Originally posted on the Princeton Hindu Satsangam blog as part of our Navratri series.
Last year at Diwali at the Chapel, I shared a meditation on the story of Hanumanji and the stone bridge. I spoke about a near-death experience and finding strength to pull through from calling on God’s name. In the Ramayana, building the bridge to Lanka (a tremendous act of courage) is made possible by Ram Nam as the “glue” holding everything together. In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna says, “All things rest upon Me as pearls are strung on a thread.” The personality of Chandraghanta reminds me that all things rest upon the Divine as Source and Maintainer, in whatever form the Divine takes.
Chandraghanta is the form of Durga that leads the battle against the demon Maheshasura, protecting all that is good against his overpowering force. If we let Her, She also leads the battle against our own inner demons of fear, envy, and perfectionism (to name a few). I often find myself living in fear of being overpowered by the world around me, or by my inner demons. My tendency is to take responsibility for fighting that battle. It’s an impossible task and generates its own sort of fear and pride.
But that’s not my job. Almost every one of our sacred stories contains a reminder that the Divine is the Creator, Maintainer, and Destroyer – and that the responsibility for these sorts of battles rests in the That.
Chandraghanta reminds us that when we surrender our own sense of strength and pride to the Divine, we also surrender fear. We find the sort of courage that brings tranquility and humility with it. Chandraghanta is, after all, Devi, the Goddess – not just a warrior but also a nurturing mother.
When I can let go of my own sense of strength and responsibility and rest in the Divine, then I can find both courage and peace.
Prindajapra vararoodhaa chandakopastha kairyutha
Prasadam thanuthe mahyum Chandraghantethi vishrutha