Friday, 7 October 2016

Significance of Chandi

The purpose of the Chandi is to depict the reality of evil.  Vice, wickedness, cruelty, injustice, suffering - all these are as much real as virtue, love, compassion, cooperation etc which humanity has idealized and dreamed about from time immemorial.  Dharma and Adharma, virtue and vice, are two inseparable aspects of reality, and we have to accept both.

 

We generally tend to associate Godhead only with love and compassion.  We forget that Godhead has also an aspect of power, terror and destruction.  It was this destructive aspect of Godhead that Sri Krishna showed Arjuna through the Vishwarupa Darshana revelation.  What we find in the Chandi is the same terrible aspect, but associated with the Eternal Feminine.

 

Mahishasura, Shumbha, Nishumbha and other characters portrayed in the Chandi are of course mythological, but this does not make them irrelevant in the present-day world.  Do we not find similar, or even worse, types of people in modern times?  Political leaders who commit mass genocide, terrorists who bomb crowded trains, buses and market places, serial murders, rapists et cetra, about whom we read in newspapers - are these people in any way better than the demons described in the Chandi?  As a matter of fact, Chandi assumes greater reality and relevance in the contemporary world than at any other time before.

 

Chandi is not a book of romance.  Nor does it promise a utopian world.  On the contrary, it wakes us up from our futile dreams and situates us right in the midst of the terrible realities of the present-day world which we very often fail to face.