We’re moving into a cycle of wisdom teachings of the Devi tradition, expressed so beautifully in Lex Hixon’s version of this poem from Ramprasad:
Unveil the self-radiant diamond of your essence
O distracted mind,
why are you indulging in anxiety?
Be still for just the space of Kali, Kali, Kali
and concentrate your gaze on her reality.
Those who worship the Goddess with splendid ceremony
become imbued with pride.
Much better is the inward path of secret devotion,
invisible to the curious state of the world.
Why construct static images of Mother Reality
from metal, stone, straw, clay?
Allow pure mind to compose her form
from consciousness alone.
Place this living image on the heart lotys
and wait for her to come.
Why bother to gather ripe plantains
to present with ritual gestures at her feet?
She delights only in the nectar of selfless love,
offered directly and abundantly,
breath by breath.
Why worship with such profusion of jewels and lamps?
Unveil the self-radiant diamond of your essence,
O mind, and allow it alone to illuminate
the heart’s secret shrine day and night.
What sense is there to sacrifice animals
as worship of Goddess Kali,
when she desires only the death of egocentricity?
Cut through these childish dreams of separation
with her sword of nondual wisdom,
crying: “Victory to Kali! Jai Ma Kali!
May your truth of oneness triumph endlessly!”
The singer of this hymn has no need for flute or drum
but calls ecstatically to everyone:
“Clap your hands and proclaim melodiously
Ma Kali’s universal victory,
until the mind dissolves completely
into her inconceivable reality.”
The poem says it so exquisitely:
“Until the mind dissolves completely into her inconceivable reality” — i.e., the self-radiant diamond of our essential nature…
And that my friends is the path and the goal. Experiencing that, knowing that, moving into that…. That’s the practice. That’s why we practice. That, quite simply, is it. Or as Keats put it, “that is all we need to know…”
* * * * * * *
Here’s the opening chant from last week’s class. I’ve been personally obsessing with this version of Durga, Durga, Durga. I posted words and free translation on last week’s post. Here they are again:
Durga Durga Durga, Jai Jai Ma
Karuna Sagari Ma
Kali Kapalini Ma Jagododharini Ma
Jai Jagadambe Jai Jai Ma
Glory to the Ocean of Knowledge, Compassion, and Truth that carries me across the ocean of the world.
Think of the ocean of the world as the sense of limitation and separateness that wreaks havoc in the ways we conduct ourselves in our inner and outer lives… (aka “O distracted mind, why are you indulging in anxiety…’)
Here’s my 10.6 Dharma Talk. This clip also contains class chanting of Hymn to Devi and my reading of the Ramprasad poem:
Finally, here’s class chanting of Navarna mantra and closing dharana: