Navaratri is dedicated to the feminine nature of the Divine. Durga, Lakshmi, and Saraswati are symbols of three dimensions of the feminine.

They also represent the three basic qualities of existence - tamas, rajas, and sattva. Tamas means inertia. Rajas means activity and passion. Sattva, in a way, is the breaking of boundaries - dissolution, melting and merging.

Among the Earth, the Sun, and the Moon - the three celestial objects that the making of our bodies is very deeply connected with - Mother Earth is considered tamas, the Sun is rajas and the Moon is sattva.

Those who aspire for power, immortality, and strength will worship those forms of the feminine which are referred to as tamas, like Kali or Mother Earth. Those who aspire for wealth, passion, life and various other gifts that the material world has to offer, naturally aspire towards that form of the feminine which is referred to as Lakshmi or the Sun. Those who aspire for knowledge, knowing, and transcending the limitations of the mortal body, will aspire for that aspect of the feminine which is referred to as sattva. This is represented by Saraswati or the Moon.

Tamas is the nature of the Earth and of your birth. The gestation period that we spend in the womb is tamas; it is a state which is almost like hibernation, but we are growing. The moment you come out, you start activity - rajas begins. And if you are aware or fortunate enough, sattva will touch you.

Investing in these three will make your life in a certain way. If you invest in tamas, you will be powerful in one way; if you invest in rajas, you will be powerful in a different way; if you invest in sattva, you will be powerful in a completely different way. You must draw upon these three dimensions of existence and sustenance for yourself because you need all these three. But if you go beyond all this, it is no longer about power, it is about liberation.

To approach these nine days, and every other aspect of life in a celebratory way is most important. If you approach everything in a celebratory way, you learn to be non-serious about life but absolutely involved. The problem with most human beings right now is if they think something is important, they will become dead serious about it. If they think it is not so important, they will become lax about it - they don't show the necessary involvement. The secret of life is in seeing everything with a non-serious eye but absolutely involved, like a game.

After Navaratri, the tenth and final day of Dussehra is Vijayadashami - that means you have conquered all these three qualities. You did not give into any of them, you saw through every one of them. You participated in each one of them, but you did not invest in them; you won over them. That is Vijayadashmi, the day of victory.


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