Faith

Cosmic struggle

Evil and good co-exist confronting each other at the cosmic and individual levels. It is said that when Indra is driven out of swarga loka by Mahishasura, he seeks the help of the Trinity. Vishnu, Siva and Brahma become angry when they hear about the demon’s tyrannical ways. From their fierce faces there comes forth a great radiance.

Similarly, a great light issues from Indra and other devas and it looks as if the combined strength of all converges as the auspicious form of the Goddess Mahalakshmi also known as Chandi. The Goddess thus embodies the unity of the innate individual Shakti of all the beings including the celestial beings. This is symbolic of the truth that in the war between evil and good, the good forces have to unite to overcome the evil, pointed out Sri R. Krishnamurthy Sastrigal in a discourse.

The Goddess is given weapons by the celestial beings. Her large army, also endowed with tremendous power, helps the Goddess to vanquish Mahishasura. Every one exults in the glory of victory. But equally important is the fact that behind every faculty in every being is the power of Brahman and it is the same Brahman that is responsible for the success and victory of every individual effort. Hence no individual can claim ownership of one’s effort or victory to oneself.

In the Kenopanishad, Goddess Uma inculcates this basic lesson in humility to Indra when he goes in search of the mysterious being that Fire and Wind had failed to discover. She brings about the realisation of the Brahman in him by pointing out that they attained their victory and glory not by their own merit but because of Brahman, in whom is subsumed all the power and energy that is manifest in the universe, good and evil included.

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2021 7:01:01 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/religion/Cosmic-struggle/article16448398.ece

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