Is the Divine Mother to Be Feared?


According to Yogananda & Ramakrishna Paramhansa, Devi is the Divine Mother of the universe who has an all-forgiving nature. But in India She is worshipped with respect, awe & perhaps fear by most people. Besides, even animal sacrifice is performed as a ritual. The complicated worship of Devi is performed very carefully (lest She would be displeased). In many books & scriptures, there are stories where She gets angry very easily. I am very confused. Please guide.

—Sam, India


Dear Sam,

I will answer you from Yogananda’s point of view. Devi, the Divine Mother, is the feminine aspect of God. She expresses God’s sweetness, love, compassion, forgiveness, and also His creative power. All the stories of Her getting angry are simply humans projecting their own anger and have nothing to do with the Divine Mother Herself. It’s just like those who consider themselves Christian but believe that God throws His children into an eternal Hell. It’s an untrue and very unfortunate teaching.

Divine Mother is pure love. When She appears to the devotee, She is exceedingly beautiful. She is everywhere, in everything. Yogananda used to say: “Mother is closer than the Father. When you pray to Her, She will answer!”

Complicated worship of Devi, the Divine Mother, is not at all necessary. Animal sacrifice is terrible. She is in those animals and suffers in them. She answers to love alone, not to any ritual. She would never be displeased with anything, even if you offer only a leaf, as long as it is offered with your heart’s devotion.

May you experience Her eternal love,