Significance of Navaratri

Last Updated 13 October 2010, 17:57 IST

Every festival in India is celebrated with a divine purpose so as to receive the grace of the Almighty. Science explores the law of gravitation while religion unfolds the law of grace. One can grow horizontally with the help of scientific knowledge.

Horizontal growth involves more and more of everything. More money, more wants …that can provide comfort but not inner satisfaction. Religion invites us into the world of vertical growth. Vertical growth involves exploring deep…deep in love, deep in devotion, deep in contentment….

Both horizontal & vertical growths are necessary in our lives. It is the vertical growth in the spiritual dimension that is essential for nourishing our soul. Festival is a reminder to evaluate time and again if the vertical growth is happening in oneself.

We operate from mechanical centre like a machine. This sickness has to be removed. Very few live life like a conscious free beings. But the truth is, we are not a machine but conscious individuals.

Navaratri is celebrated in different names in many parts of our country. The concept of God in Hinduism manifests as Brahma - the Creator, Vishnu - the Sustainer and Shiva - the Destroyer. All three elements co-exist. To create, the ingredient is knowledge and thus Lord Brahma's spouse is Saraswati. To sustain, the ingredient is wealth and thus Lord Vishnu's spouse is Lakshmi. To destroy, the ingredient is strength and thus Lord Shiva's spouse is Shakti.

In order to live happily in this world, we need all three ingredients - knowledge, wealth and strength. Only knowledge is not sufficient. Wealth too is required.

Both knowledge and wealth need to be acquired. One needs strength to destroy ignorance and to overcome obstacles while acquiring knowledge and wealth. Hence all the three ingredients are essential in one's life.

During Navaratri festival all the three qualities are invoked and worshiped in the form of Saraswati - an embodiment of knowledge, Lakshmi - an embodiment of wealth and Shakti - an embodiment of strength.

During the celebration of Navaratri, we take a commitment that the grace of all the three forms of Goddess will bless us in a way where we will invoke them every night prior to sleep.

This is a great discipline and preparation for the death, which will strike every one of us. 

(Published 13 October 2010, 17:57 IST)

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