Invoke The Divinity Of Navratri Within (Part 1)
The divine vision, the royal clothes, the weapons, the unique chariot (vaahan), the hand of blessings and the face of dignity, love and law – Ma Shakti. Preparations for the festival of Navratri (September 26th to October 4th) involve creating the sacred space for the idol, laying seeds of wheat on banana leaves, above which a pot is placed from where droplets of water constantly fall. Garlands of flowers are placed in this pot. A diya or light is constantly lit. Prayers and fasting take place for the nine-day period. Looking at the spiritual meaning, these rituals speak volumes on how we can invoke our divinity.
1. Shiv and Shakti means God and Soul. Each deity is a kumari (unmarried) but called Ma (mother) and shown with weapons to kill the demons. When I the Soul (Shakti) connect to the non-physical Supreme Being or God (Shiv) and remember Him, I emerge – purity (quality of a kumari), love (quality of a mother) and power (weapons that kill the demons). Purity, love and power are the original qualities of every soul.
2. Shakti is with 8 arms which symbolizes the 8 powers each soul has – power to tolerate, power to accommodate, power to face, power to discriminate, power to judge, power to withdraw, power to pack up and power to co-operate.
3. Shakti holds a weapon in each of the 8 hands and conquers the demons. The weapons represent tools of wisdom. When we use these tools, we finish the demons of lust, anger, greed, attachment, ego and many other negative habits and sanskars.
4. When we allow the waters of spiritual wisdom to fall from the mud pot (representing our intellect) on our thoughts (seeds), our thinking becomes clear, positive and powerful. The seeds germinate which means our efforts bear fruit and we experience success in every sphere of life. The flowers symbolize the emergence of divine virtues inside us, through this process.
(To be continued tomorrow …)