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© 2016 by  Padmavati Iyengar

Celebrating the Feminine!

October 3, 2016

Heyy… hope you are doing awesome. :) 

I absolutely love Indian festivals. I love the lights and celebrations and happy faces. I LOVE how we have a culture of celebrating every small/big success, occasion, happiness (even sadness) with all our heart. We believe in spreading and celebrating the light in our lives.

 

Today marks the 3rd day of a festival in India called Navratri that celebrates the victory of Goddess Shakti over a demon called Mahisasur. Here are a few interesting things I read/learnt from people about this festival that I would love to share with you.

 

Navratri (Nav- Nine. Ratri- Night) is a festival to celebrate the Feminine nature of the divine (also known as  Devi or Shakti).

In the Hindu mythology it is believed that, Goddess Shakti/Durga fought with a demon called ‘Mahishasur’ for nine days and killed him on the ninth night. Since then, she is also known as ‘MahishasurMardini’ (The destroyer of Mahisasur/Evil)

It is believed that the feminine energy of the earth is stronger during these nine days.
 

To conquer over anything external, it is important to first conquer everything internal and Durga, Laxmi and Saraswati are the three dimensions of the feminine which also represent three basic qualities of existence: 
1-Tamas (The quality of ignorance/inertia. People with this pre-dominant quality are usually lazy, fearful or lack to show love).

2-Rajas (Quality of change, activity, and turbulence. People with this pre-dominant quality, value prestige and authority, so seek power, wealth, passion and other material things).

3-Satva (quality of intelligence, virtue, goodness generosity, kindness, openness. People with this pre-dominant quality are peaceful, happy, focused on self-improvement and intellectual or spiritual pursuits. )

 

During these nine days of the festival the nine different forms of the DEVI is worshipped to conquer the 3 qualities of existence:


The first 3 days, Maa Parvati and Maa Kali is worshipped to reduce the Tamas component. To destroy our ego and everything deconstructive. Like they say, if you want to learn something, you need to first unlearn everything you know. Hence the first three days are a detox of everything negative.


The next 3 days are to enhance the Rajas, Maa Lakshmi is worshipped (the Goddess of wealth). The negative components eradicated by Kali are replaced with both material and spiritual wealth.


And the last 3 days, Maa saraswati (Who is the goddess of arts and knowledge) is worshiped for higher knowledge and to intensify spiritual practice.

The tenth day of this festival is called Dussehra or Vijaya Dashami that celebrates the victory of good over evil.

 

I am sure most of you knew this but what fascinates me about these festivals and the way it is celebrated is that they are metaphoric to the soul and its journey at different times and ages.

It might mean different things to different people at different times.

To me, Navratri is a festival that symbolizes the journey of the soul from ignorance to acceptance to enlightenment while CELEBRATING THE FEMININE!

May we not forget the real essence of this festival that celebrates the divine feminine in all its forms - Beauty, Strength, Courage, Erotism, Wisdom, Calmness, Knowledge, Patience, The leader, The creator, The destroyer, The provider, The devine, The Mother.
May we find the Shakti WITHIN us to fight the Mahisasur, and all the other demons in us that exist in the form of ignorance, hatred, disrespect and all the other kinds of negativity.
May we understand that we don't need to follow something just because it has been done for years in a certain way, but understand that these festivals and rituals are METAPHORIC for something that we deal with in our lives.
May we not just go to the temples and seek blessing of a "goddess" during these nine days of the year but respect and celebrate the same goddess/the devine feminine WITHIN every woman (and man) everyday of the year. May righteousness take victory over all sorts of darkness we have today.


Happy Navratri to you ✨

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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