The nine day festival is reminiscent of red clad kanjak devis, boiled potato dishes, bhajan recitations in the form of maa jaagran or mata ki chownki, morning and evening durga aarti, devotional garbha dance and much more. Accompanied with the traditional rituals is a certain element of devotion and self-control exemplified in the temporary renunciation of tamsic food, alcohol and beverages. Not only does this hint at the acceptance of the inherent negativity in the above said substances and practices, but also a certain desire of positivity and goodwill which would arrive with the renunciation of tamsic food, alcohol and other “negative acts’.
The 9 day festival is symbolic of the victory of good over evil, right over wrong but the mere practice of rituals fail to mask the real evil in the society. This reality is quite evidently being depicted by the growing crime, violence, drug abuse & afflictions, epidemics, natural disasters and environmental degradation etc.
His Holiness Shri Ashutosh Maharaj ji often says that the root cause of every corrupt deed is the corrupt mind behind it. It is only through redirecting our thoughts towards the Divine that we can be fully awakened with the discretion of right and wrong, the good and the evil. It is only then that together we can create a true ‘Humane’ World devoid of social eclipses.
The worship of Maa Shakti emphasizes at the need to know and realize the true nature of Devi which is Shakti and is present in its elemental form within all of us but is lying dormant. Navratri is the time to awaken this dormant Shakti or cosmic feminine energy, the better half of Lord Shiva in His Ardhanareshwara Avatar. Together Maa Shakti and Lord Shiva symbolize a unique state of balance, which is called SANTULAN; the distortion of which in any form be it quantitative or qualitative, creates imbalance or “asantulan” in nature. Both are incomplete without each other and are present in equal but opposite natures. It is the same balance which almost all world religions signify such as Yin-Yang in Tao and Yab-Yum in Tibetan faith. This imbalance is evident in today’s society too in the light of crimes against women, skewed sex ratio etc.
Likewise in the case of Lord Rama and Maa Sita; Maa Sita is referred to as Bhakti - the cosmic feminine energy or divine feminine energy. And when talking about Laxmi-Narayan avatar; Narayan is the supreme consciousness and Laxmi is His better half – the incessant energy. Symbolically all the above-mentioned avtars of Gods and Goddesses signify the same fine balance of cosmic feminine and masculine energy.
The Shakti or Bhakti or Laxmi component is the absolute form of supreme cosmic consciousness. It possesses a nature of sensitivity – love, compassion and fraternity. Absence of these creates an imbalance of reason and sensitivity in one’s mind and therefore his actions. Hence leading towards the plight of today’s society, in the form of violence against women, the worst being sex selective abortions.
Navratri signifies overcoming nine doors of delusions and reaching the tenth that is the ‘dasham dwar’ – the divine eye, the door to go within. This divine door can be entered only through divine knowledge – BrahmGyan bestowed through a perfect master of the time. And when one gets spiritually initiated, the real meaning of Vijaya Dashmi – the victory of truth, falls into place.
To create a peaceful society, individuals need to strike this very balance. To strike this balance it is mandatory to awaken the Maa Shakti within us through spiritual initiation into the divine knowledge – BrahmGyan by the perfect master of the time.
Divya Jyoti Jagrati Sansthan under the auspices of Shri Ashutosh Maharaj Ji wishes everyone a divine and awakened Navratri.