Navaratri: Nine Nights of Divinity
The literal meaning of “nava-ratri” is nine nights. During navaratri, Hindus celebrate the victory of their spirit over base feelings such as aversion, craving, shame, pride and inertia.
Why Nine Nights?
The nine nights are divided into three parts. The first three nights are devoted to worshipping Goddess Durga. Devotees pray to Durga and seek her help to overcome their defects, vices and impurities. On the next three nights Goddess Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, is worshipped. Devotees seek blessings and material wealth from her. On the final three nights, Goddess Saraswati, the goddess of wisdom, is worshipped. Thus, the nine nights are spent worshipping three different goddesses to win all-round success in one’s life.
Nine Nights to Move From Fear to Peace
There is also another viewpoint regarding the nine nights of navaratri. The initial three nights signify tamo guna, which is characterized by emotional instability, fear and depression. The next three nights pertain to rajo guna, which signifies restlessness and anxiety. On the final three nights, devotees attain sattva guna, meaning dynamism, peace and calm.
Victory Over Self
We can gain victory over self by moving from baseness to sublimity during the nine nights of navaratri. We seek the help of the three goddesses to overcome base tendencies such as laziness, inertia, aversions and cravings. During the nine nights, we get ample time to harmonize the three gunas, thereby elevating our minds to attain peace.
Time for Reflection
Navaratri is an ideal time for reflection on our minds’ inner depth. Even Krishna is said to have to performed Devi puja during the period of navaratri. His goal was to dip into his sublime nature to create afresh. During navaratri, we can all dip into our true nature and emerge new and fresh. Thus, by worship we can rejuvenate ourselves emotionally and spiritually.
Pray, Fast and Meditate
Navaratri offers a golden chance to keep our minds ensconced in divine consciousness. When something negative happens to us, we are affected and disturbed. To obtain relief, we should seek energy within. This can be done through meditation, silence, prayer and fasting. Meditation helps us dip into our inner pool of peace, silence rests the monkey mind and fasting helps detoxify the body. Thus, navaratri can help us achieve physical and spiritual purity.