NAVARATHRI AND ITS ORIGIN
NAVARATHRI AND ITS ORIGIN.
There lived in the Tretayuga a king named
endowed with all virtues. Hemarried Sweti, a most devoted and faithful woman. His administration was a model of perfection. People lived in happiness and joy. He was a patron of all religious and charitableinstitutions. While thus passing his days happily, he hardly knew that a cloud was brewing inthe atmosphere of his happiness. Suddenly he was visited by an evil star. A more powerfulking invaded his dominions; unlike other kings he offered no resistance and yielded quietly.Himself and his family were taken prisoners and kept in dark dungeon to lead a life of hardship. On account of the virtuous deed he had done to his people, God took pity on himand brought about his release. Owing to the curse pronounced by a sage, they had to wanderin a dense, uninhabited forest, subsisting on whatever they could get; not a single humanbeing was to be found anywhere. After experiencing many difficulties and trials theysucceeded in getting into a place where they found the sign of human habitations.The scene here is a beautiful flower garden, birds fly in the air singing their melodiousairs, and animals roam fearlessly at will in peaceful security. This law Panchavati that lentsweetness and joy to Rama and Sita in their exile. This was an Asrama where nature wasprofuse, and where the contemplative man would find an undisturbed calmness in the outerworld which could harmonize with that of his own inner self. Here they found to theirastonishment a sage seated on a deer skin, and offering his morning oblation to the supremeLord.They noiselessly approached the sage and stood at a respectful distance, till hefinished his oblation, and on finishing, they prostrated themselves at his feet. The sageblessed them. He was anxious to know who they were and whence they came. From hisGnan-drishti he learnt all about them and said “Madam, I see from your appearance that youhave once led the life of a queen. Why wander you now amidst the wilds of this region? Tellme what is the misfortune that has befallen you. I would most willingly do anything for youthat lies in my power.” The helpless lady was rejoiced at the soft words of the great sage, andhumbly narrated all her difficulties from the time of the king’s defeat till their arrival at theAsrama. He was deeply affected with her troubles and addressed her thus ‘Madam be notafraid. This is the bank of the river Panchavati. Here is the abode of three Goddesses, Kali,Saraswathi and Lakshmi. She wishes to do good to you. Go to the temple and worship Her.To those that sincerely seek Her, She is never far off! She, that infinite ocean of mercy is thehumblest servant of Her lovers. Who could be kinder than She from whom all kindness flowsand who could be sweeter than She who is sweetness Itself? Blessed indeed are they that seek Her, only, madam, you should seek Her sincerely.” An auspicious day was then fixed and shebegan the worship from the first day of the lunar half of the month of Asvayuja. The sageasked her to worship the Goddess Kali for three successive days, then to worship the GoddessLakshmi for the next three days, then to worship Saraswathi for another three days. Goddessadmired the patience with which she endured her sufferings. Pleased with the fervent pietyand the saintly be blessed with a worthy child, and that child which was to be born of her