladder of evolution, we come to three points or halting places, we may call them, where there is a complete transformation of outlook, attitude and constitution of our being.
These threefold transformations of the spiritual being of the aspiring soul are dominated or presided over by three deities known as Maha-Kali, Maha-Lakshmi and Maha-Sarasvati.
These three presiding forces are representative of the powers of the spirit within manifesting themselves in an upward ascent towards freedom ultimate, so that in this march of the soul to its freedom, it carries with it everything that is connected with it.
The difference between the spiritual march and your march along the road or a highway is this: that while in your march on a roadway, you alone walk and nobody need accompany you, nothing need be connected with you, and you can have a free walk independently.
In the spiritual march, it is not such an isolated march because you carry with you everything that is connected with you.
To be continued ...