CHAITRA NAVARATRI—Festival of the Divine Mother
The Festival of Nine Nights ('nava-raatri') this year begins today on March 28 and ends on Ram Navmi on April 5, 2017. The significance of Navaratri festival is that the divine power restored Dharma. Observed in the lunar month of Chaitra, Goddess Shakti is worshiped in nine forms on nine days, according to the Hindu calendar. Navaratri Puja begins with Shubh Muhurat time on the same date as Gudi Padwa and Ugadi, celebrated as New Year in Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh respectively.
During the festival, the Supreme Mother in nine of her most prominent forms is worshipped, invoking all the aspects of the Divine in the form of the Universal Mother, commonly referred to as ‘Durga’, which literally means the remover of miseries of life. She is also referred to as ‘Devi’ (goddess) or ‘Shakti’ (energy or power). It is this energy, which sustains the work of creation, preservation and destruction. Sri Aurobindo says the following of the Universal Mother and the Individual Mother:
“The universal and individual Mother are the same—these are two aspects of the Supreme Mother—but the differentiation is for the multiple action and play. So also one feels the self as one’s own self in an individual way but also that there is the same self individualised in others and all are one.”
During these nine days, we will be interspacingly present the Four Aspects of the Mother, as identified by Sri Aurobindo, by which she manifests herself in this eternal cycle of creation.