(Continued from page 6)

to the jar by means of the shape or quality of the jar is a transitory phenomenon. Listen to kaTha-upanishad (5 - 11):

sUryo yathA sarva-lokasya cakshuH na lipyate cakshushair-bAhya-doshaiH /
ekas-tathA sarva-bhUtAntarAtmA na lipyate loka-dukhena bAhyaH //
Just as the Sun, which is the eye of the whole world,
is not tainted by the ocular and external defects,
similarly the Self, that is but one, the immanent one, in all beings,
is not tainted by the sorrows of the world, It being transcendental.

(142) kAla-hantRI : (This name occurs also in lalitA-sahasra-nAma) She destroys, puts an end to, Time (kAla). Time originates from Her. Time finally merges in Her. So She is beyond Time. The concept of Time does not apply to Her. So She 'destroys'Time. The word kAlah also means the God yama of death. So kAlah is Death. Death is what occurs to those who are in the vortex of samsAra, the transmigratory cycle. But those who have crossed the tranmigratory cycle by the Grace of the Mother have no business with Death. Thus She 'conquers' Death. When we are unaware of the Mother, that much of Time is wastefully spent, that is Time is drained. The more our Time is drained the more we are nearer to Death. Thus Time takes us irrevocably to Death. But those moments of our awareness of the immanent presence of the Mother, are conserved moments of Time. Thus saved, the end of our Time is postponed. And those who are aware of Her presence constantly and uninterruptedly, conserve all their Time and Death does not approach them! Thus She destroys the 'power' of Time that brings Death nearer.
There is another aspect of this word '
kAla'. The human life is determined by the number of breaths he inhales and exhales. One inhaling followed by an exhaling is counted as one breath. In the period of 24 hours between one sunrise to next sunrise, one is supposed to have 21,600 such breaths - which, on calculation, gives onbe breath for every 4 sec onds. The more one can reduce this number of 21,600 the longer one lives. This is one reason for the prANAyAma having a beneficial effect on one's longevity. When we hold the breath inside, the mental aberrations also subside. This is called citta-vRtti-nirodha, that is, the stoppage of mind flowing into its channels. When the mind is trained to control its usual flow of thoughts, that is the road to total Realisation. And that is the time when Time itself stops!. The Power of Consciousness within us, which is nothing but the Mother Goddess is the Prime Mover of this achievement, if at all, of ours, and in that sense therefore, She is the destroyer of Time!

(153) kAruNya-vigrahA : Here a form is attributed to the Goddess. It is the form of total compassion and grace. The devotees always need the Grace of the almighty. But if the Almighty is taken to be attributeless, then it may be illogical to expect any activity from that Absolute, in the form of a blessing or benefaction on us. It is absolutely necessary to visualise an attributed God or Goddess with an active intelligence which reacts to our suffering, responds to our prayers and showers its compassion on us. This is exactly what the Mother Goddess lalitA is. She is Compassion and Grace personified! Grace

Copyright V. Krishnamurthy Sep16, '99. Home Contents NEXT