any divinity that a bhakta chooses as ishta devi. God-realization has many paths, so to Shiva bhaktas, Lord Shiva is everything; Vishnu bhaktas would claim Lord Vishnu is everything. The Shaktas would say Mother Goddess is everything. These are all not wrong because in the end they lead to Self-realisation also.
Mother Goddess Devi manifested as Saraswathi, Lakshmi and
Parvathi. From them, we have Goddess Tripurasundari of the Tantrik path. We also have Mother Durga and Mother Kali as the most beautiful and symbolic rupa. What about Vishnu’s Mohini deemed to be so beautiful? Surely one cannot discount Rati, the pretty and exotic consort of Kamadeva also. Then one has the long list of Vedic, Puranci and Minor Goddesses. These are facility of paths for your
spiritual walk to reach Mother.
Kamarupini can also mean one who takes any rupa that she desires –kama. This has nothing to with sex as blindly written and interpreted. The Devi Mahatmya explains this to state that Mother Goddess Devi takes her various manifestations to fight dark forces of demons. As the ‘giver of form of desire’ should that not be Lakshmi, the divinity of prosperity? For example Mother puts a check on Alakshmi so that one is blessed by Lakshmi. We also cannot rule out Saraswathi who is the divinity of knowledge, the foundation of property and wealth. We may desire, but the desires turn into reality only through knowledge.
Kama is desire and rupa is form; so knowledge turns desires into reality. Sometimes all these go overboard. So
Mother Parvathi enters the scene as Mother Kali to put one’s prejudices, clouded mind or the ego in check. Brihadaranyaka Upanishad states that Mother assumes any forms at her will. In Katha Upanishad 2.2.9 ‘rupam rupam praturupo babhuva’ means ‘it shapes itself to the forms it meets.’
Rupa is body or any form, applied even to the forms of the gods which are subjective to us. The rupa-lokhas are worlds where the body and its appearance is a vehicle to take one to the arupa-lokha where the body forms are much less definite to us humans. ‘Arupa’ means formlessness but again this word is not to be taken so strictly as
to means there is no form of any kind whatsoever; it merely means that the forms in the spiritual worlds, the arupa lokhas are of a spiritual character far more ethereal than the forms we see in the rupa-lokhas. In the spiritual world one conceives God as an enclosing sheath of energy. To perceive this, you start with your inner guru as it is you walk the path of spiritual life. It is the inner guru that guides you between rupa and arupa of the Divine. Over time your wisdom would prevail over legendary stories of the Puranas. Siddhir bhavatu te sada – May success be yours always.
Om Namah Shivaya.....
Yogi Ananada Saraswathi