Celebrating The Divine Mother

28 Sep

The Divine Mother Devi is the womb of all Creation. She is the seed of all dynamism, radiance, beauty, equanimity, peace and nourishment. She is the life force energy.
The Divine Mother has unconditional and infinite love for Her children, that is, every being in entire Creation.
During the nine nights of Navaratri, Devi is worshipped in all Her names and forms each of which has a special significance. We remember a sandalwood tree by the memory of its perfume. Each name and form of the Devi refers to a specific quality or attribute of the Divine. By remembering the form or by chanting the many names of Devi, we enliven those qualities in our consciousness and they manifest in us according to the need.
Navaratri is a journey from the outer world of names and forms to the subtle world of energies, invoked through the various yagnas. The first three days celebrate the Devi in the form of Durga. Durga also means hill. A very difficult task is often described as an uphill task. The goddess is depicted as riding a lion or tiger, alluding to the aspect of courage and valour, the essence of Devi Durga.
The Nava Durga symbolises the nine aspects of Durga-energy that act like a shield to ward off all negativities. When you have obstacles and mental blocks, just remembering these qualities of the Devi can help you overcome the mental blocks.
As Mahishasuramardini, Durga is the destroyer of Mahisha. The word mahisha means buffalo, a symbol of lethargy and inertia. These are the qualities that impede the spiritual and material progress of an individual. The Devi is a storehouse of positive energy and any trace of laziness or inertia dissolves in Her very presence.
The second set of three days honour the Devi as Lakshmi. Lakshmi is the goddess of wealth and prosperity. Wealth is a vital ingredient bestowed upon us for maintenance and for progress in our life. It is much more than just having money. It means abundance in knowledge, skills and talents. Lakshmi is the energy that manifests as the complete spiritual and material well-being of a person.
The final three days are dedicated to Saraswati. Saraswati is the goddess of knowledge. She gives the essence, the Sara of the Self, Sva. She is often depicted as being seated on a rock. Knowledge, like a rock, is a steadfast support. It stays with us at all times. She plays the veena, a musical instrument whose mellifluous notes bring harmony and peace to the mind. Similarly, spiritual knowledge brings relaxation and celebration into life.
Saraswati is the ocean of understanding and the consciousness that vibrates with different types of learning. She is the source of spiritual light, remover of all ignorance and the source of knowledge.
The Devi is offered flowers in a multitude of hues and fragrances like jasmine, hibiscus, lotus, lilies and roses. From outer beauty, as we turn our focus inward and are soaked in the divine attributes, our consciousness flowers.
Navaratri is a time of celebration of both inner and outer beauty, a time to give thanks to the Divine Mother Devi for her love and protection, guidance and understanding.

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