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The Introduction

Today is the first days of Nava Ratri (nine nights) - a festival that is celebrated all over India with a lot of rigor and dedication.

If it is shorn of its religious overtones and associated rituals, Nava Ratri or the nine days of worship of Nava Durgas (the nine appellants of the Ma Durga) is nothing but an opportunity for human kind to enable itself rise from the dungeons of despondency to manifest and uphold the innate divinity within. It's a period which provides a structure which, if followed arduously over nine days, can lead us out of our fear and fear-led conditionings of powerlessness and worthlessness to re-claim and embrace the divine power that we are all born with.

Each of the Nava Durgas is resplendent with symbols inherent in their names, visual representations, colors and even the vehicle they are seated on. My attempt here would be to present the symbolic meaning of each of the icons in a way that ordinary human beings can relate to and be motivated to imbibe through conscious affirmations.

It is fascinating to note how the way of worshipping these Nava Durgas - with their visuals, chanting of their meditative mantras and establishing of the chakras they correspond to – can become a powerful process of the conscious affirmations getting etched at a subliminal level, because of accentuation by the visual and tonal energies.   

The invitation

This is a humble attempt of presenting my intuitive understanding of the mystic intervention of Nava Ratri and the Nava Durgas. However, before I set out to elaborate on this theme, I would like to bow down in deep reverence to the 5000 years old ethos and heritage of this country which has nurtured in its bosom an unparalleled treasure of wisdom, when it comes to personal and spiritual growth. Take any festival, any ritual, which, unless blown out of proportion, has embedded in it the principles of human transformation and growth. No wonder, today, the world regards the human potential of this country as one of the finest and most valuable. We are enjoying the fruits of the genetic imprints left by our ancestors who have followed the centuries old heritage practices and rituals without questioning them, as a way of life. The observance of Nava Ratri and worship of Nava Durgas is one of the foremost of such practices. It is the more recent generations, which, in their egoic pursuit trying to understand the manifest through the limitations of their linearly logical minds, have forsaken many of these proven self-enabling practices to embrace quick-fix tools of cosmetic make- over.

As the socio-economic climate changes rapidly and global attention get's increasingly focused on the East, it's time that we stop looking out of our western windows and start looking inwards. In wards towards reviving and embracing the fabric that has been woven out of such heritage practices and In-wards to get in touch with our own inner selves - the space we truly belong to.


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