Originally Posted by Shivani Devi
That's wonderful Bindu.
It's a bit difficult for a full-on Shiv Bhakta to worship the Divine Mother after noting everything is Shiva, with Shakti only a manifestation of the Saguna aspect of Brahman and the challenge for me this Navaratri has been to try and find my own personal 'workable model' of the Divine Goddess.
So, I started out with Ardhanarishwara and I could accept that. I could accept the Goddess as being Shive (or the feminine form of Shiva) and yet I wanted to go deeper, so I went into the whole Shri Yantra and made it my avatar.
The triangles pointing downward represent Shiva, as the energies flowing down from the Crown Chakra and the triangles pointing upwards are the energies from the Goddess, flowing upwards from Muladhara and thus, I worship the Goddess in the forms of Lakini, Dakini, Makini and Kundalini herself! The latent power existing within us all and everything is just a representation of Her!
So, with that I went back to joyfully reading Adi Shankara's Soundarya Lahari again.
Om Namah Shivay
Hi Shivani Devi
I second your post. I have had some problems too with this Goddess worship as my mind tends to stick to Shiva...isness.
I have always loved the iconography of Shiva. And also I have repeated a Shiva mantra for decades. Still that path I'm on is a path which worship shakti and Shiva.
I struggle with the concept (and truth) of the fact that Shiva and Shakti are ONE. Worship of Mother IS worship of Shiva. And as you also say that the road to Shiva is through the Shakti. This is said also on paths which are more exclusive Shiva centered paths like Lakshan joo's teachings et.c..
I have alternated with Devi bhakti and Shiva bhakti feeling a bit torn. But slowly the issue have been more blended. I have also practiced the "trick" of worshipping Ardanishwara - the half shiva - half shakti picture.
During navratri I have practiced some devi mantran, but still sticked to an increased effort of my Shiva mantra.
Swami Shivananda in his book about hindu festivals said that increased Japa of your tutelary deity is what his devotees do during navratri.
Here is Shivananda's tips on navratri
3.All are exhorted to do the maximum number of Japa of the Navarna Mantra, Aim hreem kleem chaamundaayai vichche, or the Mantra of their own tutelary Deity.
So I have done much japa of my shiva mantra, but still practiced some chanting of Devi mantran and tuning into her......