At the outset, I greet the valuable readers on the solemn occasion of Shardeya Navaratri, which ends today, following a nine days of intense prayer regime. The beauty of this particular festivity is that after spiritedly pursuing prayers, it ends in a celebratory mode on Vijaya Dashami — the day marked with Lord Shri Ram’s victory over demonic Ravana and freeing Sita from his captivity. The question now is: Is it just remembrance of that singular auspicious event, or that it is supposed to offer something relevant in today’s terms? If it has some lessons for us in immediate terms, then it is time to assess, what we have gained during the process.
Symbolically speaking, what does Sita being freed from captivity mean for us in contemporary terms? It needs to be remembered that potentially we are born with immense powers — in fact, divine. That however, doesn’t involuntarily play out, and mostly remains hidden within. We need to explore, identify, acknowledge, hone and then bring them out of captivity of ignorance.
The process as such is not easy. The challenges are many. Remember, Mother Goddess Durga is visualised having 10 hands. In eight, she carries armouries made available by different Devtas, so as to combat evil forces coming from as many directions. Only two hands carry accessories marked with creative potential — Conch shell in one and Lotus flower in the other. Conch shell when blown gets tu ned to cosmic forces. Lotus flower marked with its beauty and splendour is symbolic of creativity. But what are those evil forces expectedly coming from eight different directions? Are they negative forces thrust by external factors, or are they within us? Of course, we shall have to combat challenges thrown by external factors. But they can be spotted and countered, if we pool in all resources in hand and efficiently use them.
More challenging, however, are the evil forces playing from within — our preconditioned mind marked by our unending cravings and temptations of life, negative thought trends, lack of alertness necessary for timely initiatives and responses, and habit tendencies. All the more because they stand in way of positives within coming out in full play. Caught up in the usual flow of life, we seldom care to identify, acknowledge and address them within time. That makes it incumbent upon us to first address the evil forces playing from within.
Nine days of prayer regime is stipulated with the above end in view. In the process, the primary focus is on Mother Goddess Durga, the epitome of Shakti. For, all aspects of our dynamic existence are primarily driven by nature driven energy-orchestra (Shakti). And energy remains a double edged weapon. When judiciously used for productive ends, it is rewarding and fulfilling. If, however, knowingly or unknowingly it gets misdirected — put to unbecoming acts — it can prove self-defeating. How we apply our energies in real terms, depends on our unique character — positively or negatively oriented. We need to be on full alert to consciously use our power towards well-meaning purposes. The irony, however, is that ordinarily, our flirtatious mind remains caught up in the tempting influences of the glare and glitters of the seeming world. We keep passionately chasing what lies at the surface level, randomly jumping from one desire trend to the other. In the process, we seldom remain alert enough to use our power base in a reasoned way, and with obvious consequences.
From the fourth day, we simultaneously pay attention to Mother Goddess Laxmi marked with our creative aspirations. This reminds us to remain focused to our need based requirements. Nothing, however, would come through, if we don’t use our resources intelligently. So, during the last three days, Mother Goddess Saraswati, the epitome of knowledge and wisdom is pursued. All through the process, our indwelling negatives will keep playing from within, which we could identify and acknowledge. We are supposed to make offerings of such unseemly tendencies at the altar of Mother trinity, so as to purify our mind. Following which, we gain access to full landscape of mind to come out with our best. We then look at the issues in hand, the aspirational urges, and challenges coming our way in right perspective due. That paves the way to negotiate with the callings of life as an informed and wide awake person with ease and comfort, which may lead us to a better tomorrow.
Navaratri, thus, provides us with an occasion to get periodically geared up to take on life ahead in all strength.
The writer is an astrologer, vastu consultantand spiritual counsellor. Connect with him at