(31) DECORATIONS TO AMBA (GODDESS)
27th January, 1946
You have seen the decorations made in the shrine of Mathrubhuteswara on the first day of Navarathri festival last year. There was a different type of decoration every day during those nine days, and on one of the days, in accordance with the Puranic story that Amba went out to do tapas as she could not bear the separation from Siva, the idol of Amba was decorated suitably and was put in the shade of a tree. After the night meal was over that day, Bhagavan was taken to that place and was shown that idol.
Next morning, in the hall, while talking about the ornamentation in the temple of Arunachaleswara and in this shrine, Bhagavan said, “Yesterday’s ornamentation was intended to show that Amba was doing tapas. Unable to bear the separation, she goes out to do tapas (penance) here.
Parvati is depicted as sitting in a stylish pose under a tree to do tapas, wearing a silk saree, gold jewels and flower garlands. What our people do is always like this. Tapas means meditation connected with the practice of self-denial or bodily mortification, does it not? Amba is reported to have closed the eyes of Siva with both her hands for fun, and to expiate that sin, Parameswara asked her to perform penance, and so she left her husband, went to a lonely place, and in self-mortification, forgot about her body, became weak and with great austerity, performed tapas. See the way Amba is decorated to depict that story. She is dressed like a Maharani with diamonds and emeralds and gold ornaments and wearing a silk saree and flower garlands!”