Navaratri – Day 4
The fourth day dawned with a bright sunshine. There were two programmes scheduled for that day, one in the morning and another in the evening. Being a Sunday, the Sri Sarada Devi Ashram usually holds its weekly satsang in the morning hours.
I was happy to visit this Ashram as the Head of this centre Pravrajika Ishtaprana mataji and the devotees associated with her are always exceedingly hospitable. When I reached before 9 am I could see the shrine hall was almost full. The Divine Mother Sri Durga was gracefully seated in front of Master’s altar. I heard, after the opening prayers, Annapurna, A devotee from Bengal who is residing in Durban, sang the song “ekbar birajago ma hridi kamalasane”. It was such a soulful music that made me fully satisfied. What I miss in this country, every year during Durga Puja is the sound of famous dhak and Ramprasadi bhajans.
When my turn came to speak, Lushen Pillay, an attorney by profession, introduced me to the audience and requested me to deliver a discourse on the topic “The Magnificent Mahalakshmi”. I congratulated the devotees of the centre for making such a beautiful decoration with predominant red colour. Mahalakshmi is associated with red, signifying rajas. I took up from there to explain how the three colours that we use namely, black, red and white are closely interwoven with the three concepts of Shristi, sthiti and vinasha and in turn bring in the ideas of three aspects of one Shakti. My discourse mainly focussed on the eight types of manifestation of Mahalakshmi called “ashta-lakshmi”. There are of course differences in the nomenclature of these eight aspects in different scriptures. But from the point of view of a man’s evolution, I chose the eight aspects and developed this theme in much detail. I have touched in brief of this ashta-lakshmi in one of my earlier posts here.