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The hidden esoteric meaning of The Devi Mahatmya – understanding raktabija and the stilling of the citta vrttis

raktabija, who strides onto the battlefield after the death of Chanda and Munda, is none other than the citta vrttis. That raktabija is symbolic of citta vrttis, becomes clear when we examine his unique power- whenever a drop of his blood falls to earth, another demon of identical size and strength springs up.

In the battle, innumerable demons proliferate from raktabija’s spilt blood, terrorising and bewildering the gods. This is the nature of citta vrttis or thought processes. Each vrtti leads to one more as thoughts multiply in geometric progression. The same is true of desire too. Though the gods are bewildered by the ever-multiplying citta vrttis, Ma Durga Laughs Knowingly.

Is it better to conquer one desire by nipping it in the bud or to satisfy a thousand desires? This is a serious question that every aspirant needs to reflect over at some stage or the other.

Desire makes us human but it is also the source of all suffering. Desire is in the mind, as mental activity, as thoughts, as citta vrttis. When desire takes centre stage we often sit and watch helplessly wondering what we can do. How do we release from the endless cycle of desire, gratification or frustration? The Gods too are bewildered and frustrated by the ever- multiplying raktabija.

Mata Ambika Knows the greatest truth of Yoga.

Yoga is the stilling of citta vrttis (Yogasutra 1. 2). The best and only efficient method is to overcome the first desire, or first thought, rather than have to fight a thousand more. Conquering the original desire will release us from this endless cycle of desire, gratification, disillusionment and frustration.