In this world, we mortals are so overwhelmed with ajnaana (ignorance) that though we know a thing to be wrong, we are helplessly impelled to do it. Ajnaana is a disease for which jnaana (enlightenment) is the only cure. The Divine Mother alone is capable of bestowing this milk of jnaana (jnaanappal in Tamil), removing our ignorance, and satiating the hunger of our atma (soul). A hungry child thinks of its mother and the milk she will give and yearns for both. Similarly, we must yearn for the grace of the Divine Mother, so that we can obtain from Her the milk of enlightenment. For that purpose, we must be constantly thinking of Her and praying to Her.
The time available to us, after attending to our prescribed and essential duties, must be utilised in contemplation of the Divine Mother. If we do not switch over our mind in Her direction, when we have nothing else to do, there is the danger of the mind straying along the forbidden or sinful path. If, on the other hand, we think of Her, we will not only be avoiding doing wrong, but will also be fed by Her with the milk of jnaana. As a result, we will be endowed with the grace of Saraswati, the Goddess of Learning, of Lakshmi, the Goddess of Wealth. No only that, physically we will be healthy and radiant with charm (tejas) that flows from health. We will also be blessed with long life.
Thus, long life, health, wealth, and knowledge – what is the use of long life bereft of health, wealth and knowledge ? – will be ouras. Jnaana will sever the paasa (chord) ajnaana, which binds the soul to this world and makes us pasu (animal). When the bond is sundered, the liberated soul merges itself into that limitless and all-pervasive Bliss. Parananda, and is no longer afflicted by fear, sorrow, or pain. Thus, the effect of worshipping the Divine Mother is the fulfillment of the purpose of life – the merger of the atma with the Paramatma. This is the significance of the following verse in Soundarya Lahari, which is given as the phalasruti for the 100 verses preceding it.
- Sri Maha Periva in his discourse dated 31 Jan 1958