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Navaratri—the Sacred Nine Nights of the Goddesses:

Navaratri Legend:
The great legend of Navaratri dates back to the story of Mahishasura, the mighty
demon, who worshipped Lord Shiva and obtained invincible powers. Soon, he
started killing the innocent lives on earth and set out to win the seven lokas. He
acquired the swarglok. Nobody could save the living creatures from his tyranny.
Even the three mighty gods of the Hindu Trinity - Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and
Lord Shiva - were unable to defeat him. Therefore, all the Gods, including the
Hindu Trinity, united their supreme powers and created a divine being called Ma
Shakti or Durga, the Warrior Goddess.

With all the accumulated power and the weapons given by the Gods, Goddess
Durga set her trail to defeat Mahishasura. To accomplish the task, she entered a war
with him, which extended for nine long days! After fighting hard with him for nine
days, Goddess Durga finally killed Mahishasura on the tenth day. Consequently, she
lifted the tyranny of the demon off the innocent lives on earth and restored the
swarglok to the devatas (Gods). Therefore, Navaratri is celebrated to commemorate
her victory over the demon, which symbolizes the victory of the good over the evil.
The Nine Nights of Navaratri symbolize the nine nights of the war between Goddess
Durga and Mahishasura.

Celebrating Navaratri:
The beginning of spring and the beginning of autumn are two very important
junctions of climatic and solar influence. These two periods are taken as sacred
opportunities for the worship of the Divine Mother. The dates of the festival are
determined according to the lunar calendar.

On all these 9 days, the various forms of Mother Mahisasura-Mardini (Durga) are
worshipped with great fervor and devotion.

First three days

The goddess is invoked as a spiritual force called Durga also known as kali in order
to destroy all our impurities.

Second three days

The Mother is adored as a giver of spiritual wealth, Lakshmi, who is considered to


have the power of bestowing on her devotees inexhaustible wealth, as she is the
goddess of wealth.
Final three days

The final set of three days is spent in worshipping the goddess of wisdom,
Saraswathi. In order to have all-round success in life, believers seek the blessings of
all three aspects of the divine femininity, hence the nine nights of worship.

In South India, Saraswathi pooja is performed on the 7th day. Eight day is
traditionally Durgashtami which is big in Bengal. The 9th day is Ayudha Pooja when
everyone gives their tools of the trade -- pens, machinery, books, automobiles,
school work, etc. a rest and ritually worships them. They start a fresh from the next
day, the 10th day which is considered as 'Vijaya Dashami'. On this tenth day of
Navaratri in October - the holiday of Dussehra or Dasara, an effigy of Ravana is
burnt to celebrate the victory of good (Rama) over evil.

During Navaratri, some devotees of Durga observe a fast and prayers are offered
for the protection of health and prosperity. A period of introspection and purification,
Navaratri is traditionally an auspicious and religious time for starting new ventures.

Navaratri is celebrated in a large number of Indian communities. The mother


goddess is said to appear in 9 forms, and each one is worshipped for a day. These
nine forms signify various traits that the goddess influences us with. The Devi
Mahatmya and other texts invoking the Goddess who vanquished demons are cited.

Why Navaratri?
The Goddess, who is the invisible divine feminine, lives both in the human male and
the female. Within the human body, the Goddess’ energy is called the power
(Shakti); she is the power of economy, beauty, luxury, joy, physical strength,
fertility, and what not!

The yogis and tantrics developed secretive methodologies to access the divine
feminine both within the body-mind of human men and women. They came up with
the sacred diagrams called Yantras and the magical sounds known as mantras, as
tools to bring the Goddesses to the earth plane.

Time and space are also important factors. The goddess descends into the earth
during these 9 days. This year these 9 days fall on September 19th – 27th. There are
three dominant Goddess’ categories that are known as Durga, Lakshmi, and
Saraswathi. Durga represents the powers to destroy negativity in the form of
poverty, laziness, fear and evil and criminal tendencies. Lakshmi is predominantly
the energy of luxury, wealth and material power. The third divinity is Saraswathi;
who is in charge of inspiration, motivation, discrimination, knowledge, music, fine
arts, science and technology. They each share three nights of the nine nights of the
Goddesses each; called as Navaratri.
What does Sri Dattatreya Baba say about Navaratri?
Sri Baba says that invoking the Goddess’ is a tremendous technology. Most
priests are not trained in the esoteric tradition. Only tantric adepts know the
secrets of the Goddess’ worship. Sri Baba out of his compassion to remove poverty
and ignorance off the earth plane has revealed some secret rituals to be performed
at appropriate temples and at the ashram to invoke the power of the three
goddesses.

➢ The Maha Meru


➢ Sri Lalitha Tripura Sundari statue
➢ Sri Chakra/ Sri Yantra

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