3 April, 2019
In Hindu mythology, Chaitra month is considered as the most auspicious month as on the very first day of this month, of Shukla Paksha, Lord Brahma, created this universe and called as the CREATOR, Lord Vishnu as the PROTECTOR, and Lord Shiva as DESTROYER. The combination of these three supreme being of the universe, CREATOR, PROTECTOR & DESTROYER is called TRINITY. Each of them assumed a particular and uninterrupted job upon themselves for the efficient working of the universe. Thus the decentralization of power and work, a mool mantra of present Management, is actually a gift of the Hindu mythology to the world as back as that.
In order to welcome the start of Hindu New Year, this day is celebrated in the form of worshipping of Maa Durga. “MAA”, THE MAHA SHAKTI, is the symbol of Shakti (Power). ’Maa’ is the first workshop of the universe. In Devi Shastra, Maa is defined as “Prakash”, the light, and is known as DIVYA JYOTI, the source of life,(the rays emitting from lord Sun), without which even the work of Devtas could not be fulfilled. It is said that Lord Brahma himself had worshipped Maa Bhawani and took her blessings, before creating the universe (Brahmand).
Initially, only the male persons were produced by the creator and when they could not expand the universe, and then Maa Bhawani herself came to rescue and produced through her womb known as ‘Naari-Shakti’, thus enlarging the universe. MAA (the naari form). As she has a power of reproduction which is not possessed even with the Devtas, the Maa is the supreme. The power of NAVRATRI is the essence of these manifestations of Shakti, and Naari in the form of MaaDurga is worshipped in her different moods during this period of nine nights.
These celebrations are continued for nine days and are known as NAVRATRI. (Nav=nine, RATRIS=nights). Navratri is also associated with the progress of spirituality. The different stages of spiritual progress are reflected in the sequence of celebrations during Navratri. However, Navratri is not only significant for spiritual aspirants; it has a message for those who lead a worldly life as well. They invoke Durga ’s help to overcome obstacles, pray to Lakshmiji to bequeath peace and prosperity and envisage upon Saraswatiji in order to gain knowledge. These three ingredients are just necessary for a full and complete worldly life, in reality; these three forms of Goddesses’ help us invoking the Shakti which is within us. The philosophical reason is that in life’s journey we travel from known to the unknown. The Shiva symbolizes pure consciousness, and can only be known only through Shakti, who represents divine energy. One cannot revoke self conscienceless unless the Shakti is invoked and so we worship this Shakti, also known as Devi in her various manifestations.
For the first three nights, the divine mother Durga is invoked. Durgaji is a motivating force that pushes one towards the Shakti (strength) which destroys our negative tendencies... She is ‘Mahishasur Mardini’ the killer of the demon buffalo- the evil of ‘Tamas’ (laziness) - in us. She is equipped with all the powerful weapons required to demolish the negative energy surrounding us. (Buffalo being the symbol of laziness).Once the demon Tarakasur created such havoc in the world that the earth dried up and no water was available. The sufferings of human beings become intolerable and a crisis of destruction erupted on the earth. The suffering humanity prayed the mother ‘UMA’, who appeared in a divine form and shed tears for nine celestial days and night on seeing this famine on the earth. It is said that all the rivers and lakes are the manifestations of these tears, and so we celebrate this form of Shakti, the compassion of mother Durga, during Navratri.
Having destroyed all the negativities, the next three days of the festival are dedicated to inculcating positive values by worshipping Maa Laxmiji who is the Goddess of wealth, virtues and devotion. In Hinduism wealth is considered as sacred and that is why she is wedded to the Lord himself. However the wealth is not just related to money or gold, earth, all of the resources, nature, birds, animals, food,& health are also considered as wealth.laxmi is the queen of the universe, she is depicted as a beautiful and enchanting woman and hence in great demand. Due to this demand, she is pictured as ‘Chanchal’ & ‘Chaplan’. She is always painted as a dramatic portrait with vibrant entrance, adorned in a red golden sari with jewels, showering devotees with gold and precious stone. However, she gets bored very soon and when she leaves her long regal sari sweeps everything away including what you had previously too. That is the nature of Laxmiji and therefore one should not be proud of wealth because when she decides to part and nobody knows –when, and she takes away everything with her.
(However, there is a secret way of keeping Laxmiji eternally with self. She resides permanently at the feet of Narayana and hence keeps Narayana always in the heart, and Laxmiji will remain forever. It is why that whenever Laxmiji is worshipped, Lord Vishnu should also be worshipped simultaneously.)
The last three days of Navratri, Maa Saraswati is worshipped. The word Saraswati stems from Sanskrit word ‘saras’ meaning a fluid which either can be contained in a lake (sarovar) or made to flow as in a river (Sarita). Thus Saraswati personifies wisdom and thinking; this is the only ability that separates man from other living beings. Saraswati is the earliest form of Goddess and found in Rigveda. In all the cases, to get Laxmiji, we need Saraswatiji.
The power of Shakti during Navratri days is at its peak and the Devi is to be worshipped on all the nine days, total faith and devotion and Goddess’s mercy shall continue showering upon the devotee.
NAVRATRI (nine nights of devotion) denotes the nine swaroopa of Maa Durga and provide:
Name, Fame, Health, Wealth, Happiness, Knowledge, Bhakti, & Shakti.
Praying to Maa Durga infuse all the above virtues which are so important in a person’s life.
By our esteemed member Shri Ramesh C. Srivastava, Jaipur
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