The Nine Auspicious Nights
Navratri, also known as the Nine Auspicious Nights, is a celebration in the name of the Divine Mother or Goddess Energy/Shakti. It is a time of reconnecting to our Feminine Nature to rejuvenate and rekindle our spiritual light. During this time, one is encouraged to rest and withdraw the senses from all (outer) impulses and activities, so that one can dive into the Universe within the self – through silence, meditation, fasting and prayers.
According to the philosophy of Arthveda, it is integral to maintain the harmony between one’s action, knowledge and will power. Action, will power and intelligence in return are the three main powers of the Human Mind, and thus, vital components to our overall Health and Wellbeing. One can say that during Navratri, we receive the opportunity to once again restore the balance of the Mind’s main powers and balance and centre the mind – as the Nine Days of fasting and prayers enable one to move through the states of delusion towards awakening, through the power of Action (first three days, with the Goddess Maa Durga), Will Power (day 4-6, with Maa Lakshmi) and Knowledge/Wisdom (day 7-9, with Maa Saraswati).
This is why it is also said that, Navratri represents the nine months a baby spends in the womb of his or her mother. Which marks a continuous process of change, so that upon the arrival of the 9th day (month), one can give birth to pure love and devotion.
The first three nights are also linked to the quality of Tamas (inertia, dullness, darkness, heavy, obstructing action). In order to be able to transition from Tamas to Rajas (energy, change, activity, action), fire is necessary. One has to awaken, take ownership and change one’s patterns of attachment, and release all energetic stagnation, imprints and forms of depression.
Once action has been initiated, one moves from Rajas (energy, change, activity, action) to Sattva (intelligence, virtue, stability, balance). In order to do this, one has to use the power of Will and surrender one’s pain, personal desires, individual hurts and sorrows – towards compassion and living for a greater good, for all of humanity. It is about understanding the wisdom behind ‘unfortunate events’, that pain and happiness are both integral for our growth and to be able to utilise one’s discriminative power (to distinguish illusions from the truth).
And finally to move towards Sattva (intelligence, virtue, stability, balance) during the last three days, where we move towards our Angelic Selves and embrace our higher spiritual self. To make ‘peace’ our dominant force and develop ‘joy’. It is a stage where we can move towards a higher space, merge with the Universe and devote one self to a Universal Cause.
One can say that the Nine Days of Navratri is like a Holistic Healing Journey on its own. Where one focuses on healing the body, mind and soul – through fasting, meditation and prayer. For example: Sharad Navratri happens during the transition between Summer & Winter – which is a sensitive time for the body. And thus, it is important to fast: to detox the body and to encourage healing, as one transitions to a new season. Moreover, fasting isn’t just to maintain one’s physical health, it also enables one to enhance his or her spirituality and raise one’s energy.
Furthermore, it can be noted, that one first has to focus on healing the self, before one can focus on healing the world. Through self-healing and taking actual Ownership and Responsibility of one’s individual actions and path – one can move forward towards collective healing and universal consciousness & awakening.
According to Swami Rama, we cannot make our lives creative and helpful, without discipling ourselves, and gaining control of the mind, speech and action.
“It is important to make one’s life creative and helpful, but before doing so, one should make contact with his own potentials deep within by disciplining himself and gaining control over his mind, speech, and action.” (Swami Rama, Living with the Himalayan Masters. p.39)
Chandra Swami Udasin in addition, notes that:
“Determination is the power that sees us through all frustrations and obstacles. It helps in building willpower, which is the very basis of success and within and without. It is said in the scriptures, that with the help of sankalpa shakti (the power of determination) nothing is possible. Behind all the great works done by the great leaders of the world stands this shakti. With this power behind him, such a leader says: I will do it, I have to do it. I have the means to do it. When this power of determination is not interrupted, one inevitably attains the desired goal.”
Thus, it can be said that mystics throughout time emphasise on the importance of Determination (action) and discipline, which enables one to gain will power. Will power in return and taking ownership, allows us to gain direct experience – and only through direct experience, one can gain wisdom (intelligence), which can be perceived as the purpose of our life, since through Direct Experience & Divine Wisdom, we can Expand ourselves. And through expanding ourselves, we can one day become ONE with the Divine Light.
May we all receive the strength of determination (sankalpa shakti), strengthen our determination and balance our Action, Will and Intelligence (the three main Human Mind Power’s) and thus, be able to move forward towards His light. May we take ownership over all our actions, thoughts and words – and focus on the wellbeing and purification of our mind, body and soul – so that one day, we may move towards His Light in a beautiful and divine manner.
May God Bless You All
With my love and light,
** This is based upon my reflections and thoughts, and words of wisdom gathered from various Saints & Divine Beings. Whatever is right about this belongs to the Divine Light and the Saints, Prophets and Divine Beings He has sent forth. Whatever is wrong belongs to me. May the Divine Light forgive me for anything that isn’t correct and guide us all towards the straight path.
Swami Rama – Living with the Himalayan Masters
Chandra Swami Udasin – Song of Silence, Volume II.