The Glory of Autumn
Autumn (Sharat) is regarded as one of the best seasons in India. The sun is on his southward journey and, as his blazing rays begin to slant, the subcontinent feels freedom from the oppressive heat of summer months. The monsoon has infused new life into trees, shrubs, creepers, herbs, grass, moss and lichen; and Gaia, the Earth Goddess, shows herself off in her richly embroidered green apparel of lush vegetation everywhere.
In the villages there is a look of plentitude and peace. The granaries are full with freshly garnered grain, the fields offer large open spaces with cattle grazing here and there, and along the borders of fields you can see rows of white and light pink kashphool(flowers of a kind of tall grass) tassels waving triumphantly in the breeze. Overhead, the sky is deep blue with an occasional white cloud sailing across lazily to an unknown destination. A kind of mystic silence pervades the air, broken only by the laughter of children playing here and there.
It is as if Nature has prepared herself for the advent of the Divine Mother. Indeed, which other season can be a better one to welcome the Divine Mother than autumn? And Durga Puja is about the advent of the Divine Mother.
”Jini Brahma tini Shakti, tini i Ma ”
He who is Brahman is Shakti, and He himself is the Mother of the UniverseSri Ramakrishna
Worship of the Divine Mother
Worship of the Divine Mother is one of the oldest forms of worship known to humanity. In prehistoric times, God was worshipped as the Divine Mother all over the world. Evidences for Mother Worship have been recovered in different places in Europe, the Americas, Africa and Asia.
But it is only in India that Mother worship went beyond the framework of a cult and became a full-fledged living religion supported by an advanced theology, scriptures, rites, customs and festivals which are followed by millions of people even in modern times. And in Bengal, worship of God as Mother attained the highest form of a cultural refinement and ritual sophistication, and became the dominant faith and practice of the people.
Sri Ramakrishna used to say: ”To look upon God as Mother is the purest and the highest form of Sadhana” (Matribhav shuddha bhav, sadhanar shesh katha). Why did he say that? Because Mother’s love is the most unselfish and unconditional form of human love. For a child, mother is all sufficient: apart from giving birth, she provides everything that the child needs – nourishment, protection, warmth, comfort, training, education. To look upon God as Mother is to make God all-sufficient in one’s life. It is a very natural, intimate and purest form of relationship.