Nine Nights of Celebration
I am tempted to repeat my earlier blog on Navratri with some modifications, as a reminder of its significance:
NAVRATRI: the Invocation of “Shakti” or “Inner Powers”
We always desire that we have all the powers and the accompanying confidence to face the variety of situations that life brings to us on a daily basis. We feel insecure and anxious when we do not possess the internal strength to deal with the people and the circumstances.
Navratri is a reminder of the fact that all the powers(shakti) that we need to lead a happy and peaceful life are already with us ,in a merged form and can be ‘woken up’ by aradhana (invocation). This is the REAL awakening from the Darkness (Ratri) of “Agyan”..or misinformation.. to the dawn of “Gyan” about what life is and how best to live .
it is a common knowledge that communication and meanings get distorted over time. This is what has happened to most of our festivals..and Navratri is no exception. The ‘original’ idea gets merged in the cacophony of the new celebration styles and we end up observing the festivals as a ritual ..and as a way of “going out” of our daily routines/boredom. In reality, there is a need, not to go out, but “to go in” to understand what i can gain in the process!
The following very important powers can be ‘brought out’ through a mental connection of the soul with the Supreme soul (Shiv) through Meditation, a form of Shiv Shakti Aradhana:
- Power to Tolerate (Sahan Shakti):I can deal with insults, criticism, anger or physical suffering with courage, without losing self-confidence.
- Power to Face: (Samana karne ki Shakti):I am able to see beyond problems and difficulties, to discover positive side to situation, which seems totally negative on the face of it.
- Power to Accommodate: (Samane ki shakti): I can mould and adjust myself, as the reality of a situation requires, without having a feeling of “giving in” or compromising.
- Power to Cooperate ( Sahayog ki Shakti): this power creates unity and strength within a group and will make any task seem easy. ..like the story of every one giving support of his/her finger to lift the Govardhan mountain.
- Power to Discriminate (Parakhne ki Shakti):Just as a jeweller can discriminate faulty ones from the real diamonds, I should be able to keep positive, worthwhile thoughts that help realise my goals and discard negative, harmful ones.
- Power to Judge ( Nirnaya karne ki Shakti):This allows me to take clear, accurate ,timely and unbiased decisions, keeping me above the influence of situations and emotions.
- Power to Pack Up ( Sametne ki Shakti):I can be mentally light, packing in my mind only what is necessary and putting a “full stop” to the waste and the past .
- Power to Withdraw: (Sankirn Karne ki Shakti):I can be in a state of being a “witness” while performing my duties with zeal and full involvement, as per The Gita’s sermon.
With the invocation and right application of these eight powers, as represented by the image of Ashta Bhuja Dhari Ma Durga (Ma Durga with 8 hands),I can claim victory over the “Ravana” (the symbol of 10 vices) within me ,leading me to “Vijayadashmi” (Dussehra) …a mark of victory over all negativities.
In the process , i feel more powerful and confident to face the challenges of Life!
Happy Navratri ! Happy Dussehra!