About the author

Matthew Butler

Matthew Butler is Chief Editor of SpiritualSun.com, a website exploring the history and practice of the ancient Religion of the Sun. A keen writer since his youth, he holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and has a natural interest in probing hidden truths and higher knowledge. He felt called to study spirituality in 2004 and has pursued it ever since. On The Spiritual Sun, he directs his skills and inquisitive nature towards shedding light on the ancient Religion of the Sun, which he investigates both as a writer/researcher and practitioner.

35 Comments

  • It is incredible to read through multiple excerpts related to the mother goddess, you can really see how the sacred texts try to highlight her invincibility. How inspiring to have our own inner spiritual warrior willing to fiercely fight for us and guide us through. All we need is to have a willingness to learn and accept our mistakes, the rest we give to her.

    Thank you Matthew for putting this article together.

  • Thanks very much for sharing this detailed article Matthew. The personal connection with our own divine mother is a very important one to develop and a source of strength during difficult times.

    The quote from Krishna stood out to me: “Desire consumes and corrupts everything. It is man’s greatest enemy.” I’ve found it can be challenging to let go of ideas of how I would like things to be, rather than how they actually are. But at the same time, I realise that unless I accept whatever circumstances life brings to me, there will always be an inherent unhappiness, due to the dissatisfaction caused by unfulfilled desires.

    It is very fortunate that by doing this spiritual work, there is a hope of gaining an inner peace that can remain regardless of outside circumstances.

  • Thank you Matthew; reading this helped me to remember the immense power of the divine mother, something that can become easy to forget. When the sheer strength of the divine mother is glimpsed through seeing how she is portrayed as an indefatigable warrior in these ancient hymns and texts like the Bhagavad Gita, it encourages me to explore my own connection with her. It’s hard to comprehend that such a power exists, that there is a simple line of communication and an endless compassion response available, that simply relies on my own ability to remember, find sincere longing to be separated from the darkness, and ask.

    I was touched again by a great sense of wonder of how it’s the feminine aspect of the Being that has this fierce warrior-like and protector role, something usually attributed to male forces. I think it can be understood when you imagine the courage of an earthly mother who is faced with protecting her child, and how it’s common knowledge that the most dangerous animals in the wild to stumble across are mothers with young.

    I hope that this article inspires a greater contact between us who are in darkness and our generous, loving, protective Divine Mother.

  • I enjoyed reading through these excerpts and what stood out to me the most was how much compassion our Spiritual Mother has. I often feel her presence and although I forget her at times she seems to be always there – loving and full of compassion.

    Thank you, Matthew, for this uplifting reminder of this beautiful force within us!

    • Hi Karim, hard to say if there is a definite favorite, but I have been deeply moved by listening the Devi Aparadha Kshamapana Stotram which is a prayer of forgiveness. I have had similar experiences listening to other hymns too, but that one stays on the theme of repentance throughout the song more so than the others, and I find that aspect of these hymns in particular can really strike a chord in me.

      I don’t so much recite it as a prayer but listen to it (although I imagine it would be nice to sing it if one could learn and remember all the Sanskrit words). I’ve found listening to a song like that can lift me out myself so to speak, and bring me into that feeling of sincerity and longing to speak with my Spiritual Mother honestly. It can spark the feeling of repentance within me, because I can relate so much to the words. It also helps me to feel her there with me, galvanizing the longing and impulse reach out to her for help, mercy and deliverance, reminding that she is there it to save one from the darkness within.

      So while I prefer to pray in a direct and personal way, as a dialogue with her, I have found that listening to hymns of prayer — the combination of the words and the music — can uplift me and help me to connect with her, put me in a better state to pray, and communicate from the heart so to speak. I imagine the effect could be even more powerful if the hymn was learned and sung fully with the meaning understood.

      • ŘThanks Matthew. I enjoyed listening to the two song renditions of that prayer that I’m familiair with, recently and again just now while watching the evening sun set.
        It’s great how a song like that can help to cause a part within ourselves to be brought to the surface.

        (On a slightly off topic note: it feels pretty privileged to be able to listen to such specific artistic expressions at one’s leisure with the means of modern technology.)

        The prayer itself I also find to strike a cord. It feels to me to be about that true sincerity felt upon realising our situation. An expression of that.

        Some lines of thought I also had were that it seems that underneath, deep down inside, we know how things are.
        As young children we might naturally feel a stronger connection to her, also at that time we have the benefit of actually being in that situation of being a dependant child of our physical parents. But then after childhood we get lost…, distraction after distraction as the rollercoaster program of the subconscious kicks in, with us trapped in it. (To try to keep things concise) There seems to be something very special about that moment where, in not wanting all of that mess anymore, we remember and turn to her. My thought was that it must be something incredibly moving as well for the divine mother, to finally be  able to pour her overflowing forgiveness onto the person who’s finally reached the state where they’re ready to receive it.

        • I think that’s quite a good summary Karim – how the innocence of childhood gives way to the chaos of adulthood, until we no longer want to live in that mess of mind and the emotions and actively seek the solace of spiritual forces outside of us.

          And yes, that moment must also be wonderful for the divine mother – to have her child returning to her. It reminds me of the parable of the Prodigal Son, which Jesus spoke about in The Bible.

  • It was nice to take the time to read this, making me more attentive to her and the excerpts helped me feel that warmth of her presence with me.

    Good to see them put together like this. It paints a clear picture of her role. Each of those songs and texts has something which can hit a snare and teach something. Don’t want to comment on each as this message would become very long, but they’re lovely.

    Many cultures in the modern day do not have her, or significantly recognise her, as part of their ways. More serious still I can see is that people are missing the personal connection to her within themselves. How lonely many must feel at times, faced with the difficulties of life and their own low states. Not knowing that she exists and that anyone can turn to her to make the difference. This is a sad thought. I remember I felt ‘choked’ and cornered like this during difficult times in my life before finding out about her.

    During the many years it now feels like a natural thing for me to turn to her. But it’s good to be reminded so as not to take what she does for us for granted. In very dire circumstances, like the ‘cow in the mire’, her help is probably felt strongest. (along with the learning) A good thing about difficult circumstances like that is that it can make one become so close to her.

    But also in situations that seem more everyday she is so important. To share a little experience I had this morning. I went out to meet sunrise and go for a walk at dawn in the park. At every turn the beauty was just incredible. Surrounded by spring’s lush green tints all around, blue sky and golden sun reflections in silent water, fresh morning aroma’s, blossoming, Etc.
    To boil things down to the fundamentals. Perceiving like that felt very clearly and distinctly as one way of being. Where the real me, consciousness, just ‘is’. One with reality and the divine flow streaming through you.
    But this state was not something I could keep as, again very distinctly, there was the ‘self’ trying to come in and occupy my psyche. Busy with how it could use my life for itself. (That’s not such a bad intention one might say.) But the way of conscious being is outside of it completely, ‘of a different nature’, and it can’t be put in words.

    The way I was able to end the ongoing upcoming occupations was by appealing to my divine mother each time. So even in the real time effort she’s so important. But even more so in realising where her help will hopefully one day lead. Where we are completely freed from that ‘self’, and can be alive.

    • Karim, I’ve also thought how lonely and weak people must feel when they have no concept of their divine mother’s existence. It’s hard to know that she’s there but to feel separate from her, but to not even have a sense that she exists is a really sad reflection on the way people live in these times. Saying that, I’ve also met people who, without putting it into words, can sense the strength of her, as a well-spring of strength that they can draw upon, like a will power that can help then to overcome their lower forces. I think that I had a sense of her power and role before I came across the teachings that helped me to develop the relationship with her, and that’s why I resonated with it and accepted it as true. I’m sure it’s the same for many people, which means it’s extra sad that this knowledge is not more wide spread.

      • Hey Ella,

        It also makes me happy to see the ways her influence and energy is still experienced by people, even without the knowledge of her. Sometimes perhaps even through a film someone might for a moment feel those realities of the existence of a spiritual mother, only to switch back into a paradigm cut off from her when it’s over.
        Also she’s part of life and I guess in some ways she’s present in many of our experiences in creation.
        It was for me a fundamental difference to learn of her compared to not being aware of my divine mother, this was because it allowed me to be open to her help. Also in general it gave a purpose and direction to what I should do in my day, like a team working towards a greater goal within daily life. Rather than it being pretty aimless and in a way isolating to oneself.

        • Yes, I agree, it’s a big shift when you become more aware of her presence and start to really believe and feel she is real, rather than feeling her incipiently but not being sure. The first time I explored the practices to connect to my divine mother were totally amazing, like joyful reunions between us: “I knew you were real!”/”Hurrah you found me!” 🙂
          It makes me think of how the inner work is this gradual unpeeling of the ignorance that keeps us separate from our Being, and how conscious action is always more rewarding and powerful than unconscious.

      • Yes, I agree Ella and Karim – it’s a very sad existence to not have that beautiful personal bond with the divine mother, whereas developing it can provide a great source of comfort and strength throughout our lives.

    • That sounds like a beautiful walk Karim. It’s wonderful that with the help of our divine mother, we have the chance of holding onto that beauty in every moment, regardless of the environment we find ourselves in.

  • Thank you Matthew I really enjoyed reading it and was inspired too.

    I loved the video you included the singing and dancing was beautiful and shows how much art plays an important role in a culture that uplifts and teaches people.

    Lucia, I also really enjoyed the video you included in your comment – I thought it was a wonderful depiction of how they portray the Divine Mother defeating the evil within a person, even how they portray the battle and even the scene. That video very much reminded me of the spiritual meaning of the Autumn equinox I read in the Path of the Spiritual Sun.

  • That’s a quite educational article for me who I don’t know much about Hinduism. Thanks, Matthew and team!

    Those references are covering nicely and in-depth the warrior aspect of the divine’s mother role and with a lyric way which really inspires to go closer to Her.

    The “hopes and longings ever torture me” also stood out
    Thanks again

  • It’s great to have all these passages collected and explained so well – it gives such a deep picture of how the mother goddess in this aspect was seen across the Hindu tradition.

    The songs in particular are very relatable and touching. It seems to me they provide insight into how to nurture a relationship with the divine mother and into the type of repentance and sincere desire to change that is needed to really get rid of the darkness within.

  • Thanks for the excellent article Matthew. You’ve clearly put a lot of work into comprehensively researching this topic. It’s inspiring to see quotes from a variety of ancient documents synthesised like this.

    All the best.

  • It’s amazing just how clearly it comes across in the songs and sacred texts here to pray to the Spiritual Mother to rid oneself of ego states within. What a timeless and very important teaching that we are very lucky has been preserved so well in these songs and texts in this tradition. Thanks for tying it all together Matthew!

  • I’m so very grateful to have learned about the Goddess. She wasn’t a part of my life growing up. But I remember being drawn to her when I came across writings about her as a teenager. It’s made a huge difference in my life to know about her and to be able to pray and go to her for help. To be guided by her. Reading these excerpts I’m amazed at just how powerful and merciful she really is. That we can repent and she will help us, even after we’ve made many mistakes. I’ve heard it said that our Divine Mother never leaves us.

    Thank you for this wonderful article.

    • I agree Anne Linn – the magnificence of her love and compassion is beyond comprehension, how come doesn’t she get tired of our repeating mistakes, I often wonder. And sometimes I wonder, will today be the day when she’s had enough! Sometimes I feel stronger repentance for something I’ve done wrong, and I think, I should have known better, how can it be forgiven… but then I sometimes feel her lovingly soothing my intense feelings and uplifting me, giving me strength to try again. Knowing about her mercy makes me want to try better, as she is trying so very hard for us. I love how in one of the songs it says, ‘For a bad son may sometimes be born, But a bad mother, never…’ Anyway, thank you for sharing.

      • I know what you mean. It’s a wonder she doesn’t get tired of helping us 🙂 It’s a love I’d like to be more open to receiving.

        • Yes, I agree Anne Linn and Laura – the connection with the divine mother is really a beautiful mother-child relationship.

  • As I have just found the English translation of the lyrics of the captivating Kali dance from an Indian movie called Jai Dakshineshware Kali Maa, I thought of posting the link to it here, since the article deals with this aspect of the goddess. For those who don’t know, the movie is about a girl dedicated to the goddess Kali who helps her to deal with difficult and unfair situations in her life.

    The lyrics and their translations are in the description of the video. It looks like they are from the so-called Kali Tandav Stuti, but I was not able to trace the origins of the text, the video just says “traditional”.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gbTKX6eRByo

    And here is another link to the same dance that has a short excerpt from the movie on the beginning, which I thought was nice, as there the uncle explains the girl that Kali is in fact a very kind goddess, but had to take on such a terrible from in order to kill demons:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MnD4WZRn7aE

  • Wow, Matthew. What a great article on the warrior aspect of the Divine Mother. There is so much in this article, I will need to read through it again and again; so much to read and fully comprehend. I really like the lyrics of the songs and the prayers. I can relate to so much of what is said -to being lazy, foolish, and in particular being pursued by four robbers. It is notable that these afflictions are as old as the world is old. There have always been wonderful teachings and texts helping humanity to overcome the inner darkness that plagues us.

    Thank you so much for sharing these wonderful texts and teachings from the great ancient Hindu works. I look forward to studying these in depth and also to incorporating them into daily prayers.

    So inspiring!

  • Matthew thank you a lot for your provided information about the Mother Goddess and a very good approach of that subject.
    Lots of things to read, to realize and
    understand from your article, thanks a lot

  • Thank you Matthew for this great article on the power and significance of the goddess Durga/Kali that conquers evil within men. It seems quite unbelievable to me how this sacred tradition of the warrior goddess had survived in India up untill today. As you mentioned, it is really unique among today’s world religions. Even though Christian Mary is also sometimes depicted as crushing a serpent and people often pray to her, it has never reached such magnitude as Indian worship of the goddess/Mahadevi.

    I found it particularly amazing what you wrote about how Durga Puja is held over 9 nights around the Autumn Equinox, which seems like still retaining some of the ancient symbology. As The Path of the Spiritual Sun book mentions, the Autumn Equinox is specifically related to this warrior aspect of the goddess, and the number 9 also has its special significance in this sense. I also find it interesting that having Durga as a warrior goddess seemingly was not enough, so the Kali aspect had to emerge, for even more fierce dealing with the egos (and maybe more pronounced connection to the fiery energy).

    Also what an apt painting illustrating that passage from Mahabharata where Krishna advises Arjuna to pray to the Devi before the battle. I have seen some of Raja Ravi Varma’s paintings before and really liked them; how great that he illustrated this particular scene.

    And finally, the passage from Bhagavad-Gita about appealing to our higher self/consciousness is intriguing too. I have a version translated by Juan Mascaro, and there the higher aspect is called “He – the Spirit in man and in all” and instead of intellect is reason. It goes like this:

    “They say that the power of the senses is great. But greater than the senses is the mind. Greater than the mind is Buddha, reason; and greater than reason is He – the Spirit in man and in all.”

    Put this way, It kind of reminds me of astral, mental and causal realms, and then the realm of the Spirit.

    • Hey Lucia, I actually got involved in this celebration when I was in India years ago. I was invited to join a pilgrimage (“for Durga”) where people walked through the night to a temple dedicated to her. It was impressive to me that something like this was so commonplace – it wasn’t a massive deal in a way, it wasn’t like the grand finale of the event, it was a relatively small temple, there weren’t support teams handing out bottles of water or anything – people just walked in the darkness and in the silence of the night. There was a special atmosphere though, throughout the walk and at the temple complex in the morning. It was very interesting to me how people in India (in general) are able to create this sense of reverence in a much more natural state. There was little sense of affectation to me, I suppose because people are so accustomed to religious practice and ceremony.

      • Hey Ella, it must have been a great energy there. I really like how spirituality seems to be a part of everyday lives of many people in India, and “not a big deal” as you mentioned.

        I have a feeling a big part of it must be coming from the direct spiritual experiences many of the people there have had over the ages and kept alive, so they know the Divine realms and beings are real and they just take it as it is. Sometimes even reading the comments of Indian people on Youtube makes me realise how naturally they take spirituality, and how much they know about the hidden realities, considering it normal.

      • That sounds like a lovely experience Ella. It’s great that there are still parts of the world where spirituality is so openly accepted and integrated into everyday society.

  • Great article Matthew! I really enjoyed reading it as it was a wonderful reminder of the Goddess.

    I’m astonished at how personal and relevant the excerpts you’ve included from the Hindu songs feel to me. They really speak to me and awaken a feeling of longing for connecting with the Mother and liberation from inner darkness. Thanks very much for sharing them.

    Interesting to read that “Maa” means mother in Sanskrit; in Finnish it’s the word for “earth” or “land” while the word for mother is very different (“äiti”). Perhaps it’s some kind of a very ancient relic in the language reminding us that the earth and nature are from the Mother and are the Mother. The concept has disappeared from our mythology it seems but other related peoples’ mythologies still speak of Father Sky and Mother Earth.

    It’s pretty amazing that the most important Durga Puja is held at the autumn equinox where the Goddess is celebrated as vanquishing evil and demons, as that really reflects what the autumn equinox is said to symbolize in The Spiritual Sun book, and how other cultures have pretty much lost its meaning and its being the most misunderstood solar event. I wonder what made it so that it survived with them.

    I was also wondering how it would affect a person who grew up surrounded by the veneration of the Goddess like this, and how it would be to spend many days celebrating her and singing these songs to her. Her presence must be strongly felt there. How incredible it would be if this acknowledgement and veneration of the divine feminine was so strong in other cultures around the world too.

    • That’s interesting Laura – how the Sanskrit word for mother means earth in Finnish. I think you’re right about there being a common connection, particularly as “mother earth” is still used as an English phrase.

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