With the holiday season fast approaching, our time will be filled with family and friend gatherings, office parties, and outings. Often times this can leave us feeling overwhelmed, stressed, depleted – and basically, off centre. We may have the tendency to push ourselves outward, ignoring the feelings of needing down time for ourselves. Can you find compassion and honour yourself, the Goddess within – while staying grounded and balanced with the here and now?
In the next series of posts, I’d like to offer you a glimpse into Shakti Sadhana, a Goddess path and practice that will serve you better in these upcoming hectic times.
What is Shakti Sadhana?
Shakti refers to the female principle of the Divine – the active, energetic force that can be both fearsome and gentle, both destructive and constructive. Shakti represents the heart, with common feminine attributes such as creativity and intuition. It is the creative force that makes this seeming world dance. Sadhana refers to daily spiritual practice. More specifically, a means to dissolve that which does not serve and cultivate that which does, within oneself, for the sake of all sentient beings, and for the attainment of self realization.
The Dasha Mahavidyas are the Ten Wisdom Goddesses. Dash hmeans “ten,” maha means “great,” and vidya means “wisdom.” The Dasha Mahavidyas are forms of the Divine Mother. Each of the Wisdom Goddess has her own distinct name, and offers stories, qualities, and mantras. Containing all wisdom, all potential, from the Warrior to the Mother, from the Beautiful One to the Widow – we will connect to each of the Divine faces acknowledging them as our own. We will steep into her forms through accompanying practices such as asana, pranayama, meditation, mantra, self inquiry and ceremony during Shakti Sadhana: A Woman’s Pilgrimage into the Indian Himalayas. Through this journey into the various shadow and light aspects of each of the Goddess forms within us, we will ground deeper into Truth, shed layers that no longer serve, and move forward into our innate Fullness.
Story of the Origin of the Dasha Mahavidyas
Sati, the consort of Shiva was the daughter of Daksha Prajapati, a descendant of Brahma. Sati had married Shiva against the wishes of her father. The vain Daksha performed a great yagna (with the sole aim of insulting Shiva), to which he invited all of the gods and goddesses except his son-in-law, Lord Shiva.
Sati learned about her father’s yajna from Narad Muni. She asked Shiva’s permission to attend the yajna, saying that a daughter did not need an invitation from her father. Shiva said that Daksha was trying to insult him, and so even if Sati attended the yajna, the fruit of the sacrifice would not be auspicious. Therefore he bade Sati not to attend the yajna.
Sati became furious – She thought that Shiva was treating her like an ignorant lady and not as the mother of Universe. So to show Shiva who she really was, she assumed a different form – the one of the Divine Mother. The oceans raged, the mountains shook, and the atmosphere was filled with the wonder of her form.
Shiva began to shake and tried to flee. But in every direction that he tried to flee, the Divine mother stopped him. The Divine Mother had multiplied herself into ten different forms, guarding each of the ten directions, and try as Shiva might, he could not escape from her, as she had blocked every escape route.
These ten forms of Divine Mother are known as the Dasha Mahavidyas.
(Story Source: Quora)
Watch for the next post in which we will take a glimpse into the blessings of Tara – the second of the Dasha Mahavidyas.