Devi is everywhere, her voice is as sweet as a veena

Devi is Omnipresent, the energy that pervading everywhere. We should speak the truth and whatever is pleasant to hear. Devi’s voice is as sweet as a veena. One should talk in a sweet and soft voice.

Sri Lalita Sahasranama praises Devi as Vyapini & Vividhakara. This means Devi is Omnipresent and all the forms that we perceive are of Her. In another place, Devi is praised as sahasra śīrṣa vadanā (who has a thousand heads and faces.), sahasrākṣi (who has a thousand eyes.), and sahasra pada (who has a thousand feet.) In Samskritam, sahasra also means infinite. Devi is Omnipresent, the energy that pervading everywhere.

There was a famous devotee of the Mother named Abhirami Bhattar who lives in a place known as Thirukkadavoor in Tamil Nadu. One he was asked the question “Where is Devi?”.

He uses to meditate upon Devi all the time and he couldn’t answer immediately. Some people say Devi is the consort of Lord Shiva always by His side yet some others say Devi is present inside the temple, many others say Devi is present in the various chakras and others say Devi resides in our heart and some people say Devi is in the milky ocean. So, Abhirami Bhattar couldn’t reply immediately. He said, “I don’t know exactly but I feel as if Devi resides in my heart”.

This is like the story of a great healer who was once walking through a narrow street. A cow was lying across the path. He didn’t feel like crossing-over the cow, hence he took a stick and tried to scare away the cow. Since he was a healer and knew all the vital points, wherever he tried to beat the cow he saw a vital point that would result in the death of the cow. Hence he was standing there not knowing what to do.

An ordinary man approached from the other side. Seeing him the healer asked to drive away from the cow. He simply took a stick and beat the cow and it ran away.

Since the ordinary man didn’t know about any vital points he could drive away from the cow but the healer couldn’t. In the same way, when Abhirami Bhattar was asked where is Devi, he couldn’t answer immediately as he was experiencing Devi everywhere. He praised Devi in his famous Abhirami Anthadi like this

Uraiginra nin thirukkoyil-nin kelvar oru pakkamo,
araiginra naan maraiyin adiyo mudiyo, amudham
niraiginra ven thingalo, kanjamo; endhan nenjagamo,
maraiginra vaaridhiyo?- pooranaasala mangalaiye

Abhirami! You are ever omnipresent, perfect, and auspicious. Is your abode the left- half of my father Shiva?, or is it the final truth of the Vedas or is your abode the white-moon full of Ambrosia. Is your abode the heart of this simpleton like me? or is it the sacred-milk sea? Would you condescend to tell me what your favorite abode is?

In LalitaSahasranama, Devi is also praised as
Om nija sallāpa mādhurya vinirbhartsita kacchapyai namaḥ
(who excels even the veena of Sarasvati in the sweetness of Her speech.)

In Soundarya lahari, Sri Sankara describes this as a story. The shloka goes like this

vipañchyā gāyantī vividha-mapadānaṃ paśupate-
stvayārabdhe vaktuṃ chalitaśirasā sādhuvachane |
nijāṃ vīṇāṃ vāṇīṃ nichulayati cholena nibhṛtam ‖

(Saundarya Lahari 66)

Each of the gods and goddesses has a name for their Veena. Narada’s veena is known as tumburu, Mother Saraswati’s veena is known as Kacchapi.

One day in the court of the Divine Mother, goddess Saraswati was singing a song on stories of Lord Shiva (Pashupati) which Mother likes the most. It was sung by the goddess Saraswati who is the source of all music and knowledge, so no need to say how beautiful it would have been! Mother was enjoying this and was about to say “Sadhu”, meaning “Good” to appreciate the music.

When Mother started to utter the word Sa, the entire court’s attention moved to the Mother and goddess Saraswati’s music lost its importance in front of the sweet voice of the Mother. Seeing this, goddess Saraswati understood that there is no more need for my music and covered the veena with the cloth so that the strings throwing sweetest music are not put to shame by Mother’s voice full of sweetness.

The above shloka in Soundarya Lahari is repeatedly chanted by music aspirants as part of their sadhana.

Devi stands as the perfect example of the art of communication. Purvavibhashi Sumukah. We shouldn’t wait for others to open a dialogue. We should open the conversation. We should speak the truth and whatever is pleasant to hear. Devi’s voice is as sweet as a veena. One should talk in a sweet and soft voice.

Madhu-kshira-drakhsa-madhurima-dhurinah phanitayah

Devi’s words are the sweetest rivaling the honey, milk, and grapes. The normal mutterings of Devi alone are enough to shame the veena of Goddess Saraswati.