The Meaning of Navaratri by Pandit B.P. Sharma

The celebration of Navaratri is a Hindu festival honoring Mother Divine.
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Navaratri is a Hindu festival to honor Divine feminine Devi (Mother Goddess). Center is Divine Mother Durga, at left is Divine Mother Lakshmi and on the right is Divine Mother Saraswati.

The Meaning of Navaratri
The Nine Days of Mother Divine and Victory Day:
The Celebration of the Victory over Evil.

by Pandit B.P. Sharma
August, 2015

The Story of Navaratri

The celebration of Navaratri (Sanskrit, literally ‘nine nights.) can be found in various Hindu religious texts such as the Markandeya Purana, Vamana Purana, Varaha Purana, Shiva Purana, Skanda Purana, Sri Devi Bhagavatam and Kalika Purana. The story of Navaratri is a symbolic message of victory over negativity in one's life; it gives insight into the fact that however overwhelming and powerful evil becomes, at the end, it is Goodness that wins and triumphs over all of the evil.

The Nine Days of Mother Divine are very auspicious and during these days one should worship the power of Goddess and seek Her Blessings. The devotees of Mother Divine are blessed with increased knowledge, the means to become more self-sufficient, help in sustainment, an increase in spirituality and spirituality in the home life and with added peace and prosperity.

The Goddesses

Three Goddesses are represented in this nine-day celebration with Victory Day occurring on the tenth day. The Goddesses are: Divine Mother Durga, Divine Mother Lakshmi and Divine Mother Saraswati.

The first three days are for Goddess Durga; She governs spiritual development and has supremacy overcoming negativity, destruction and, by Her Grace, adds to the creation and sustainment of the Universe. Due to this Spiritual power, Goddess Durga protects her devotees from all problems and worries and grants them prosperity, knowledge and increased spiritual abilities.

The next three days are for Goddess Lakshmi, the Goddess of Wealth, who is shown dressed in rich red silk and fully ornamented from head to toe in gold and precious stones. Her four hands represent four Spiritual virtues: beauty, grace, wealth and abundance. The fully bloomed lotus that She is seated on represents the Seat of Divine Truth. The aura of joy surrounding her depicts mental and spiritual balance and peace and prosperity always exist around her.

Each and every major deity in Hindu mythology has His or Her own Gayatri Mantra. The following chant (Gayatri Mantra) is a powerful mantra one can use that grants prosperity, protection and adds Spiritual grace and is one of the Gayatri Mantras for the Goddess Lakshmi, the Goddess of Wealth:

“Om Mahalakshmai Cha Vidmahe
Vishnu Patnyai Cha Dhimahi
Tanno Lakshmihi Prachodayat”

Roughly translated this hymn means:

Supreme Source, Salutations (Om)
May we meditate on the Great Goddess Sri Lakshmi, the consort of Sri Maha Vishnu. May that effulgent Maha Lakshmi Devi inspire and Illuminate our mind and grant Spiritual understanding.

The last three days celebrate Goddess Saraswati who is the Hindu Goddess of learning, knowledge, music and the Arts. Saraswati has also been identified with the Vedic Saraswati River. She is the consort of Lord Brahma, the Hindu God of creation. She, along with the Goddesses Durga and Lakshmi, completes the set of the Divine Tridevi (the three Goddesses) and they are a Divine Trinity.

According to Hinduism, Saraswati's offspring are the Vedas. Saraswati is a very popular Indian Goddess and is propitiated to attain Spiritual knowledge and wisdom as well as all arts and sciences. Saraswati is prominently featured in Mahayana Buddhism where She initially manifests in the “Golden Radiance Sutra” of the late 4th or early 5th Century in the Mahayana Sutra. Saraswati is also commonly associated with, and equivalent to, other powerful Vedic goddesses such as Vak, Savitri, and Gayatri. Saraswati represents intelligence, cosmic knowledge, consciousness, creativity, enlightenment, education, music and the arts. She is not only worshipped for secular knowledge, but also for the true Divine Knowledge essential to achieve Moksha or Liberation. She is additionally referred to as Shonapunya, meaning 'the One purified of blood'.

The Festivals

The Saraswati Puja is performed on the 5th day of the Magha Month of the Hindu Almanac. This is also commonly known as Basant Panchami. In many provinces of India, especially in the South, Saraswati Puja is conducted on the 9th Day of Navaratri, a 10-day Festival that celebrates the Spiritual Power of the Sacred Feminine. The last three days of Navaratri, beginning from the Mahalaya Amavasya (or the New Moon day) are dedicated to the Worship of this Goddess. It is believed that the Saraswati Puja day should be spent in complete contemplation of the Goddess of Knowledge and Wisdom.

Books, musical instruments, and ghungroos (dancing bells) are placed before the deity on this blessed day of Mahanavami and are taken out only on the Vijayadashami or the Vidyarambham Day (literally: “start of learning anew”), the tenth and final day of the Navaratri Festival.

On Vijayadashami day, which is Victory Day, students also seek the Blessings of their Teachers, considering them to be the embodiments of Devi Saraswati Herself.

Photo of Head Priest, Pandit B.P. Sharma.

Pandit Sharma shares the follow message given by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi from years ago:

“Once, Maharishi told us that if we want to bring heaven on earth, we need to improve mother power and we need to respect mother power and where we get mother power. Maharishi said that, through Mother Power, we help each and every woman throughout the world. So, I believe that each and every woman has Mother Power and Divine; because Mother is only here on the earth to serve the children heartily… there is nothing other than Mother Power...”

All glory to Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and Mother Divine.

For additional information on Navaratri Yagyas, or if you are interested in having a Yagya done by Vedic Pandits, please contact Head Priest, Vedic Pandit B.P. Sharma.

May the light and love of God prevail. Please let us know how we can help.

Tags: spiritual traditions

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