I have a copy of the Bhagavad Gita lying around somewhere where I'm guaranteed to pick it up every so often and sift through its (not very many) pages. This morning, the following verses had a profound effect on me. (here, Bharata and son of Kunti are used to refer to Arjuna, to whom the dialogue is addressed)
The Great Brahma (ie prakriti or all of Creation) is in My womb, O Bharata. In it I place My embryo, and from it all living creatures take birth.
Whatever beings take form in all the wombs, O son of Kunti, their womb is the great Brahma and I am the father who implants the seed.
When I still my mind in meditation, I get an experience of a Reality that is not easily explained by the mind and its dichotomies: a sense that God is in the world and part and parcel of every little thing, that indeed everything is God showing himself in all His different guises, but at the same time a sense that God is also outside of it all. This is a very common experience; my own teacher, Sri Chinmoy , speaks of these two aspects as God the Creator and God the Creation.
In Indian tradition, they talk about Shiva and Shakti, the male and female aspects of God, but at the same time the static and dynamic aspects of God. The great spiritual Master, Sri Ramakrishna , described Shiva and Shakti as 'fire and its power to burn'. In many animal species (and unfortunately far too many human relationships) it is the mother who is left with all the hard work of gestating and rearing, of keeping creation alive on a minute-to-minute basis after the father's initial contribution; the above paragraph uses this powerful analogy to allow a glimpse into the deeper realities of Creation to one who reads with his heart. It also gives one a greater appreciation of the Mother aspect of God, and indeed for all the women across the world who through countless daily acts sacrifice and self-giving keep creation ticking along. Indeed Sri Ramakrishna regarded every woman as the Divine Mother Herself, showing Herself in millions of different forms.
- Sri Chinmoy's commentary on the Bhagavad Gita .
- Sri Ramakrishna talks about Brahman and Shakti (instead of using Shiva, he uses Brahman) during a boat trip with Keshab Chandra Sen, another spiritual Master. By his disciples, Sri Ramakrishna was simply known as 'Thakur'.
- Barnaby McBryde recalls a moving address by Pope John Paul I entitled 'God is My Mother'.