represents the executive dynamism of the Supreme Spirit and is synonymous with power, energy, strength, knowledge, plenitude, etc. The grace of Shakti
showers boons of strength, peace, wisdom and prosperity whereas its absence leads to destitution, hopelessness, pain and misery. Those aspiring to become devotees of Shakti
will have to single-mindedly devote themselves to panchopchar pujan (five-fold worship) of Mahashakti, which manifest as (1) physical power, (2) mental power, (3) emotional power, (4) financial power and (5) spiritual power. The lack or extravagant use of these powers compels a person to live a miserable life. On the other hand, earning and righteous use of these powers leads to happy and healthy life.
How can we access the grace of Shakti? This mystery is hidden in the nine words of Gayatri-Mahamantra: (1) Tat It is the symbol of God, the Supreme Transcendent Being; sadhak can realize It through faith and devotion. (2) Savituh - Savita
is the fountainhead of Shakti; we can acquire Its grace through single-pointed sadhana
(3) Varenyam The Most Exalted. (4) Bhargo Effulgent like Sun, the destroyer of sins; we should resolve not to commit sins. (5) Devasya This is a symbol of Divinity; we should cultivate divine virtues within ourselves. (6) Dhimahi The capability of overpowering vices and imbibing virtues. (7) Dhiyo Illumined intelligence; augments wisdom, thoughtfulness, decision-making ability, etc. (8) Yonah - This is a symbol of divine blessings; we should learn to properly use them. (9) Prachodayat Prayer for Divine Grace; may Mother Gayatri
inspire us to adopt righteous living. On the auspicious occasion of Ashvin Navaratri
let us try to understand this mystery behind the worship
Acknowledgement: Most of the short stories, given in the form of panels, in this issue have been reproduced from the writings of Fr. Anthony de Mello (1931-87), one of the great spiritual masters of our time - with the kind consent of the publishers, Gujrat Sahitya Prakash, Anand.