Literary Yard

Search for meaning

By William T. Hathaway


Humanity is now in disaster mode, trapped in three double binds: a choice between war or national decline if we don’t fight, between climate catastrophe or economic collapse if we make changes, between COVID 19 or drastic measures that are supposed to stop it. Threats surround us; chaos and confusion reign on all levels.

Such extraordinary constellations of trauma indicate that massive stress is clogging the collective consciousness of humanity. In the ancient Vedic tradition purging this stress, or karma, is called killing the demon.

Fortunately we are entering a very propitious time for killing demons. April 2-11 are the spring Nine Days of Mother Divine when Goddess energy is at a peak.

Mother Divine, the ultimate Goddess, manifests all the deities and the entire universe, then draws everything back into her at the end of creation. She has two chief characteristics: loving and caring for her creation, including humans, and destroying those forces that threaten them, including demons. Since those forces are now rampaging, we may be able to invoke her help and protection.

Durga is, among many other things, the deity in charge of destroying demons, and she has a special trick for dispatching them. Ordinarily she wears a cobra around her neck as a garland. But when the need arises, she can multiply it and replace all her limbs with cobras.

She sits wrapped in a jeweled shawl exposing only the beauty of her face. A demon approaches, drawn by desire. In his stained, shrouded aura Durga reads the chronicle of his crimes against humans, those foolish dumb bunglers who are easy prey for demonic delusions. She feels the suffering the demon has gleefully inflicted, and she also feels his own suffering that has propelled him to cruelty.

Durga opens her shawl to reveal full, rich breasts. The demon, bulging with lust, tears the shawl away and grabs. Instead of luscious arms and legs, he is confronted with hissing serpents, which strike and sink their fangs into him.

Durga’s venom is her purity, which is poison to him. His body stiffens in paralysis, but then his hideousness dissolves. He becomes younger and younger until he is an innocent child again. He gazes up at her with gratitude for being released from this painful incarnation, and with a smile he peacefully dies.

Durga and the other deities are not external beings separate from us. They are fundamental forces that pervade and maintain the universe, and since we are part of the universe, they pervade us. Our deepest self, our soul or atma, is eternally merged with them, and we can commune with them transcendentally when we meditate.

The demons are also not external beings separate from us but represent destructive aspects of natural law that pervade the universe and us. They are a necessary part of the dynamics of creation, but they need to be controlled on the cosmic level by the deities and on our individual level by moral sensibility. When we lack that due to a low level of consciousness, negativity runs wild, creating disasters for us and our environment.

Activating the deities within us through meditation, chanting, and yoga raises our individual level of consciousness, and that raises the collective consciousness where we’re all connected. Humanity then starts being able to implement solutions that were usually obvious from the beginning, for example: stop killing people and animals, live healthily so our immune system can ward off viruses, create an economic and social system designed to meet human needs and protect the environment rather than generate profits for a few owners. We can achieve all this with a little help from our inner friends, the deities.

If you would like to learn to activate Durga, her partner Shiva, and their child Ganesha and enrich your life with their divine energy, this website will show you how, all for free: The book Shakti: Realm of the Divine Mother by Vanamali is also a good source.


William T. Hathaway is an emeritus Fulbright professor of creative writing at universities in Germany, where he currently writes, meditates, and hangs out with Durga and Shiva. His novel of the climate change, Wellsprings: A Fable of Consciousness, tells of an old woman and a young man healing nature through techniques of higher consciousness. Chapters are posted at His peace novel, Summer Snow, is the story of an American warrior falling in love with a Sufi Muslim and learning from her that higher consciousness is more effective than violence. Chapters are posted at

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