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What is the Essence of Navaratri? By Omadath Sookram

  in Religion | Published 2016-10-03 08:00:41 | 275 Reads | Unrated


Durga Mata symbolizes the supreme power of the cosmos. She is the divine Mother or source of existence and the embodiment of Truth, Bliss and Consciousness. Durga Mata or Mother Durga is seen in her physical manifestation with eight arms, bestowing blessings and removing fear from her devotees. She

has nine main forms which are worshipped during Navaratri: Shailaputri; Bramhacharini; Chandraghanta; Kushmanda; SkandaMata; Kaatyaayani; Kaalaratri; MahaGauri and Sidhidhatri.

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"Nav" means nine and “Ratri” means night. So literally Navaratri means nine nights, more so nine nights of Devotion and Prayer to the Universal Mother.

There are two main Navaratri in the year, first in the month of Chaitra (March/April) and then in the month of Ashvin (September/October). In Bengal the image of the Goddess is made out of clay (much like the Ganesh Utsav or Ganesh Chaturthi Festival). The Murti or image is worshipped for nine days and then the visarjan or immersion into the water is done on the Tenth Day. The tenth day is called the Vijaya Das

hmi or Dussera, the day of victory.

Across the globe there are different traditions in the worship of the Goddess, but the underlying principle is devotion to the divine, where through the period the devotee is supposed to go through self transformation through fasting and prayer.

As discussed on other pages of the site, when Bramhan is only consciousness we refer to Bramhan as “SHIV” and when the same Bramhan is Will and Activity, this Bramhan is called Shakti. So Shiv and Shakti are not two, but really the ONE supreme. Water whether resting in the vast lake or gushing as a river is but still water.

Swami Sivananda in one of his many Navaratri messages says “Devi worship is worship of God’s glory, of God’s greatness and supremacy. It is adoration of the Almighty. It is unfortunate that Devi is ignorantly understood by many as a mere blood-thirsty Hindu Goddess. No! Devi is not a vicious demoness nor is she the property of the Hindus alone. Devi does not belong to any religion. Devi is that conscious power of God. The words Devi, Shakti, etc., and the ideas of different forms connected with these names are concessions granted by the sages due to the limitations of the human intellect; they are by no means the ultimate definitions of Shakti.

The original or Adi Shakti is beyond human comprehension. Bhagavan Krishna says in the Gita: “This is only my lower nature. Beyond this is my higher nature, the life-principle which sustains the universe”.

The Upanishad also says: “The supreme power of God is manifested in various ways. This power is of the nature of God, manifesting as knowledge, strength and activity”.

Truly speaking, all beings in the universe are Shakti-worshippers, whether they are aware of it or not, for there is no one who does not love and long for power in some form or other. Physicists and scientists have now proved that everything is pure, imperishable energy. This energy is only a form of divine Shakti which exists in every form.

Durga Mata

This dear festival of Navaratri is divided into three periods. The first three days are dedicated to the worship of the Goddess as Durga. The goddess in this form destroyed the demon Mahishasur, who represents the great ego. In this regard, the individual through fasting and prayer should introspect to awaken the divine energy within, to destroy the great enemy of the EGO.

The second three day period is dedicated to the worship of Goddess Maha Lakshmi who represents the birth of prosperity in its many aspects both material and spiritual. Having escaped the prison of the ego, we open ourselves to experience the true awakening, of all that life has to offer blissfully within our capacities.

The third and final three day period is dedicated to Maha Saraswati the great knowledge of enlightenment. Through the awakening, our experiences open up a new dimension of our existence bringing the cosmic knowledge of Goddess Saraswati. In the same way heat is synonymous with fire, in the same way our knowledge radiates from our inner awakening and guides our lives very blissfully.

It is customary during the Navaratri to read the shlokas of the auspicious Chandi Paath/Devi Mahatmaym/Durga Sapthashati. All of these are the same just referenced by different names according to location in India. The Chandi Paath emanates from the Markandaye Puran, consisting of seven hundred shlokas across Thirteen Chapters. You can check the Sacred Hymns section for a copy of the Chandi Paath.

Author info:- provides more news and details about Navaratri, which helps you to know more about Durga Mata and her festival. Visit our website more information about Navaratri.


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