EYE ON VEDIC FESTIVALS: SPRING NAVARATRI CALLED CHAITRA NAVARATRI
NAVARATRI: BEGINNING OF THE JOURNEY OF THE SOUL
This new moon day in Pisces is very special in the Vedic calendar and starts the nine days of Mother Divine. We can liken this next period from April 1st-9th in the US to a rebirth period where the soul is gestating in the womb of the Mother ready to be born to a new life after 9 days rather than 9 months. This period can be intense during the first three days ruled by Durga as deep purification of your deepest subconscious energies are up to be healed and transformed. This is a time for fasting, deep meditation and prayer, and faith that the Divine Mother, with her immense love, is read to pour her blessings upon you if you are receptive and open to transformation. Use this time to go deep within and transform. Each day of the nine days is part of the journey of the moon from the new moon towards its fullness. This Year it is from April 1st with the new moon in the US being on Friday but in Europe and India on Saturdasy, April 2nd. Each day in these nine days the sap of our energy rises chakra by chakra to reach the crown. The Spring Navaratri culminates with a festival honoring Lord Ram.
During the nine days, there are dedications to one aspect of Mother Divine with the first 3 to Durga. One of my teachers, Indu Aurora has written beautifully about the first day and Durga below.
“Durga means someone who has accomplished the impossible and the impossibility. That is the power hidden/ sleeping/inert as well as innate in each of us. On the first day, we invoke Durga as “Ma Shailaputri”. She is the daughter of the great Himalayas. She has made up her mind to rise from the great earth below to the heavens above. She is invincible and immovable like the great Himalayas itself.
Once we become grounded and determined with 100% conviction of what we deserve, we are ready to break through the earth upon which we stand but we remain still like Ma Shailaputri.
In order to move, we have to be stirred but Ma Shailaputri motivates us to be stirred and yet maintain still. She holds a trident in her right hand, which symbolizes the victory over three kinds of suffering (karmic, cosmic, and manasic), over three Gunas (sattva, Rajas, and tamas), and in the left hand, she holds a lotus. In order to be strong, we don’t have to lose our grace, gentleness, and kindness. When you invoke Shailaputri within, no one can take your kindness as your weakness and your silence as your ignorance.”
Friday will be a good day for silence, meditation, fasting, prayer, and inner transformation. You can sponsor pujas for the nine days at www.puja.net or visit your local temple. A very beautiful time for deep transformation so enjoy. I find the Durga days always a bit intense so use the time to go within and heal.
The Divine is loving you so much during this time. Just embrace and let it in to cleanse the darkness into light. Enjoy
Special thanks to Sarbani Rath for her beautiful picture of Durga.
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