Spiritual Import of Religious Festivals : 10-9.
Chapter 10: The Esoteric Significance of the Devi Mahatmya -9.
( A talk given on the 13th of October, 1972, during the Navaratri worship.)
By Swami Krishnananda
Ajnana or ignorance is an opposing power subtler than its effects in the form of Mala and Vikshepa. Distraction and direct sensual desires are the outer expressions of a subtle ignorance of Truth – Avidya or Ajnana. Why do we desire things? Because, we do not know the nature of Truth. Why does a strong wind blow? Because, the sun is covered over with clouds.
The sun is covered by the clouds first, then there is darkness, and then a gale or cyclone starts blowing from the north, breaking our umbrellas and uprooting trees. All these happen because the sun does not shine. Even so, when the Atman is covered over by ignorance of its nature, the winds of desire begin to blow, and they come like violent storms.
Impetuous is the force of desire. You cannot stand against it, because the whole of Nature gets concentrated in a desire. That is why it is impetuous and uncontrollable. All the powers of Nature get focussed in a desire when it manifests itself, whatever be that desire. So the whole of Nature has to be subdued.
You are not to subdue only your individual nature, but the cosmic Nature itself is to be subdued. This is what is depicted in the epic of the Devi-Mahatmya. It is the subdual, overcoming, transformation of the cosmic Nature in the form of Tamas, Rajas and Sattva. While Mala represents Tamas, Vikshepa represents Rajas.
To be continued ...