Shakti Avahan - Invocation of the Divine Mother
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Shakti Avahan - Invocation of the Divine Mother

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Item Code: NAY446
Publisher: Yoga Publications Trust
Language: Sanskrit Text with Transliteration and English Translation
Edition: 2013
ISBN: 9789381620403
Pages: 112 (Throughout Color Illustrations)
Cover: PAPERBACK
Other Details: 8.50 X 5.50 inch
Weight 160 gm
Introduction
Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati

The story of the decision to invoke Mother Katyayani as the sankalpa for the three-year Sannyasa Training begins with the establishment of sannyasa Peeth.

Sannyasa Peeth was established on 6th December 2010, the first anniversary of the maha samadhi of our guru, Sri Swami Satyananda. At that time, we were all in Rikhia and engaged in the program there. Upon returning to Munger, the inspiration came to invoke the power of Durga in order to commence the activities of Sannyasa Peeth and to per- sonally seek the grace and blessings of the Cosmic Mother. Therefore, for the first year, commencing on 2nd January 2011 and concluding on 2nd January 2012, I conducted the Durga invocation as my sankalpa and sadhana.

When the Sannyasa Training started, I was thinking, 'How can we receive the benedictions and blessings of the divine, and what should be the aspiration of the Sannyasa Training?' Thus, keeping in mind the aspirations of the Sannyasa Training and the energy or shakti that sannyasins would require to do the future seva, I chose the form of Katyayani and took the sankalpa of her invocation for three years.

What is the significance of Durga and what is the significance of Katyayani? The cosmic creative power is known as Adi Shakti, the primordial energy, the first form of shakti pervading the entire cosmos. To recognize the existence of this shakti, an identity is given: that of Durga. Durga is a generic name, just as 'yoga' is a generic name. 'Yoga' by itself indicates something which is vast and broad. However, if you say hatha yoga, raja yoga, kriya yoga or kundalini yoga, a specific branch of yoga is identified and the term is clear. In the same manner, Durga is the broad name of the cosmic power, which means 'the power that removes distress from life'. Using the terms Durga and Katyayani is like saying yoga and raja yoga, Durga being the overall cosmic identity and Katyayani being one form of that cosmic identity. Last year, the invocation was that of Durga, the complete shakti. This year, the form of Durga being invoked is Katyayani.

Through your sadhanas, you come to the realization of a higher nature within you and gain the ability to express that higher quality. The moment you gain the ability for such expression, you are connected with your spirit. In normal life you are connected with your mind and the senses; in spiritual life you are connected with your shakti. That shakti can manifest in life. It can become tangible, touchable, recognizable and perceivable as the manifestation of a higher force.

This cosmic shakti is recognized by different names in both the tantric and vedic traditions. In general terms, the vedic tradition recognizes nine forms of Durga and the tantric tradition recognizes ten forms of Shakti. Parvati, the consort of Shiva, was one of the preceptors of tantra and the Shakti tantras emanated from her. She had attained mastery over the tantric concepts of consciousness and energy. Due to her mastery, she was able to manifest the qualities or powers to help people, the devotees and the sadhakas of the time. During her life, she encountered many negative, destructive and restrictive situations which would not allow the spiritual nature of a person to flourish. Thus, her manifestation as divine shakti would occur whenever there was a conflict or struggle with the negative, destructive powers.

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