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DEVOTION TO BHAVANI

Singing the praise of Ambika, Bhagavatpada says in Soundarya Lahari that so great is the mercy of the Mother that the moment the Bhakta (devotee) began his prayer with the words, Bhavaani tvam, Ambika did not even wait till he completed his prayer, but conferred on him saayujya, viz., the merger of the soul with the Mother.

Bhavaani tvam daase mayi vitara drishtim sakarunaam Iti stotum vaanchan kathayati bhavani tvamitiyah; Tadaiva tvam tasmai disasi nija-saayujya-padaveem Mukunda-brahmendra sphuta-makuta neeraajita padaam.

When the devotee began saying Bhavaani tvam, he was only addressing the Divine Mother by calling Her Bhavaani, and invoking Her grace, though the expression can also be interpreted as meaning, May I become You. It is this merger with the Supreme that the Mother granted as soon as She heard the words Bhavaani tvam. The significance of this verse is that one imbued with true devotion gets things unasked.

The saayujya the devotee attains by Her grace is the condition of supreme saanti, like that which rivers attain when they merge in the ocean. The same condition of peace and bliss is reached by the bhakta who starting from dvaita bhaava (feeling of duality of himself and God) reaches saayujya or oneness with Isvara through Her grace.