Today is the navamy of
We float in the effulgence of one scintillating unseen cosmic energy called the ‘Devi,’ Divine Mother, womb of all creation. She is the seed of all dynamism, radiance, beauty, equanimity, peace and nourishment. She is the life force energy.
Devi, as Goddess Durga is epitomised as Shakti who wards off all evil. Durga also means hill. Something difficult is often described as an uphill task. In the presence of Durga Shakti, negative forces fade away.
Durga is referred to as ‘Jaya Durga’ or the one who brings jai or victory. She is Durgatipariharini – one who removes obstacles. She transforms negativity into positivity. Even difficulties find it difficult to come near her.
When you pray to Mother Divine as Durga, you become courageous, victorious and compassionate. That is the beauty of the Divine as mother. She nourishes all qualities, nurturing the positive. It is like collecting good luck. For example, when you are with the mother all ‘goodies’ are available. We become meritorious and we gain power to manifest good luck and hold or sustain it as well. Many times life may shower you with courage, prosperity and abundance but your ability to hold and transform this energy into happiness and compassion is lacking. Navaratri is a special time to pray to Durga to have all these qualities together – uniting and harmonising –magnifying and inculcating it in one’s life.
If we are always victorious but not happy it is of no use. Similarly, if we are always making efforts but never succeeding, that is also frustrating. Durga energy can give you all this together. All qualities are available to you as one unit. We pray to Durga for all these qualities to be instilled in our consciousness, bringing physical well being, material fulfillment and spiritual uplift.
Durga is associated with the colour red. She is depicted wearing a red saree. Red is the colour of dynamism – a bright attitude, the ‘moving’ energy. You may be trained and skilled but if you are not able to move things together, move people or your efforts in unison, the fruits are delayed. But when you pray to Durga, she makes this possible. The fruit is immediate.
The Mother Divine is Prakriti or this entire creation. Everything is creation is made up of three gunas or qualities: Sattva, rajas and tamas. Sattva is associated with calmness, clarity of mind, enthusiasm and peace. Rajas is needed for action but often creates feverishness. Tamas is inertia and an imbalance in tamas can lead to laziness, dullness and even depression. When you handle tamas properly you move into sattva. Every being in this creation is caught in the play of the gunas. How does one come out of this cycle, and transcend them?
Raise your sattva and come out of the cycle through proper meditation, silence and food control. Transcending the gunas, one gets established in the Shiva tattva or the pure and infinite consciousness. Prakriti is full of opposites like night and day, heat and cold, pain and pleasure, joy and sorrow. Rising above opposites, transcending duality, once again the Shiva tattva is attained.
This is the purpose of all pujas and other rituals during Navratri -- to manifest the unmanifest and unseen energy, the Durga Shakti, by whose grace one can transcend the gunas and attain the supreme, undivided, indivisible, pure, infinite consciousness click here for further reading.