Today is Mother’s Day – and while we are not ordinarily given to marking the faux-holidays of the 20th century, for this we make an exception. As it is always good, upon principle, to acknowledge one’s Ma.
I have written seriously extensively upon the Indo-European Divine Mother elsewhere – so we shall keep things succinct. A picture, as they say, is worth a thousand words.
In this particular case – an illustration of an instance from Book 6 of the Mahabharata wherein Arjuna calls upon Mother Durga on the eve of war. Interestingly, Arjuna does this at the direction of Krishna – this situation of a form of Vishnu urging prayer to the Divine Mother as we Hindus know Her, being of obvious import to a Shakta interpretation of the Divine.
This is because, for us, it is quite literally a case of Devi Uber Alles. If one wishes to find the supreme sanction of Divine Law, Cosmic Order – then there She is.
In any case, from the Ganguli translation:
“Arjuna said,–‘I bow to thee, O leader of Yogins, O thou that art identical with Brahman, O thou that dwellest in the forest of Mandara, O thou that art freed from decrepitude and decay, O Kali, O wife of Kapala, O thou that art of a black and tawny hue, I bow to thee. O bringer of benefits to thy devotees, I bow to thee, O Mahakali, O wife of the universal destroyer, I bow to thee. O proud one, O thou that rescuest from dangers, O thou that art endued with every auspicious attribute. O thou that art sprung from the Kata race, O thou that deservest the most regardful worship, O fierce one, O giver of victory, O victory’s self, O thou that bearest a banner of peacock plumes, O thou that art decked with every ornament, O thou that bearest an awful spear, O thou that holdest a sword and shield, O thou that art the younger sister of the chief of cow-herds, O eldest one, O thou that wert born in the race of the cowherd Nanda! O thou that art always fond of buffalo’s blood, O thou that wert born in the race of Kusika, O thou that art dressed in yellow robes, O thou that hadst devoured Asuras assuming the face of a wolf, I bow to thee that art fond of battle! O Uma, Sakambhari, O thou that art white in hue, O thou that art black in hue, O thou that hast slain the Asura Kaitabha, O thou that art yellow-eyed, O thou that art diverse-eyed, O thou of eyes that have the colour of smoke, I bow to thee. O thou that art the Vedas, the Srutis, and the highest virtue, O thou that art propitious to Brahmanas engaged in sacrifice, O thou that hast a knowledge of the past, thou that art ever present in the sacred abodes erected to thee in cities of Jamvudwipa, I bow to thee. Thou art the science of Brahma among sciences, and thou that art that sleep of creatures from which there is no waking. O mother of Skanda, O thou that possessest the six (highest) attributes, O Durga, O thou that dwellest in accessible regions, thou art described as Swaha, and Swadha, as Kala, as Kashta, and as Saraswati, as Savitra the mother of the Vedas, and as the science of Vedanta. With inner soul cleansed, I praise thee. O great goddess, let victory always attend me through thy grace on the field of battle. In inaccessible regions, where there is fear, in places of difficulty, in the abodes of thy worshippers and in the nether regions (Patala), thou always dwellest. Thou always defeatest the Danavas. Thou art the unconsciousness, the sleep, the illusion, the modesty, the beauty of (all creatures). Thou art the twilight, thou art the day, thou art Savitri, and thou art the mother. Thou art contentment, thou art growth, thou art light. It is thou that supportest the Sun and the Moon and that makes them shine. Thou art the prosperity of those that are prosperous. The Siddhas and the Charanas behold thee in contemplation.”
Sanjaya continued,–Understanding (the measure of) Partha’s devotion, Durga who is always graciously inclined towards mankind, appeared in the firmament and in the presence of Govinda, said these words.
‘”The Goddess said,–‘Within a short time thou shalt conquer thy foes, O Pandava. O invincible one, thou hast Narayana (again) for aiding thee. Thou art incapable of being defeated by foes, even by the wielder of the Thunderbolt himself.’ “
जय माता दी !