Navratra literally means ‘9 nights’. These days are astrologically very powerful for Spiritual upliftment.
During these days and nights, prayers are offered to ‘Mother’ who is the Manifestation of the Absolute Energy that pervades the Universe. As ‘Durga’ sitting on a Lion, she is a Manifestation of ‘Shakti’ or the Primordial Energy. The Power to breathe, walk, digest etc, comes from Ma Durga.
As Laxmi She is abundance. Not only material, but of Air, Land, Space etc. The fact that you have understood what I have written so far is due to the Grace of Ma Saraswati’ She is the ‘OM’, from where all sound emanates. ‘Ma’ is the ‘Garbha’ (Womb) from where the Universe manifests.
A fortnight before Durga Puja, offerings (Tarpan) are made to ancestors. This continues till Mahalaya. Before one proceeds on the Spiritual Path, the offerings are probably a form of gratitude to the ancestors as our fathers are responsible for our achieving a human body.
The next ‘worship’ is towards Mother Nature. On the 1st day of the Puja (mahashasti) one prays to the abode of ‘Mother’ which is the wood apple tree.
On the 2nd day of the puja, navaptrika (nine leaves) are offered.
The word ‘Garba’ stems from ‘Garbha’ and symbolizes the ‘Dance of Creation’ The first 3 days of ‘Navratra’ are dedicated to ‘Ma Kali’ to annihilate the enemies within
The next 3 days are dedicated to ‘Ma Laxmi’ and the last 3 days are dedicated to Ma Saraswati.
On the 10th day a Bonfire is lit to burn the Self arrogating Ego. Whether we pray to Ma or not, she thinks of us all the time. She holds us in our arms when dejected, gives us various gifts from time to time, but admonishes us when we cross our line.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar explains:
‘The first 3 days of Navratri are attributed to Tamoguna, signifying depression, fear and emotional instability; the second 3 days to Rajoguna characterized by anxiety and feverishness and the last 3 days to sattva guna that pertains to calm, peace and dynamism’.
When we move from tamoguna to sattwa, victory happens. That is we overcome our own devilish tendencies…
Raktabijakshur stands for inertia and Dhumralochan for laziness…What do we call someone who is dull, thick skinned and insensitive? A buffalo! Only the Mother Divine can destroy this buffalo with the collective energy of Brahma Vishnu and Mahesh…
Though Navratri is celebrated as the victory of good over evil…From the Vedantic point of view it is the victory of the absolute reality over the apparent duality…Recognizing the one divinity in every form and every name is celebration of Navratri…’
The Ramadan falls around the same time as Navratra (2005)
During the month of Ramadan the first 10 days are dedicated to the mercy of Allah.
The next 10 days spotlight on forgiveness from Allah and the last 10 days on liberation from Hell Fire.
Ma Vaishno Devi’s birth name is Trikuta. She was called Vaishnavi because of Her taking birth from Lord Vishnu’s lineage. When Trikuta was 9 years old, She sought her father’s permission for doing penance on the sea-shore. Trikuta prayed to Lord Vishnu in the form of Rama. During Shree Ram’s search for Sita, He reached the sea-shore along with His army. His eyes fell on this Divine Girl in deep meditation. Trikuta told Shree Ram that She had accepted Him as Her husband. Shree Ram told Her that during this Incarnation He had vowed to be faithful to only Sita. However the Lord assured Her that in ‘Kaliyuga’ He would manifest as ‘Kalki’ and would marry Her.
In the meantime Shree Ram asked Trikuta to meditate in the cave found in the Trikuta Range of Manik Mountains, situated in Northern India. Ma decided to observe the ‘Navratra’ for the Victory of Shree Ram against Ravan. Hence one reads the Ramayana during the 9 days of Navratra.
May I urge you to do the same on these 9 days of Navratra? It is a mammoth task for most of us, so could I request you to divide the 50 pages of my book ‘Symbolisms in the Ramayana‘ into 9 days and read 5 and a half pages a day?
Thought Three (2001)
And once more ‘Navratras’ are on!
The nine nights in which we shall worship the Cosmos and the Cosmic Self as The Mother Goddess!
The Mother has various names and forms, but the one that comes to mind, is very relevant to the times that we are going through.
Allow me to describe Her to you!
Mother holds weapons and emblems in Her 10 hands. She has a benign face, a smile and a golden yellow hue. She rides a lion and drives a spear into the chest of a Demon.
That Demon’s name is Mahishaasur, I would prefer to call him ‘Terrorism’.
Mother has taken it upon Herself to make the world free of oppression.
The Devi Mahaatmya, which consists of 700 verses and is part of the Markandeya Puraana describes the battle between Mother and the demons.
The following shloka asks for the protection of Goddess Durga who fought and defeated all the demons
Yaa Chandi Madhu Kaithabh pramathini yaa Maahishon mulini
yaa Dhum rakshana chanda munda mathini yaa rakta bijaashini
shaktihi shumbha nishumbha daitya dalini yaa siddh laxmi para
saa durgaa navakoti murtir sahitaa maam paatu vishweshwari
Mahishaasur changed his form many a time, but Mother ultimately trapped him under Her foot.
The demon and his various forms represents evil and its various disguises. Also the base instinct in man.
It is believed that Sri Ram prayed to the Mother before embarking for Lanka to fight the demon Raavana.
The Mother is known as ‘Shakti’ or the Divine Female Energy.
Her other popular names include:
Uma or Light, Kali or Dark, Gauri, the Yellow, Durga, the Invincible, Bhairavi, Jagaddhatri, Amba, Chamundi, Bhadrakali
Each night of the Navratras is dedicated to one form of Mother.
Mata Shailputri- Daughter of Parvatraj (King of the Mountain) Himalaya. She married Shankar and gave birth to Ganesh (The Remover of obstacles) and Kartikeya (The God of War). Mata Brahmachaarini- She gives the world the message of Pure Love. Mata Chandraghanta-She establishes Justice. She wears the crescent moon on Her head. Mata Kushmaanda-She provides the ‘Everyday Sustenance’ to the world. SkandMata-She gives the world the gift of Discrimination of right from wrong. Mata Kaatyayini- Constantly fights against Evil and devious entities. Mata Kaalraatri-She killed a demon called Raktabeej. (He had the power to produce a demon from every drop of blood, that fell from his body. Mother eventually licked the blood before it could touch the ground, and thus overpowered him.) Mata Chaamunda-She killed the 2 demons, called Chanda and Munda and re-established order. Mata Maha-Gauri who also rid the world of evil forces. Mata Sidhidaarti-She is a Treasure house of Yantra Tantra (Mystic Powers) and Gyaan (Knowledge)
Let us worship Mother to help us through the difficult times, the world is going through.
We must have faith that virtue and goodness will continue to prevail despite the heavy odds.
Devi Adhi Parashakti
The classic text of the Devi Mahatmya, tells a story of how Shaktis (Energies)
emerged from each of the Gods to aid the Supreme Goddess in fighting the asuras (demons). Each shakthi possessed the form, ornament, and mount of the particular god. These are the goddesses who serve Adhiparasakthi and carry out Her functions.
The one who rules this world. Everything in this world is contained in HER. All forms in the world are HER forms. All living things are part of HER.
It is Devi AdhiParashakti who performs the tasks of the Tri-Murthys, Siva, Vishnu and Brahma. She is the 8 Siddhis, 7 Rishis, Lords of the 8 directions, 11 Rudras and many more
She is not only worshipped by men but also by the Devas. She is
present in everything we see. She is represented in the plants,
the animals, the birds, the sea, the sky and the holy river.
She is the Shakti ( power) who drives this world.
She is the mother
The 7 Goddesses of Adhi Parasakthi
Brahmi represents Lord Brahma’s energy. She has big eyes. Her body is golden in color with four arms. She is seated on Her vehicle which is a swan.
Chamundi represents an aspect of Mother’s energy. She has three eyes and eight hands. She is seated on Her vehicle which is a buffalo. Her left foot is resting on a demon who is praying to Her.
Indirani represents Lord Indra’s energy. She is wearing very
beautiful (rich) ornaments and clothing and has four arms. She is seated on her vehicle which is an elephant.
Kowmari represents Lord Muruga’s energy. She is kumkum (red powder) in color with four arms and she wears a diamond studded crown. Her flag which has a peacock on it. She is seated on Her vehicle which is a peacock.
Maheswari represents Lord Shiva’s energy. She has three eyes (2 normal and 1 in Her forehead). Her body is white in color with four arms. Her hair is shaped into a crown and She has a cobra around Her neck. She also has Her weapon which is a Soolum (trident) and her flag which has a bull on it. She is seated on Her vehicle which is a bull.
Varahi represents Lord Yama’s energy. She is very dark in color and she is wearing black silk and black jewelry. Her face is like that of a boar and she has four arms. She is seated on a peetam (seat) with her left foot supported by a small stool.
Vishanavi represents Lord Vishnu’s energy. She has lotus like eyes and Her body is a dark cloud color (blueish) with four arms. She is seated on Her vehicle which is a eagle
Devi Adhi Parashkti: Babitha Vasanth http://groups.yahoo.com/group/srimookambika-devi/message/168
Thought Four (2002)
THE UNIVERSAL ENERGY
A mother has the ability to generate life.
God’s ‘desire’ to create is represented by a Female Energy.
Hindus have always believed in worshipping the Male and Female aspect of God together.
In common parlance, one often hears, that Krishna without Radha is incomplete.
Rama and Seeta are also always worshipped together.
Shiva and Parvati are worshipped in the form which is conceived as ‘united in a single body’.
I have heard that the Female counterpart of God is ‘Maya’ the Creation.
The Energy that created the Universe stems from the Female Energy of God.
And God and His Creation is not separable.
God is not only His Creation, but lives in every atom of It.
During the Navratra festival Mother, as the Universal Energy is worshipped.
Navratra literally means ‘9 nights’.
During these days and nights, prayers are offered to ‘Mother Goddess’
Hindus believe that the Mother stands for everything that is everywhere in the Universe.
The first 3 days are devoted to the worship of the Mother Kali.
It is in all probability for the destruction of the evil tendencies that live within us.
The 2nd, 3 days and nights are devoted to the worship of Mother Laxmi.
Mother Laxmi gifts us all the wealth that we possess, and all the wonderful things that money can buy.
She stands for all the abundance in every conceivable form that exists in our life.
The last 3 days and nights are devoted to Mother Saraswati.
Mother Saraswati, gifts us knowledge.
After having cleansed ourselves, and having partaken of the necessities of life, it is time to imbibe, the knowledge and wisdom that Mother Saraswati imparts.
Laxmi and Saraswati
According to Devdutt Pattanaik
‘It is said that Vishnu keeps Saraswati on his tongue. This makes Laxmi jealous. She rushes towards him and plants herself in his heart. Vishnu knows that the fickle Laxmi will leave as soon as Saraswati leaves his tongue. Thus to sustain Laxmi, he needs Saraswati. Good leaders know that to sustain their business they constantly need to inspire, motivate people and at the same time innovate new products and services that will delight the customer. Laxmi will come into the company where Saraswati thrives.’
On the 10th day, a bonfire (Havan) is lit.
During the 9 days of Navratra people dance the Garba Dance.
Whether we pray to Mother Goddess or not, She thinks of us all the time.
She holds us in our arms when we feel sad, in the form of our own mother, or friend.
Mother Laxmi gives us various gifts from time to time.
As Mother Saraswati, she teaches us all the wonderful things that we need to learn. And as Mother Kali, She teaches us lessons that may be painful, but are ultimately for our own good.
Deepak Chopra states:
The all-pervading energy, source of existence, or Shakti manifests itself as creation. Shakti is the divine mother who gives birth and nurtures the new born- whether it is a new-born baby, a brand new relationship, a fresh idea, or a magical manifestation. Although Shakti is beyond the boundaries of gender, form or colour, we call it Mother because of its mothering and creative qualities.
Mother Saraswati holds a pen in one hand which symbolizes the power to communicate through the written word. The name Saraswati is derived from the Sankrit words sara, which means, ‘essence’;and swa, which means, ‘self’. Thus Saraswati means “the essence of the self”. The Vedas that She holds in Her hand, summon the spirit of brilliant knowledge.
Material Prosperity (Laxmi) invites knowledge(Saraswati). Goddess Saraswati represents the fine arts.
Many believe that ones self-essence can be found through the use of knowledge and wisdom.The Gayatri Mantra is one of the most well-known invocations to Mother.
Mother’s white saree speaks of Her purity. Her carriage is the swan.
The swan is able to separate water from milk. Great Saints in the Hindu tradition are addressed as ‘Param Hans’ meaning a great Swan. The reason? Because great sages are able to separate good from bad, truth from falsehood and illusion, true knowledge from ignorance…
Mother Saraswati is called Veena Vaadini. She plays an instrument called Veena which has seven strings. The number seven is mostly associated with the seven charkas.
On either side of the veena there are two hollow rounds.
Maybe those hollow globes save one from drowning in the ocean of Samsara.
The parsaad offered to the Goddess are nutrients that increase the potential of the brain. The parsaad (food offering) consists of Misri (sugar) nuts, cardammon, nodes of the bamboo shoot (banslochan) and lotus seeds.
The rosary made of tulsi seeds makes one consistent in the pursuit of knowledge and spirituality.
For the puja of Mother Saraswati: The youngest girl applies a teeka on everyone’s forehead. The other devotees then sprinkle water, and other auspicious offerings on Mother Saraswati. Aarti is performed. Parsaad for devotees consists of a few bers, a laddoo, a paan… and good will and cheer.
In Fatehpur Sikri and Mathura, a fair is held during October/November to celebrate the killing of Kansa by Krishna.
Hindus dedicate the ‘Mahalaya Amavasya’ to ancestors.
Tirupati Brahmotsavam is held in Tirumala to honour Lord Vishnu as Balaji for 10 days during Navratri
There is a mantra in Devi Hridaya called the garland of names of Mahakali.. Could u please let me have it in sanskrit (transliterations in english).. What I have is the meaning of the mantra in english,, and i want the original sanskrit words.. Many thanks
here is something I found of the Hridaya of Kali
The Heart of Kali
Final liberation is attained by the knowledge that the atma is the witness, is the truth, is omnipresent, is one, free from all deluding distractions of self and not-self, the supreme, and though abiding in the body is not in the body. – Mahanirvana Tantra XIV, 116.
[The following stotra (hymn), published in the Kali Rahasya, a Kali puja compendium, is intended to stave off bad fortune and give success. However, it also touches on many of the hidden left-hand (vamachara) practices of Kali. It is translated here into English for the first time.]
Shri Mahakala said: Listen, dearest, to Dakshina’s supreme secret, very hidden and difficult to obtain, her very marvellous hymn known as the Hridaya. Unvocalised before, I reveal it now because of your love. It should be concealed from others! This is true, true, O Mountain Born One.
Shri Devi said: Shambhu Maheshvara, ocean of compassion, in which yuga did my hymn arise, and how was it created? Tell me all of this.
Shri Mahakala said: A long time ago I decapitated Prajapati, and due to this evil act of slaying a brahmana came to be Bhairava (1). I created this hymn to destroy the sin of brahminicide, dearest. This hymn destroys the consequence of killing brahmins (2).
Application: Om. Shri Mahakala is the rishi of this heart mantra of Shri Dakshina Kalika. Ushnik is the metre. Shri Dakshina Kalika is the devata. Krim is the bija. Hrim is the shakti. Namah is the peg. Its application follows from its continual recitation.
Om. Kram to the heart namah.
Om. Krim to the head svaha.
Om. Krum to the peak vasat.
Om. Kraim to the armour hum.
Om. Kraum to the three eyes vausat.
Om. Krah to the missile Phat.
Meditate on Kali Mahamaya with three eyes, of different forms, with four arms, a rolling tongue, bright as a full moon, the colour of a blue night lotus, dispeller of the assembly of enemies, holding a man’s skull, a sword, a lotus, and giving boons.
Her mouth is bloody and fanged, she has a fear inspiring form, she is addicted to very loud laughter and completely naked.
The Devi sits on a corpse and is adorned with a garland of skulls. After meditating on Mahadevi like this, then read the Hridaya.
Om Kalika, primordial and terrifying form, bestower of the fruit of all desires, hymned by all gods, destroy my enemies.
Hrim, you who are the essence of Hrim, the most excellent thing in the three worlds, hard to obtain, out of love for me, deny anything whatsoever to he whom I name!
Now I speak of the meditation, O supreme self, the essence of night. Whoever knows this becomes liberated while still living.
Meditate on her having dishevelled and matted hair, decorated with strings of serpents, a half moon as her diadem, in union with Mahakala.
Boon giver, visualising her like this causes all people to become liberated in every way. This is true, true.
Now listen to the yantra of the supreme goddess, the giver of success in whatsoever is desired. Hide this greatly quintessential secret of secrets with every effort.
The Kali yantra, the giver of true siddhi, is made from five triangles, an eight petal lotus, surrounded by a bhupura, and encompassed by skulls and funeral pyres (3). The mantra, previously spoken of, should always be worn on the body dearest!
Now Devi Dakshina Kali’s garland of names is revealed: Kali, Dakshina Kali, black of body, the supreme self, wearing a garland of skulls, large eyed, cause of creation and dissolution, self of maintenance, Mahamaya, the power of yoga, the essence of good fortune, the female serpent, intoxicated with wine, the sacrificial offering, with the vagina as her banner, primordial one, always ninefold, terrifying, the greatly effulgent one, formidable, with a corpse as her vehicle, Siddhi Lakshmi, Niruddha, Sarasvati.
Whoever recites this garland of names daily causes me to become their slave. Maheshvari, this is true, true.
Kali, destroyer of time, goddess of skeletal form, taking the form of a raven, blacker than black, I worship you O Dakshina Kalika!
I bow to you Kalika, Maharaudri, fond of the night, Devi liking kunda, gola and svayambhu flowers (4).
I bow to you Duti (5), the Duti causing yoga to arise from sexual intercourse, you who are the great Duti, fond of Dutis, the supreme Duti, the Lady of Yoga.
Those who recite the mantra Krim seven times over water and then sprinkle themselves with it destroy all disease. There is no question about this.
Those who seek any object who charge sandal paste with the great mantra Krim Svaha and then make a forehead mark of it become the most intelligent of people, and always able to subjugate.
Those who offer unhusked rice while reciting the mantra Krim Hram Hrim seven times, destroy great worries and obstacles, there is no doubt of it.
Those who pronounce the mantra Krim Hrim Hrum Svaha over the cremation pyre, then encircle the house of their enemies with the ashes kill their enemies.
Those who offer seven flowers and pronounce the mantra Hrum Hrim Krim uproot their foes, no doubt of it.
If, after reciting Krim Krim Krim, while offering unhusked rice, it causes the object of attraction to swiftly come from a distance of even 1,000 yojanas (6).
Those who recite the mantra Krim Krim Krim Hrum Hrum Hrim Hrim seven times, purifying water and making a forehead mark of it, delude the whole world.
Parameshani, this Hridaya is the destroyer of all evil, a million million times greater than Ashvamedha and other sacrifices. The fruit it gives is one million million times better than the offerings given to virgins (7). Its results, it is said, are greater by one million million than those obtained from offering to Dutis.
It is a million times greater than the results obtained from bathing in the Ganges and other sacred waters. Reciting it only once bestows these results. This is true, true, I swear it.
The initiated person who, after worshipping a kumari of beautiful form, and then recites this hymn, becomes liberated whilst living, O Maheshani.
If, after having seen the vagina full of menses, one should recite it with one-pointed mind, Varanane! he gains the supreme place in Deviloka, the heaven of the goddess.
In great sorrow, suffering great disease, in great conflicts, in great anxieties, in fearful terrifying places, if one should recite this ultimate stotra. (one is freed from them) in a day.
This is true, true and again true. It should be hidden like a mother’s yoni.
(1) This story is related in the Skanda Purana. Brahma liked his daughter and wanted to couple with her. But that didn’t meet with the approval of Shiva, who cut off his fifth head. Brahma and Shiva had a great fight, which the latter won. Shiva, however, had committed the sin of killing a Brahmin, an act requiring expiation. Forever afterwards, Shiva in his form of Bhairava, the terrible one, bears the fifth head of Brahma.
(2) So followers of Shiva have a licence to kill brahmins! This probably stems from a time when the Aryan race was entering India and faced opposition from the indigenous tribes already occupying the subcontinent.
(3) Kali has eight different cremation grounds. They are enumerated in the voluminous work called the Mahakalasamhita, Guhyakali Khanda.
(4) The three primary types of menstrual blood in the tantrik tradition.
(5) Duti means messenger. Yet the meaning is She who makes Shiva Her messenger.
(6) A Hindu measure of distance.
(7) Kumari Puja – to this day performed in Nepal, where a young girl is treated as an incarnation of the goddess.
here is a list I have of the names – Namavali of Kali Maa – Sanskrit transliteration and english.
Mahakali Jagadhatri (creator of the world)
Jaganmata ( mother of the world) Jaganmayi (consisting of the world)
Jagadamba (world mother)
Jagatsara (essence of the world)
Jagadanandakarini (cause of bliss in the world)
Jagadvighnasini (destroyer of world obstacles)
Gauri (golden one)
Dukhadaridyanashini (destroyer of unhappiness and poverty)
Bhairavabhavini Bhavananta Sarasvataprada (bestower of eloquence)
Chaturvargaprada (giver of the four aims)
Sarvamangalamangala (greatest fortune of all)
Bhadrakali Vilakshi Kamadatri (giving desires)
Kalatmika (self of kalas)Nilavani (blue Sarasvati)
Mahagaurasarvanga (greatly golden in all limbs)
Sundaripara (supremely beautiful)
Sarvasampatprada (giver of all prosperity)
Bhimanadini (sounding terrifying)
Varavarnini Vararoha Shivaruha (riding Shiva)
Mahishasuradhatini Shivapujya (worshipped by Shiva)
Shivaprita (loved by Shiva)
Danavendraprapujita (worshipped by Danavas)
Sarvavidyamayi (consisting of all vidya)
Sarvasarvabhisthaphalaprada (giver of the fruit of every possible desire) Komalangi (soft of limbs)
Vidhatrivaradayini (giver of boons in creation)
Purnenduvadana (with a face like the full moon)
Nilameghavarna (the colour of a blue rain-cloud)
Kapalini Kurukulla Viprachitta Kantachitta Madonmada (drunk with desire)
Matangi (elephant lady) Madanaprita Madaghurnitalochana (eyes full of desire) Madottirna Kharparasinaramundavilasini Naramundasraja (with a necklace of men’s heads)
Devi Khadgahasta (holding a cleaver)
Bhayanaka (giving fear)
Attahasayuta (laughing loudly)
Padmaragopashobhita Karabhayaprada (hand removing fear)
Kali Kalaratrisvarupini (true form of the night of time)
Svadha Svaha Vashatkara Saradindusamaprabha Sharatjyotsna (light of the autumn moon)
Samhlada Viparitaratatura (addicted to taking the superior sexual role)
Muktakeshi (dishevelled of hair)
Chinnajata Jatajutavilasini Sarvarajayutabhima Sarvarajoparisthata Shmashanstha (dwelling in the cremation ground)
Mahanandistuta (praised by Mahanandi)
Samdiptalochana Shavasanarata (addicted to the corpse asana)
Nanda Siddhacharanasevita (served by Siddhacharas)
Balidanapriya (fond of sacrifice)
Garbha (the womb)
Bhurbhuvasvahsvarupini (true form of Bhurbhuvahsvar)
Gayatri Savitri MahanilasarasvatiLakshmirlakshanasamyukta (showing all the signs of Lakshmi)
Sarvalakshanalakshita (having every single characteristic)
Vyaghracharmavrita (wearing tiger skin)
Madhya Trivalivalayanchita Gandharvaihsamstutasa (praised by the Gandharvas)
Inda Mahapara (greatly supreme one)
Pavitra Parama (supreme)
From Kali Chalisa
http://www.archaka.com/dynamic/modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=190 this is a link to Kali Chalisa – note that there is a second page to this linked to this first page.
peace & purpose
Ramakrishna Paramhansa had a vision in Benaras…On one side of the pyre he saw Shivji imparting into every jiva’s ear the mantra of Supreme Brahmn…On the other side of the pyre the all powerful Mahakali was untying all the knots of bondage, gross, subtle and causal of the jiva produced by past impressions and sending him to the indivisible sphere by opening with Her own hands the door to liberation…
A note from me (Shakun)
It is considered auspicious to read the Ramayana during the Navratra. If you would like to read a short version,