Date: Navaratri or the nine sacred nights to the Mother Goddess
are celebrated in the month of October - November to commemorate the
victory of Good over Evil. Dasara, also known as Vijyadashami, is celebrated
on the tenth day.
Legend: Navaratri commemorates the day (Suda Padyami in the
Asvayuja month) on which the combined powers of the three Goddesses
Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati (Ichcha Shakti, Kriya Shakti and Jnana
Shakti) put an end to evil forces represented by the buffalo headed
"The Navaratri (Nine Nights) festival is celebrated in order
to proclaim to the world the power of these three Goddesses. One's
own mother is a combination of all three Divine beings. Mother provides
us energy, wealth and intelligence. She constantly desires our advancement
in life. So she represents all three goddesses that we worship during
Navaratri festival. Recognizing one's mother as the very embodiment
of all Divine forces, one must show reverence to her with love. This
is the true message that the Navaratri Festival gives us.
It is a festival of nine nights dedicated to the three principal
Shakti forms of goddesses Mahakali, Mahalakshmi and Mahasaraswati.
The number nine represents the Universal aspect of Divinity. All numerals
from 0 to 9 form all other numerals. There is no numeral beyond 9.
- The First three days are to invoke Durga to surmount the
six evil forces of desire, anger, hatred, lust, greed and pride
- The Second three days are to invoke Mahalakshmi to subdue
mental agitationís (vikshepa) which can only be achieved by praying
to the Divine and by upasana (constant contemplation).
- The Third and last three days are to invoke Mahasaraswati
to overcome the ignorance and illusion by the wisdom and knowledge."
The tenth day is Vijyadashami, which is also the day when the Asura
(evil) King Ravana was destroyed, and Shri Rama was crowned at Ayodhya.
It is also the day on which the great Emperor Vikramaditya ascended
his jeweled throne acquired as a boon and also the anniversary of the
passing away of the founder of Jainism, Mahavir Swami.
Discourses: Nov 9, 1988 and Oct 14, 1988