Durga laughed and said, “O demon! I do not desire anyone other than the supreme lord. I am his power of will- his Prakriti. Because of his proximity, I appear as the eternal consciousness, manifesting itself as this cosmos. As iron can be moved due to the power of the magnet, so I, who am inert, work consciously due to his proximity. Formless, birthless, and deathless am I, yet at times I take on forms to uphold dharma. If you are desirous of saving your life, make friends with the gods and go your way, and I will not harm you. But if you desire to die, then fight, for I will undoubtedly kill you!”
Rather reluctantly Mahishasura decided to fight, for he was quite enamored by her charms. He started to shoot arrows filled with virulent poison at Durga. In the meantime his warriors surrounded her and kept raining arrows from all sides, while he kept hurdling missile after missile at her. She laughed as if in sport and reduced his weapons and his army to ashes in a second. Mahisha could not believe his eyes. He fell upon the lion with his club, but the lion rent his leg with his claws. The asura (demon) immediately took on a lion’s form and clawed the lion. Durga became very angry at his assault on her pet lion and rained inexhaustible arrows at him. He now turned into a maddened elephant and hurled huge boulders at the devi with his trunk. But she shattered them to pieces with her arrows. The lion sprang at the head of the elephant and rent it with his claws. The asura immediately assumed the form of a sarabha, an animal more powerful than any creature known to man. Durga, however, instantly tore the sarabha to shreds.
Once more the asura resumed his original form of a mountainous buffalo, and he started to harass the goddess, piercing her with his horns, kicking her with his hooves, and lashing her with his gigantic tail. Then he fell on the lion with a mighty sword, but the lion tore his leg into pieces. Undaunted, Mahisha lashed his huge tail and scattered the clouds, which scuttled across the sky. The oceans rose up as if they had been thrashed. His horns rent the sky and his hooves plowed the entire earth.
Then Durga opened her third eye in fury and roared, “O wicked one! Your end is nigh! Go on ranting a moment more while I sip my fill of this delicious brew.” She took a deep draft of wine from her golden goblet and then, tossing it aside, leapt into the air and came down on the back of the buffalo. Pinning Mahisha’s throat with her foot, she drove her trident into his heart. The demon tried to escape through the buffalo’s gaping mouth in the shape of a heroic warrior, but before he could drag himself out, she caught his hair and cut off his head with her discus. The severed head rolled to the ground like a colossal mountain. The headless buffalo body remained upright for a few minutes and appeared to be vibrating to the beat of the drums. Then it fell to the ground with a tremendous thud that shook the earth with its impact. Blood flowed like a river from the headless body. The lion was delighted with all the blood and lapped it up. He also chased and devoured those warriors who were fleeing for their lives. The gods and sages rejoiced. The earth and its denizens were free once again to worship the supreme, and the yakshas (celestial guardians of wealth) and gandharvas (celestial musicians) danced with joy.
One day, when Brahma was holding his audience, all the gods were seated, and Siva also was seated there. At that time, Daksha, who was also a progeny of Brahma, entered the hall. In honour of his great entrance into the hall, all the gods stood up in obeisance. But Siva did not get up. He remained seated, minding not the coming of Daksha. Incidentally, Sati, the daughter of Daksha, was married to Siva, so Siva was Daksha’s son-in-law. But Siva showed utter disregard for his father-in-law and did not rise from his seat when all others stood up offering obeisance. This enraged Daksha, who stood with uplifted arms and said, “Oh, you gods! Please listen to what I am saying. Here is an idiotic fellow seated in the audience of the gods. Shameless is he. He has no respect for anybody. He wanders about half-naked and lives like a beggar. To him I gave my daughter; what a mistake I have committed! Shame to those with him in this audience!” Daksha went on shouting like this for a long time, and all the gods shut their ears because they could not hear all this. Siva also heard all the abuses poured upon him by Daksha, but he did not utter even one word. He just walked out of the palace and returned to his abode in Kailasa, where he lived with Sati.
One day, Sati observed the celestials travelling in some direction in their aerial cars. She looked up and asked, “Where are the gods going?”
“You don’t know?” asked one of the gods, “How is it that you do not know? Your own father is performing a glorious yajna (sacrifice), to which he has invited all the celestials, and we are all going there. How is it that you, his daughter, do not know?” Sati was in great chagrin that an invitation had not been extended to Siva. She was disturbed that her father had ignored both her and Siva, but as he was her father she told Siva, “I want to go to my father’s yajna.”
Lord Siva said, “It is not proper for you to go there.”
“Why?” she asked.
“Daksha does not like me. He has no regard for me, and therefore your going there is not proper,” replied Siva.
But Sati said, “No, he is my father.”
“He may be your father, but he hates me, so you should not go if I am not going. I am not responsible for the consequences.”
“What consequences? I shall take care of myself,” she told him.
“I am telling you again, it is not good for you to go there. You will not gain anything by it, and this adventure will not end in anyone’s happiness. I advise you not to go.”
“No, I must go,” she insisted.
“I don’t think I should send my attendants to take you there. It will be highly improper for me,” said Siva.
“I shall go with my own attendants!” Sati collected all her attendants and marched, under the impression that she, being the divine daughter of this great Daksha, will be highly honoured in the midst of all the gods.
With great expectations of glory before her, she went to the yajna and stood at the gate. She expected someone to come and receive her, but nobody looked at her. For fear of Daksha, no other god would utter a word. Of course, her mother and associates came and hugged her but she rejected their greeting, perhaps because her father was not concerned with her. She looked here and there. “What is happening? How is it that no one is receiving me?” Sati thought. Then she remembered the words of Siva. “I disregarded him, and came here. Now neither can I stand here, nor can I go back to him shamefacedly.” She expected somebody to come. Nobody came. Time passed like this, and the yajna was going on. The gods turned their backs to her. It was a very serious situation.
Sati stood up and loudly proclaimed in a ferocious language, “Due to the impropriety of this yajna, where the great master Siva is not invited, it cannot be called a divine sacrifice because the chief divinity itself is not present. Fie upon you all gods! Shamelessly you have attended the yajna of this irresponsible Daksha, whom I no longer regard as my father. Siva is being disrespected. The two words ‘si’ and ‘va’ are sufficient to give salvation to people, and such a divinity is being disregarded here. Is this a divine sacrifice? Are you gods? Have you any sense? You did not invite Lord Siva, and you come and sit here at the feet of this terrible person whom I shamelessly called father. I am sorry that I have been born to him.”
Sati sat, with great sorrow burning her body. She sat in a state of yoga, invoked agni (god of fire) from within herself, and the yoga within burned her. Flames came up and consumed her. All were shocked. What is this that has happened? They had nothing to say this way or that way. All were wondering what to do. There was nothing that they could do, nothing that they could say. They were shocked, nothing but shocked.
News reached Lord Siva. He could have opened his third eye and burnt Daksha, but he had something else in his mind. He pulled a hair from his head and struck it on the ground. A fierce giant rose up. “Order, master!” said the giant.
“Go and destroy the yajna of Daksha,” said Siva.
The word “mysticism” comes from a Greek word, mysterion, …[which] comes from another root, myein, which means “to keep one’s mouth shut”…Mysticism means you have come across a truth which makes you dumb. It is so big, so huge, so enormous that it cannot be contained in any word.
“To be devoted you require a hierarchy, a higher & a lower. That is the culmination of devotion, when the lower is no more the lower. It has become one with the higher.”
Care package for traveling friends; Lakshmi & Ganesh dashboard altar for removing obstacles & allowing abundance to enter; rudraksha seed necklace for protection & healing; Amma sticker for Mahatmas grace; Shiva lingam for grounding, chakra energy balance & spiritual transformation