If we have mental equipoise, we can get a glimpse of Goddess Kamakshi. If we recite Her name, She transforms our lives. In due course, we begin to wonder if we are the same persons we were before we started reciting Her name. So miraculous is the transformation wrought in our lives by Her. Our aim must always be to attain release from the never-ending cycle of births and deaths. But we are at a loss as to how we should achieve this goal.

The first step is to want to attain liberation. Effort to reach this goal must follow the desire. We need both icha sakthi and kriya sakthi, said Goda Venkateswara Sastrigal, in a discourse. Goddess Kamakshi represents icha sakthi, and Lord Siva represents kriya sakthi. In other words, we need both the grace of the Goddess and of the Lord, if we are to be liberated from the samsaric cycle.

The Goddess personifies self-confidence and will power. The Lord personifies auspicious effort. Both are indispensable for us to attain liberation. The Goddess’ beauty is such that it attracted Siva Himself. She reveals Herself to those who have the quality of daya (mercy). This quality ensures that we follow a virtuous path in life. Good deeds and good conduct pave the way for spiritual contemplation, and this leads us to the direction we have to take.

While liberation must be our goal, and this is what we should seek from the Goddess, our worship of Her also gives us incidental benefits. Imagine an old man who plants a mango sapling. His desire is that his grandson should enjoy the fruits of this tree. The tree thrives and the grandson does enjoy the tasty fruits from the tree. But the tree also gives him other benefits. It gives shade, and the grandson is also able to enjoy the pleasing smell of the flowers. He sees birds nesting in the tree, and this too gives him pleasure.

The old man had not thought about these incidental benefits in mind when he planted the sapling, but nevertheless the grandson does get these benefits too. In the same way, while we do good in order to fine-tune our thoughts and keep them focused on liberation, our mental discipline and good deeds also earn rewards from the Goddess, in the form of worldly benefits.

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