Today is day two of a great annual Hindu festival called Navaratri. It’s the celebration of the triple mother goddess, as the creative force of the universe. Whilst Lord Shiva is said to host all things, it is the Goddess energy that takes form, and thus the universe is manifest.
The Goddess in Indian tradition exemplifies the unification of all the manifest energies of creation. Our usual experience of the world has us interacting these energies in their most dense, gross and seemingly separate forms, keeping us from realizing the inherent connection inherent in all.
In her mythology, the form of Devi – the Goddess – arose during a great war between the Gods and the Titan-Demons. The Gods were at a standstill in their efforts, unable to make any progress against an equal opposing force. The Gods realized that their animate energy, that which gave them power, was the very same source of the power of their enemies and so they united and externalized their energies to create a Goddess that would be able to vanquish with the Titan-Demons as an extension of Herself. Indeed, Durga is the only deity worshiped iconographically with the Demon she destroys. She liberates her foes as a part of Herself; this is Her boundless compassion.
For those interested, there’s a very long and interesting article called “God as Mother” which can be downloaded from the Divine Life Society’s website discussing Navaratri in a great deal more detail than you’ll find here.
Nav = nine
Rartri = nights
Navaratri is depicted as the battle of Rama against Ravana (lord of the Asuras) with an eventual victory on the tenth day. But the battle is also one of the Self in attempt to gain liberation, and the knowledge that form (Ma/Goddess energy) is the way we can achieve it.
The first three days are dedicated to Ma as Durga/Kali, who is invoked to help clear away our “demons”, our heaviness and karmic patterns to aid us in liberating ourselves from samsara. The next three days are dedicated to Ma as Lakshmi who brings nourishment and sustaining energy. The next three days are dedicated to Ma as Saraswati – the goddess of knowledge and wisdom, something we all need in order to grow and open.
The final day is celebrated as the culmination of the three aspects of Ma as Tripurasundari – the triple Goddess. The celebration held this day is called Vijaya Dashami – the Tenth Day of Great Victory.
If I was with the rest of my yogi crew in the US or Thailand I could join in the great rituals and celebrations being held. But as I’m here on my own in Melbourne, Australia… I have to do what I can which means performing mantra, visualisations and maintaining connection to the Goddess energy as much as I can.
All very good timing for me right now with my “woe-is-me” attitude. So, I’m gonna engage in Navaratri with all the sincerity, gratitude and love that I can. And use our kickass Goddess’ to help me pull out of this unusual slump.
Jaya Ma! Jaya Durgai!!