The Devī Mahātmyam is, in my opinion, the most beautifully apt allegory of the spiritual path. When we progress along the path, we encounter our inner asuras and learn to deal with them with courage, compassion, and strength. Our sādhanā, in the form of divine grace, gives us the ability to transmute our shadowy asuras into their light-filled counterparts. Along the way, we have glimpses of our own divine nature.
Whether we realize it or not, every single one of us has had this glimpse. If you’ve ever been lost in the sight of a beautiful sunrise, the sound of calm waters, the smell of your baby’s head, or the touch of your beloved, your gunas have temporarily been suspended to give you a glimpse of the absolute beauty of being. It’s just that our conditioning is so strong and our minds so busy that these moments are quickly obscured by the constant chatter that makes up our lives.
Spiritual practice makes it possible for us to recognize these glimpses.
With the death of Śumbha and Niśumbha in the Devī Mahātmyam, the author sings of the parting of the clouds to allow the sun to shine through. The sun here represents Self-knowledge, or realizing that who we are is beyond name and form.
The sun shining through is the significance of Vijayadaśamī. On this, the last day, we are ecstatic for having had the glimpse of our true nature. Now we know, for faith has replaced belief. Now, our sādhanā takes on a new life. It is filled with a different energy – one of anticipation of biting again into the sweet fruit of Self-knowledge.
This is why Vijayadaśamī is an extremely auspicious day to take up a new practice. When we make a commitment to take on a new project on this day, it is imbued with sacred energy.
Wishing you a wonderful Vijayadaśamī! What project are you beginning?