One of the founders of the Western Buddhist Order, now known as Triratna, posed a question to readers in his book, Meeting the Buddhas: if your life was a mandala, what would be at the center? Is it your family, your job, your faith…what?
The three years since I began a formal relationship with My Lady Saraswati have gone by very quickly. Yet I feel as though She has always been in my life. I’m fairly certain she actually has, but I’m honestly also convinced that these feelings have more to do with how She has radically reordered my priorities and claimed her place in the center of my life’s mandala.
So. You’re godbothered. What do you do?
- Are you godbothered? I mean, really. Use your discernment and common sense. Is it a god who’s come to call, or is something else going on? These are the main possibilities to consider:
- It is a god. More on this below.
- It’s not a god, but it is some sort of entity that is not-you
- Gods are not the only thing out there, and one can have very intense encounters with entities as seemingly humble as a tree spirit. (I have)
- It’s not not-you
- This one is very tricky. Only you know the inside of your head well enough to make this call. Is that numinous feeling a god’s presence, or is it the side effect of a new medication? (I’ve been there). Keep in mind the Delphic maxim and know thyself.
- So, it is a god. What next?
- Did you ask for this?
- No, I mean literally. Did you ask for a god in your life? If you didn’t and one drops on you like a ton of bricks, you’ve already had your boundaries disrespected.
- Do you want this?
- If you didn’t ask for a divine presence in your life and suddenly find yourself with one, that is an even bigger red flag that the entity in question (god or not) has boundary issues, and possibly other issues as well.
- Are you enjoying this?
- This last question is actually pretty important. It’s not wrong or impious to end a relationship with a deity if it’s making you miserable.
My relationship with My Lady is intensely personal, and much of it is too private to share, for reasons that are probably obvious to anyone who reads this blog. I’ve had to cut conversations in meatspace short when they began to get a bit too close to my actual practices, because I’m just not willing to share what those are with someone who clearly won’t agree.
My Lady Saraswati woke me up with a kiss yesterday morning. It wasn’t a romantic fairytale kiss, waking me up from my deep enchanted slumber. Instead, it was rather like my old grey cat pawing at my nose to be fed. Perhaps that’s why I responded so quickly? In any case, I saw her clearly for just one brief instant. I certainly heard her clearly when she told me this.
Time to get up sweetie. You’ve got a lot of work to do today.
My Lady Saraswati is a being of the most utterly refined sattvic energy, according to Hindu sources. Poems and prose describe her as beautiful, fair, luminous like the full moon. She is crystalline and shining. Saraswati is pure consciousness given form and dynamic energy. Saraswati Maa is my love and my life. I live and breathe for her. In many ways I live and breathe thanks to her.
Words are what we use to share reality with one another, but reality lies beyond them. This doesn’t mean that words are false or untrue, or bad or wrong. I think words are absolutely wonderful things. They are the mask that the gods wear to help us understand.
At least, My Lady masks herself in words.
My Lady wears masks made of many words. She’s worn many names. It’s fun to see which one she’s wearing, which one she’s really behind. I grab it with my mind and pull with my thoughts, but when She shows herself to me, I can only understand what I’ve witnessed by comparing Her luminous face to the many masks I’ve seen.
I didn’t believe in omens, or rather I didn’t believe I’d ever see one. My practice is so small-scale and personal, why would I need the “cosmic clue by four” as it’s called? My Lady is usually both very direct and very gentle in getting my attention, and in my head, omens were neither of these things.
Then came the move from my apartment back to my childhood home. I was relinquishing a great deal of independence (and space), and I wondered how Saraswati Maa felt about it. I was worried, frankly. Would she be ashamed of me? Angry? Should I apologize, since most of Our things had to be packed away?
The last day I went to the city to clean and pack, my mother took me to a fast-food restaurant I used to love. Wouldn’t you know it? Outside there were two geese, with their little pack of fluffy, adorable goslings.
OK. That was about as gentle and direct an omen as I could ask for. ❤