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Time to rejuvenate

In the word Navratri, “Nava” has two meanings — One is ‘nine’ and the other is ‘new’. “Ratri” means night — which gives solace and rest. Night is also called ratri because it brings rejuvenation. It gives relief at the three levels of our existence — physical, subtle and causal.

india Updated: Oct 15, 2010 00:12 IST
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

In the word Navratri, “Nava” has two meanings — One is ‘nine’ and the other is ‘new’. “Ratri” means night — which gives solace and rest. Night is also called ratri because it brings rejuvenation. It gives relief at the three levels of our existence — physical, subtle and causal.

During the nine nights of Navratri, your mind should be in the Divine consciousness. Ask yourself these questions, “How was I born? What is my source?” Then you become creative and victorious. When negative forces haunt you, you are disturbed and you grumble. Craving, aversion, uncertainty and fear are negative forces. To get relief from all this, go to the source of energy within you — Shakti.

Nine forms of Shakti/Devi (female divinity) are worshipped. On the first three days of Navratri, we honour Durga, the embodiment of valour and self-confidence. The next three days are committed to Lakshmi, the embodiment of wealth and the last three days are dedicated to Saraswati, the embodiment of knowledge. There are several stories on how the Divine Mother manifested herself to restore peace and order, by slaying Madhu, Kaitabha, Mahishasura and Shumbha and Nishumbha and many other asuras (demons). These demons are symbolic of the negative forces that can take over anyone, anytime. Navratri is the celebration of the spirit or prana which alone can destroy asuras.

Many yagnas (prayer ceremonies) are conducted during these days. We may not necessarily understand the meaning of all the yagnas, but we should simply sit with open hearts and minds and feel the vibrations it creates.

Chantings with rituals bring about purification and uplift of the consciousness. The entire creation becomes alive and you recognise life in everything in the same way children see life in everything. Once Navratri is over, we celebrate Vijayadashami (the 10th day — the day of victory). This is the day of culmination in the awakening of our Divine consciousness.

Feel blessed and honoured for everything you have received. Recognising the one divinity in every form and in every name is the celebration of Navratri.