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The Essence of Navratri Celebration

Navratri festival is aimed at regenerating oneself. We emerge as a totally new and developed persona. In this span of nine days, we root out the evil tendencies within us, acquire and strengthen moral values in our life and finally get enlightened in the light of knowledge. Thus it symbolizes victory of positivity over negativity We celebrate this victorious journey- from ignorance to wisdom- in the form of Vijayadashmi at the very next day.

Various verbatim meanings are associated with this 'Navratri':
(1) 'Nav' means 'Nine' and 'Ratri' means 'Night'. This nine nights occasion is meant for worshiping the feministic divine. We invoke the three forms of the goddess -Durga(Goddess of destruction), Lakshmi (Goddess of wealth) and Saraswathi (Goddess of wisdom). The first three days are allotted for Devi Durga, next three is for Devi Laxmi and the last three is for worshiping Devi Sarswati.

(2) Our life is directed by interplay among three gunas of prakriti- 'tam', 'raj' and 'sat'. These nine days are a reminder of their co-existence. The first three days we focus upon 'tamasik' tendencies- inactivity and ignorance. The next three days, we stress on the 'rajsik' part- activity and related virtues. And at the last we reshape our thinking pattern in accordance with the 'satvik' knowledge acquired. It is the awakening of the Divinity within us; Divine, which nurtures the virtues, at the same time does not negate anything.

(3) All the problem in our life is related with body (physical), mind (mental) and soul (spiritual). ‘Ratri’ – ‘Ra’ means giving solace ‘Tri’ means three. Thus the reliever of all pain s is ‘ratri.’ It relaxes everybody. ‘Nav' indicates new; and thus 'Navaratri’ means the new night providing comfort from all our troubles.

A child seeks his/her mother at the time of any problem. Similarly we hindus have natural inclination to look upon God as mother. In fact, Hinduism is the only religion in the world, which gives so much importance to the mother aspect of God. We believe that mother is the creative aspect of the absolute. The quality of seeds with you doesn't matter, unless we plant them in the ground.

The 'Navaratri' festival creates a pure person out of us. The darkness around us is removed by cultivating the triple purity of thought, word and deed. This triple purity is described as 'Tripurasundari' in Vedantic texts. Kriyaa Shuddhi (Purity in action) is represented by Durga- worship. 'Vichar shuddhi' at heart is done by worshiping Lakshmi. 'Vak shuddhi' is accomplished by invoking Saraswati. The three together represent Shakti.
We live inside mother’s womb for nine months. At that time we keep on growing only – physically and mentally. Similarly, these nine days provide an opportunity to get back to our self forgetting all the problems. we must utilize this  time for self introspection and self inquiry. When negative forces became dominant, we get disturbed, unhappy, uncreative and thus unproductive. Craving, aversion, uncertainty and fear are negative forces of our life. To remove them, we need to go to the source of energy within us. That is Shakti and this sums up the very purpose of Shakti-puja.

Thus, at Navaratri, Goddess Durga is invoked first to remove impurities from the mind. The Goddess Lakshmi is invoked to cultivate the noble values and qualities. Finally, Saraswati is invoked for gaining the highest knowledge of the Self. This is the significance of the three sets of three nights when all these three are gained subjectively, and then there will be Vijayadasami, the day of true victory!



Shrawan Singh

Shrawan Singh

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