Durga – a Power and Portion of the Universal Mother (HH 190)


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Goddess Durga, the conquering and protecting aspect of the Universal Mother…. Durga combines the characteristics of Maheshwari and Mahakali to a certain extent…
      Sri Aurobindo

As we enter the week of invocations to the great and mighty Goddess Durga, we share some interesting aspects of The Divine Mother’s relation with her during The Mother’s present incarnation.

Words of the Mother

When you invoke Durga, it is I you invoke through her, when you invoke Shiva, it is I you invoke through him – and in the final analysis, to the Supreme Lord go all prayers.
December 17, 1958


( Durga )

Tu es ma Lumière, ma Puissance 
et ma Joie
Tu es ma Réalisation 

You are my Light, my Force
and my Joy
You are my sovereign


Ô Seigneur, Tu es ma paix, ma puissance et ma joie,
Tu es ma réalisation souveraine.

O Lord, You are my peace, my force and my joy,
You are my sovereign realization.


Seigneur Suprême,
Tu es ma Lumière, ma Puissance
et ma Joie
Tu es ma Réalisation souveraine.

Supreme Lord,
You are my Light, my Force
and my Joy
You are my sovereign Realization.

      October 9, 1959


I am even later than usual: these are the puja days. Lots of people come here for their puja.
Did I tell you the story of Durga?


It didn’t happen recently; I can’t recall if it was last year or the year before, at the time of the puja.

     You once told me that Durga had “surrendered.”

That’s it.

She surrendered. That is to say, she was perfectly independent in her movements and didn’t feel the need to depend on anyone, and that year … I don’t remember if it was last year or the year before – she used to come every year when I went downstairs for the puja darshan: I would go downstairs and she would come and stay there throughout all the pujas; since I came upstairs, we haven’t been doing it anymore. But once, she came, and I told you what followed.

But it has made an enormous difference. People naturally didn’t notice anything, no one, but it has made an ENORMOUS difference in the atmosphere.

I was still feeling it very strongly these last few days.

     A difference, in what sense?

All those who do the puja sincerely (sincerely, of course, not mechanically but with devotion) always attract an emanation or a representation, a representative form, which is present at the puja and responds: it responds to the puja. Every family that worships Kali, for instance, has its own Kali. And it’s true, they are little entities that aren’t quite independent, but have their own lives. And in Durga’s case, it was very clear. So when I say it makes a big difference, it’s because now, in a general way, all those representations of Durga are themselves also in a movement of collaboration.

Naturally, all those entities were more or less spontaneously doing the Supreme’s work, but … (how can I explain it?) without their having a conscious will: they did it simply and spontaneously, because they were beings of harmony, working harmoniously. But now, in Durga’s case it’s very clear – very clear: she is like this (gesture turned upward, awaiting the Supreme’s Command). In her relationship with the hostile beings, in her legendary yearly battle (which is of course symbolic), she is like this (same gesture), eager to know the direction, the indication, the gesture to be made.

When Sri Aurobindo was here, every year at the time of Durga’s battle, I used to receive from him the very clear indication of the aspect of the adverse forces that had to be vanquished and subdued. (It was very interesting, and I generally noted it down, but I don’t know where all that has gone.) It went on like that for thirty years. And after his departure … there only remained the Supreme.

She would come, she was absolutely present during the six days of pranam downstairs. But now, since … I don’t know (I don’t remember because for me time isn’t quite clear anymore, it no longer has the same value), but I remember it happened while I was walking for my japa. I told her there was something more important than that semireligious recollection people have, that what was more important was the deeper nature of the Work and the choice of the adverse aspect (represented by a universal difficulty, or, at any rate, if we only consider the earth, a human difficulty), the aspect that had to be vanquished, dominated in order to lead it to the transformation. And it’s in this connection that I told her that receiving the indication from the Supreme was the true thing; that He saw better than we did what had to be done and the order in which it had to be done. And I felt … (she was very concrete [Mother makes a gesture as if Durga was in her]), I felt she was immensely interested. Then I told her, “Well, you see, hasn’t the time come” (I am putting it into words, but there weren’t any words), “hasn’t the time come to receive from Him the direct impulsion for your action?” And she responded joyfully and spontaneously.

The difference is that, now, wherever she manifests, I feel the call to the supreme Truth, to manifest it, is truly there.

     October 19, 1966


This morning I had a visit from Durga. She pays me a visit every year, but this morning it was interesting because she explained to me her point of view, how she feels existence, and at the same time…. You know that she came last year, I told you the story. (Previously, when I used to go downstairs to give darshan, she would not only come but stay there for the whole time.) But when she came last year I told her, “Very good, it’s very good, you fulfill your universal function very well, but you are missing something….” And I explained to her the meaning of being in conscious and attentive contact with the supreme Will. She understood. She understood and adhered, she said yes. And during the year she must have tried, because when she returned this morning, there was really a difference, especially a difference in the understanding, and she explained it to me. Then I spoke to her about the physical human nature and its infirmity, and she told me, “There is in this body something we – all of us up above – do not have and cannot have: the possibility of a constant Presence of and a constant contact with the Divine.” She had never thought of it before! Only since a year ago. And she said it with such intensity – such intensity and understanding and meaning…. It was as though all human miseries instantly disappeared in front of this EXTRAORDINARY thing – the possibility of feeling in every cell the divine Presence.

It was really interesting. The morning was really interesting.

She stayed here while I was washing, and she told me, “See, you can do all this, and not for a minute, not for a second do you lose the contact with That, with the supreme wonder. And we who are full of power, without any of your petty miseries, any of your petty difficulties, we are so used to our way of being that we don’t see the value of it, it’s something obvious, almost inevitable.” And she said (Mother smiles), “We never think of the Divine, because we ARE the Divine…. So there isn’t that will to progress, that thirst for ever better, ever more – we totally lack it.”….

But the gods have a divine ego. That’s what was really interesting this morning…. They feel they exist in themselves, by themselves, for themselves (Mother clenches her fist). Only, of course, there’s no comparison with the sordidness of the human ego.

But that’s what was so interesting this morning…. Once these divine egos have abdicated, and to the extent of that abdication, it will mean an EXTRAORDINARY transformation in the creation. It was like a vision taking shape slowly (Mother closes her eyes), almost with pictures, as if I saw the whole earth (gesture of a ball) and the picture of Durga (gesture enveloping the earth)! and the two together, it was quite lovely.

The earth in her arms …
(silence, with eyes closed)

And in those visions (let’s take this one, for instance), Durga has a visible, defined form, while this body [Mother’s] isn’t there because this body belongs here, down to earth; so it’s a radiating center of white light that can take a form (but doesn’t have one), a radiance of light, a vibration of light, of consciousness – of conscious light. And that’s very interesting …. (Mother keeps her eyes closed) It was as if to see how this – this consciousness, this light – can manifest in precise forms on earth without losing something of the purity and radiance of the consciousness….

The Lord makes use of everything, and He isn’t afraid. He makes use of everything.

It’s interesting, very interesting.

How He has used the gods, how He uses everything, how He has used the Adversaries … everything…. It’s all ways of being, and everything leads … where we must go.

     October 11, 1967


Oh, the other day, on Durga’s day, I went over there [to the music room where Mother sees people]…. I told you last year that she had come and made her surrender. This time, I went there (it was the first time I’d come out); as soon as I entered the room, I felt there was something, an impending attack. So I sat down, kept very still, and called the Lord as usual so He would fill the room with his light. And it was She who came in a golden light – a glory of adoration and consecration! She stood there (immense gesture). It was magnificent! Magnificent. And the whole morning was very good. Then, in the afternoon, things went wrong again.

     Couldn’t you strike at these people a little?

I can’t strike! (Mother opens her arms) I no longer can!

I smile at them.

I tell them, “Come, come, what’s the use?”

Durga, too, I have taught her not to strike.

So, till Wednesday. I hope things will be better.

     October 5, 1968