The Full Moon this Saturday at 8:19pm PDT falls in the Nakshatra called Uttara Bhadra. The predominant energy here is called “Varshodyamana Shakti”, the power to bring rain, and its presiding deity is called Ahir Bhudanya, the “Serpent of the Depths”. The opportunity for us under the influence of Uttara Bhadra is to open ourselves to the spiritual rain that comes from the ocean of celestial consciousness, refreshing our Atman (Soul) with the nectar of Bhakti (Devotion). From this immersion in the sea of Divine Grace we develop Vairagya, detachment from material desire coupled with the urge to work in conjunction with the Divine Plan.
One of the early stories from the Bhagavatam Purana tells of the sage Narada, lamenting to the Four Kumaras after visiting many sacred pilgimmage sites, “Everywhere men are only concerned about filling their bellies, and hoarding wealth. They lie and cheat one another. They have lost their discrimination and become dull and foolish. Even those that call themselves Rishis and sanyassins are charlatans—as entangled in samsara as all the rest.” Narada goes on to tell of discovering a beautiful but disconsolate young woman on the banks of the Yamuna River where Krishna used to sport, fanning two ancient men who lay on the sand near her. The young woman introduces herself as Bhakti and the two old men as Gyana and Vairagya, her sons. She tells Narada her story, “It was the Kali Yuga, Narada, which crippled me in all my parts, like a terrible disease. Somehow I crawled here to Vrindavan with my sons, and instantly I was young again, and beautiful as you see me. But look at my sons; they did not recover, but grew worse. Now I, their mother, look like their granddaughter. I am ashamed of this, Muni. I beg you, tell me how this has happened to us three. Narada looked into his heart and said, “Pure, sinless one, do not be dejected. The Lord Hari will bring bliss into your life again. This is indeed the Kali Yuga, when the good suffer endlessly and the evil are exhilarant. The Earth is so full of sin that Anantasesha can hardly bear the weight of her anymore. Nothing auspicious remains in the world, and men turn avidly to greed and lust, to thievery and murder. All that is sacred disappears from the world of men; no one cares, Devi, to even glance in your direction, or towards your sons. Your sons’ stupor is because no one regards them anymore. The Kali Yuga lacks every other virtue; in this age all things lose their innate grace. Yet, this is the only yuga in which the very name of the Lord can set a man free. Dear Bhakti, don’t let anxiety have its way with you. Remember Krishna is always with you. He loves you more than you know, and He will never abandon you. You, Devi Bhakti, will be worshipped above every other goddess in this Kali Yuga. Why, you shall be the only way to salvation.”Narada began to rub the faces of Gyana and Vairagya, chanting the Vedas, Upanishads, and Bhagavad Gita in their ears. Slowly they sat up, yawning but not opening their eyes. Narada took them to Badarikasrama and asked the Four Kumaras how to revive Gyana and Vairagya. Sanaka replied, “The Bhagavatam shall rouse them, for the secret Purana is the essence of all the Vedas and Upanishads and of the Bhagavad Gita too. Narada, it is the fruit of all those ancient and sacred trees, truly it is your Lord Mahavishnu himself.” So, the Kumaras sang the Bhagavatam on the banks of the Ganga and, in a flash of light, Gyana and Vairagya were young again, handsome, and full of vitality. Bhakti bowed before the Kumaras and said, “Lords, you have healed us of the afflictions of the Kali Yuga with the amrita of the Bhagavatam! Tell us where we should go now and where we should dwell.” The Kumaras replied, “Dwell in the hearts of the devotees of the Lord Vishnu. Help them cross the turbid sea of samsara.”