September 29, 2019
Om Guru BrahmaGuru Vishnu
Guru Saakshaat Para Brahma
Tasmai Sri Guruve Namaha
Om Sarva Mangala Mangalye Shive Sarvartha Sadike Sharanye Tryambake Gauri Narayani Namostute
Today is the start of Navaratri Festival. On this auspicious occasion, let us attempt to understand the nine forms of Devi.
On Navaratri we worship the Divine mother in her 9 forms. The nine forms as given in the Devi Kavacham are-
First form is Shailaputri
Fifth Skanda Mata
Eighth Maha Gowri
Ninth Siddhi Dhaatri
Shailaputri is the daughter of Himavan, who rides on a bull, carries a trident and a lotus and is the embodiment of the union of the powers of Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwara. The first night of Navaratri is dedicated to the worship of Shailaputri.
Brahmacharini – when sage Narada advices Devi to do severe penance to win Shiva’s hand in marriage, Devi goes for penance undertaking severe hardship and that is how she was named Brahmacharini. She carries Japa mala (rosary) and Kamandalu (waterpot). Second Night is dedicated to the worship of Brahmacharini.
Chandraghanta is the one who has a half-moon shaped like a bell. She grants courage and power. She rides a lion and has 10 arms holding lotus, bow, arrow, water pot, axe, maze, trident. Third night is dedicated to the worship of Chandraghanta.
Kushmanda is the power that created this world. She has 8 arms holding lotus, different weapons, rosary etc. She rides a lion. Fourth day is dedicated to her.
Skanda Mata blesses all having
Lord Little Muruga on her lap. She has 4 arms and three eyes. She is worshipped on the fifth day
Kaatyayani is the daughter of sage Kaatyayana. Sixth day worship is dedicated in her name.
Kaalaratri is black coloured with matted locks, three eyes and riding a donkey. She has 4 arms and her right arm is always blessing the devotees. She drives away all fear that hounds her devotees and protects from all harm so she is also called Shubhakaari. Kaalaratri is worshipped on the seventh day.
Maha Gowri is pleasant and embodiment of wisdom. She is fair skinned. She grants Abhaya (protection) and Varada (boon giving). She has 4 arms and carries trident and damru (small drum). She rides a bull. She is worshipped on the 8th day.
Siddhi Dhatri is always blissful granting all boons to her devotees. She blesses all. She is worshipped on the ninth day.
Apart from these 9 Devi forms, Durga Devi (Goddess of power) has special significance on the eighth day of Ashtami. The ninth day of Navami is designated for Lakshmi Devi (Goddess of wealth) and the final day of festivities Dashami or the tenth morning is dedicated for worshipping Saraswathi Devi (Goddess of wisdom).
Navaratri is celebrated for the victory of Mother Goddess over demonic powers of Mahishasura. This actually symbolises the victory of wisdom over ignorance. Humans have within themselves both godly and demonic qualities. We have to strive towards enhancing our divinity and reducing any negativities in us by worshipping God, mantra chanting, meditation, fasting and doing Seva. So Navaratri is an opportunity for us to work towards spiritual enlightenment following healthy life practices and praying.
Man should always aim to get peace and wisdom. We seek enlightenment and that is why we undertake the spiritual journey. The source of wisdom is within us only. All universal wisdom is lying deep within us. To awaken the divine energy lying latent in us, our ancient saints have given us these rituals and methods so that we get ourselves aligned with the Divine Forces. This way our self realisation is possible. Thereby our Jeevatma (individual soul) form is able to attain Paramatma (supreme soul) form.
All the pujas, worship and sadhana will enable us to awaken the God within us. For this reason we approach a Guru who is an enlightened soul and who can guide us properly. Acharyas and holy books will help us to eliminate all doubts that may arise. The knowledge so obtained will help us spread peace and happiness in this world. In life, we must always continue to seek as there are abundant things that are yet to be understood and discovered.
In this fast paced world it is difficult to observe the rituals of the ancient past. However we can always strive to be worthy of the immense grace and mercy that the Divine Mother is showering on us. Let us practice pious daily routine by waking up early in the morning, taking bath, doing worship and offering Prasad to Gods. Fill the day with good virtues like truth, compassion and generosity. Feed the poor and needy including the birds and animals. Reading holy books and contemplating on the divine name. It is immensely beneficial to read the 1000 names of Goddess Lalita twice (morning and evening). If it is difficult to do twice then chant once in the
evenings as evenings are more important in the Navaratri period.
If for any reason you are not in a position to do everything, do not worry. Devi is the divine Mother and she understands her children very well. Whatever you do, do with a clean mind and intent. Goddess will definitely bless you based on the purity of your heart and mind.
This is the opportune time for all of us to work hard towards the higher goals in life and whatever efforts you take at this time will get magnified results. So do not waste time and use it to your advantage. May Parvati Parameshwaran bless you all. Mother is our Life-giver, nurturer, our first Guru, our first physician, our first care taker, she is our everything. Her blessings will grant us liberation. Let us strive for the Divine mother’s love and grace. May she bless us all and lead us on the right path. May Jagadeeshwari Amba embrace you in her love. Ma Tripura Sundari (Lalita Devi) who manifests Goddess Parvati, Goddess Saraswati and Goddess Lakshmi and all Shakti incarnations is the supreme consciousness. May her blessings always shower on you. May her radiant love shine on all the seekers who seek Soul Realisation. She is the embodiment of all wisdom and art who grants peace and prosperity. May her benevolent grace bring you eternal happiness!
Swasti prajabhya paripala yantam
Nyayena margena maheem maheesah
Go-Brahmanebhyah shubhamastu nityam
Lokah samastah sukhino bhavantu.
Om Sahana Vavatu
Saha Viryam Karavavahai
Om Shanti Shanti Shantihi
With love and blessings,