DIVINE MOTHER AS KANAKA PARAMESWARI
(The message given by His Holiness when he visited the Kothwal Bazar in Chennai and the Sri Kanyaka Parameswari temple inside the market).
We wash our bodies and clothes daily in order to get rid of the accreted dirt and keep them clean. Impurity gets attached to our mind also, during every waking moment of our life, as a result of bad thoughts, wrong desires and passions like anger. It behoves us to cleanse our minds also every day, so that impurity may not go on accumulating and cause us sorrow, sufferings and difficulties. The only water that can wash off mental impurity is the water of dhyana or meditation. We should, therefore, concentrate our thoughts on God at least for a few moments every day and invoke His grace to cleanse our hearts. However, bad a man may be, all evil thoughts within him recede to the background in the presence of his mother. Similarly in the presence of the Divine Mother, all of us can get rid of our mental impurity. The Divine Mother, in the form of Sri Kanyaka Parameswari, has been installed in this temple. The genius of our ancients is responsible for conceiving the Mother of all creation as a virgin (kanni). It is the duty of all to visit a temple everyday, meditate on the form of god installed in that temple, and pray for the washing off of all the impurities of mind. If we do so, all our troubles will melt away like dew before the sun; we shall be successful and happy, and our families will also prosper.
The manifestation of the Divine Mother as Sri Kanyaka Parameswari is sacred to the Arya Vysya community. She is the same Mother, who, in Her manifestation as Kamakshi, has been installed at Kancheepuram. Sri Sankara Bhagavatpada has installed a Sri Chakra also inside that temple, and established the Kamakoti Peetam. The object of establishing various Peetas by Sri Bhagavatpada was to remind the succeeding generations of the sacred injunctions contained in the Sastras, so that people may not get deflected from the right path.
With the passage of time, many changes have crept into our society. Food prohibited by the Sastras is being eaten and there is generally a deterioration in the moral standards. The classification of society into castes and communites was not classification of society or to accentuate differences. It was intended to form convenient groups, whose welfare could be attended to by panchayats of elders, without impairing the solidarity as a whole. Such grouping was based on duties, and the elders of each group saw to it that the group functioned properly and that people belonging to the group or community did not deviate from the right path. When such panchayats or nattanmai functioned, disputes were settled in the presence of God and wrongdoers were asked to make some offering to Him. In that way, the moral standards of the people were being maintained at a high level. The state had to step in only to protect the people from external aggression. Society functioned as smoothly as a well-organised factory, each man doing his allotted duty and all contributing to the common welfare.
As the occupant of the Kamakoti Peetam, I feel it my duty to remind you of our glorious traditions and of the correct conduct of life as laid down in the Sastras. The strength of the Peetam is the affection that voluntarily flows from the hearts of the devotees. It is on this foundation and with this capital of affection that I can function. What attracts a foreigner to India is not the wealth of this country, but the spiritual message she has given and is giving. That message will have enhanced value when the people of this country adhere to the way of life laid down in the Sastras the Sastras that proclaimed the spiritual message. I hope you will remember this truth and so conduct yourself with devotion, as to earn the grace of the Divine Mother. May the Divine Mother bless you with hapiness and prosperity.
April 6, 1958