By Dr Manish Pandit
In the first part of the post on the cause of delusion we saw that भ्रम् may be related to a variety of factors (part 1 link here)
Now lets go further and consider भ्रम् from a different angle- lets take भ्रम् in the context of मोह (considering the previous context in terms of the Bhagawad Gita)
The word moha which is considered as similar with भ्रम् also appears a huge number of times in the sahasranaam and shatanaam of different Mahavidyas as a characteristic of the Great Goddess.
Thus we have the following words: Mahamoha, Mahamoha Pradayini and Mohaghni among others.
Lets go into the first word Mahamoha:
The word Moha has a huge variety of meanings: It could mean: infatuation as is applied to inanimate material objects or to people, it could mean, delusion as in bewilderment when one is unable to apply the necessary skills to discern the truth with one’s intellect or it could mean loss of consciousness too as well.
Having grasped this let us now see, the meaning of just three of the words which are present in the Shatanama stotras of many Mahavidyas.
महामोहा- Literally the word means that the Goddess is actually the personification of all terrific infatuations and of all great delusions and indeed of all great losses of consciousness.
When we further evaluate the terms Mahamoha Pradayini or महामोहाप्रदायिनी, then it makes it crystal clear that the Great Wisdom is Herself the one who confers the actual terrific infatuation or the great delusions and indeed great losses of consciousness. These can all be construed as negativities which are being produced by the person’s own free will and actions but in this case it appears that the Sahasranaam and Shatanaam points to the Devi being the cause. But can we really construe all these as being definitely negative? It appears that in at least one particular meaning of the word महामोहा, we cannot be so sure.
Lets look further and consider the reasons behind why a Sahasranaam would actually contain both these terms if they were to be synonymous?
This gives us an impetus to think further a bit more carefully and understand what exactly the Seer of the mantra or the Mantra Drsta is trying to tell us. Could it be that we have missed something?
It is here that we understand that the Seer or Mantra Drsta may be trying to tell us that if the Devi confers महामोहा, then the Devi must also be the one who removes the veil of delusion. This would confer a somewhat positive connotation on the word given in the Sahasranaam/Shatanaam/s.
There is however, at least one more explanation at least for this term महामोहाप्रदायिनी:
In the context of Mahavidyas, we understand that the Devi confers Kundalini awakening. Could the term महामोहाप्रदायिनी have anything to do with this sort of reasoning?
It is here that we understand that the seer may actually be pointing to the terrific loss of the senses when the Kundalini has awakened and pointed upward thereby piercing the six lotuses. At every lotus is there ecstasy causing a loss of awareness of the surroundings of the external world. Indeed in the case of several great seers such as Ramana Maharishi, the ecstasy and loss of awareness of the external surroundings is such that it may even result in injury to the body as the mind itself becomes absorbed in samadhi.
To read my four part blog post on Devi as the Cause of Moksha, you may wish to start from part 1 of that series:
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