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At the Feet of The Mother

Whom and How to Pray

One should pray to the form of the Divine that comes naturally and spontaneously from within. But one must understand that each form represents some aspect or power of the Divine and will lead you up to a point. Now most of us do not consciously choose these things. We pick up certain customs and traditions and keep doing them and feel naturally happy following these familiar things. It is somewhat like the food we eat and the habits we form as children which continues throughout life very mechanically and unconsciously.

Making a conscious choice as to what path if any to follow requires a careful reflection on the aim of life. If it is to lead the ordinary life that most people lead, a life of endless desires then it hardly matters whether we have this god or that in the pooja room and whether we light a lamp or not.

Then if we want to follow a religious life which means that we do not want to change ourselves but we want some god to help us continue with our usual life fulfilling our desires and extending some protection, then any of the gods will do if we see that god as the omniscient omnipotent Lord. He then becomes our Ista Devata.

But if we want to follow a spiritual path which means an inner change leading to the discovery of the Divine within then the gods can offer only limited help and up to a point. The Mother of course helps at all these levels since She is also Mother of the Gods as well as of the whole creation including us. But quite naturally if we place our trust in too many then it may also mean a lack of full trust in anyone!

So is up to each of us to decide. Lighting a lamp or putting this or that God’s picture or praying is secondary. What is important is what we are praying for. Of course too many gods and images may create a confusion, so the best is to choose one as the Ista Devata and then others as aspects and companions of him if at all we still feel the need for them. The choice should be an act of love for the Deity and not an act of fear or social pressure.

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