Musings by Veronica
Happy Navaratri! Tonight is the first night dedicated to Saraswati, the "Flowing One". In Her we are offered entry into the subtle world, to peek behind the veil at what lies beyond our knowledge of Creation. Saraswati is associated with the breath, with spiritual learning and practice, with the sound of OM, with the mind and the endless flow of consciousness, with music and poetry, with beginnings. There is so much to say about Saraswati, about how She inspires life and creates connection and cohesion between all parts of existence. We can go anywhere and everywhere with Her. The possibilities of the mind are endless and the exploration of What Is has no horizons. And yet, I find myself speechless with too many words. Saraswati is one of the forms of the Goddess I feel the closest to. I would like to tell you everything about Her so that you will love Her as much as I do. But tonight my mind won't settle. I couldn't decide on a topic for this post so I just sat down and started typing. And here it is. I don't know where it's going yet. We'll find out together.
All of the states described as where Saraswati's presence can bring us to are enormous. She doesn't offer us the inspiration for things that are small, like a single song or a brief moment of inner peace. She brings us to states that are whole and complete and ecstatic. If it's music, she gives you the totality of what music is and how it works. If it is spiritual study she offers us the means to have direct knowledge (experiential) of the Perfect nature of everything. Ecstatic bliss, supernatural powers, the whole of consciousness itself can be revealed through Her. And surprisingly those states of being are not loud and expressive. They aren't public. They are quiet. They are internal. I promise that when you have your moment of enlightenment no one will know it but you. When you experience a true surrender to God/Universe/Soul/Love no one will be aware of it but you. In yoga, especially bhakti yoga, there is a great deal of talk about longing. Longing to be in union with the Divine, longing to know the wholeness of the Soul, longing to be at peace, longing to be of service. Longing is what brought us into the world- maybe even what brought the world itself into being. While we are embodied I don't think we can escape from longing. Saraswati gives us an opportunity to be united with, to know, what it is we long for. So we can stop longing. In this moment, that sentence makes me want to cry. The very thought that there could be a fulfillment of that inner longing brings tears to my eyes and a swelling of emotion in my heart.
I have not considered this before with Saraswati. It's a new thought that what She truly gifts us with are not pretty decorations for life that we call inspiration. We may enjoy those offerings from Her, but what She truly brings us is the end of searching. That feeling that there is something that we're missing, that we used to know, but have forgotten- She gives us the answers that fill in that void. Where we are confused and looking for meaning, She offers us the illumination in our minds and inspiration in our hearts to shake us out of our depression and apathy. She gives us the Divine and tells us unequivocally that it is us and always has been. All the questions answered. All the doubts assuaged. To know Her is to know that the deep longing we have is just how we call this knowing to ourselves, how we willingly fill our minds with the flowing states of Divine consciousness so that we are one and the same as that flow. When this is our awareness, our reality, we are never again separate from wholeness, from bliss. Longing becomes the joyful embrace of THAT, a constant flow of joy that is always changing but is never less or more, just complete. With a mind merged with bliss we see the source of joy in everything. This is being inspired, when everything sparks awe and brings that swelling into your heart and excitement to the mind. This is what we long for.
We strive in so many ways to succeed on the spiritual path as well as in life. Just like longing, while we're embodied I don't think we escape striving. But while we are invested in what that striving might one day bring, I don't think many of us ever expect to experience it. We don't believe there is and end to the striving. We don't believe that we will ever really "arrive". We may believe that these states of consciousness exist, but that it is unlikely we will ever "get there". Remember that Saraswati is the "Flowing One" and all rivers flow to the sea. Your mind is part of this vast flow of consciousness and it is already moving toward the ocean from with it originated (and longs to return to). In fact, it's already united with that Source and always has been. Saraswati helps us redirect the flow of our own consciousness so that we are filled with the awareness of that Source. Like realizing that the beloved has been behind you the whole time while you searched frantically in front of you, Saraswati orients us to that which we long for which is already inside of us, within our grasp. Peace. Contentment. True knowledge of your Self and of God. Unending Joy.
Saraswati is ready to give us everything, to pull us fully into the flow of What Is. But we have to believe we can do it, that we are allowed to feel it. We have to surrender to that longing. And it has to be enough that when it happens, when you are merging into that flow of ecstatic bliss, that it will be so very quiet. Unseen, unnoticed by anyone outside, but unmistakable within you. It happens alone within you. There will be no words. Joy doesn't need to be spoken to light up the world. What would it take for you to embrace that inner light? Whatever you hang on to- your safety nets, your doubts, your practical "what if this enlightenment thing doesn't work out?" type of questions- make these your offerings to Saraswati. Give your mind to Her and see what She would fill it with. She knows you down to the core of your Being. She will never steer you wrong, but will give you everything you ask for. You just have to ask.
I hope you love Saraswati as much as I do. I hope you are never discouraged by moments of confusion or not feeling inspired. I hope you never worry about what you know or what you don't know. I hope you find infinite reasons to be excited about yourself. I guess all of this was Saraswati wanted to say.
OM shanti, shanti, shanti