I finally caved and purchased a couple of books on Bhakti yoga. One was a small tract by Swami Vivekananda. The other was The Yoga of Spiritual Devotion, which is a translation of the Narada Bhakti Sutras, with commentary by Prem Prakash.
The former was a slight disappointment for no real rational reason other than its dry, cold tone, but the latter has broken me wide open. I’m not sure how I should proceed, except to surrender.
So surrender I shall.
I found my polytheism in the suburbs of Tokyo, in a Shinto Shrine to a Buddhist Goddess called Benzaiten-sama. She is better known as the Hindu goddess Saraswati, but She is worshipped across pretty much all of South and Southeast Asia under many names. In Tibet alone She has a myriad of epithets, most famously Yangchenma, “goddess of melodious sound.”
In Japan though, she is Benzaiten-sama. She came across the waters from China and Korea with books and Buddhism, while I came roaring out of the skies jet-lagged and stumbling.
I’d worked with Her for a few months, and already fallen deeply in love, but it was not until I’d stood on the grounds of one of Her many shrines and met fellow believers that I truly understood what that love meant.
My polytheism was born of hospitality for both foreign mortals and foreign gods.
My polytheism is community in diversity
I’ve been wanting to go deeper into my Tarot studies lately, but my efforts so far haven’t been promising. Then on two separate occasions today, I decided to pull a Tarot card for myself. Both times I drew Trump II, The High Priestess. This card is symbolic of intuition and inner knowledge. It is also often My Lady Saraswati’s “calling card,” as it invariably shows up when She has something to say.
This afternoon I remembered that the moon is assigned to the High Priestess, and I felt a certain nudge to check up on the moon’s current position in the Zodiac. As of this writing, it is in roughly the same place it is on my natal chart – transitioning from Gemini to Cancer.
I love Saraswati. I am in love with Saraswati. My devotion to her comes from that. I kneel before her and kiss her feet because I want to, not because I have to. I pay homage to her because she has earned it, not because I must. I love her and am in love with her, and my devotion is given freely and without fear. It is given with love.
I found a Saraswati puja online quite by accident, while doing research for a class project. The puja is short and simple, something I can do in the morning. The only problem is that I already have something I do in the morning – my Buddhist devotions. This is a problem, and My Lady is not giving much in the way of advice. She seems to feel that I have to sort it out myself…