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Nava Raatri

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Nava Raatri
See also   Devee;    Devee Mahaatmya;    Nava Raatri

Three goddesses Durgaa, Lakshmee and Saraswatee - form a configuration which helps the human soul get rid of the Mal (impurities), gain spiritual knowledge and attain liberation or Moksh.

Durgaa is a demon killer (Kriyaa Shakti). Demons are the Taamasik (Dark) demons in our mind: Kaam, Krodh, Lobh, Moh, Mad, and Matsarya (desire, anger, greed, delusion, pride, and envy). Once Durgaa kills these demons, Lakshmee (Ichchhaa Shakti) takes over the mind and helps us get rid of Raajasik Vikshep (False perception; distraction; to and fro oscillations of the mind; gales of desire blowing in the mind) which are hard to remove from the mind. Lakshmee helps man acquire the Will Power (Ichchhaa Shakti) and get rid of remnants of desire and false perception by Upaasanaa (worship). What is left is ignorance, meaning spiritual ignorance. Spiritual enlightenment is infused by Saraswatee (Gyaan Shakti).

The eradication of impurities, desires and ignorance with the help of these three deities is celebrated for nine days and nine nights, 3 days and 3 nights for each deity (Nava Raatri = nine nights). It takes nine days and nine nights to defeat these demons. Nine manifestation of Mother Goddess (Durgaa, Bhadrakaalee, Ambaa, Annapoornaa, Sarvamangalaa, Bhairavee, Chandikaa, Lalitaa, and Bhavaanee) are celebrated over nine nights. The tenth day is Vijaya Dashamee - meaning victory (over the demons of the mind; realization and emancipation) on the 10th day. It is celebrated in the beginning of summer and winter. In Puraan, the demons are described as living beings.

Mantra :   
Aum Shree Mahaa Lakshmyai Namah.
Aum Shree Durgaayai Namah.
Aum Aim Saraswatyai Namah.
[Read more on the desires of the mind and spiritual ignorance and their personification as the buffalo demon morphing into an elephant or vice versa etc; desire is compared to an animal. "Devee Mahaatmya"

Geetaa 3.38 says : As the smoke envelops the fire, as the dust covers the mirror, as the womb covers the fetus, so passion (desire) obscures the wisdom.

Removal of Aavaran (cover) and Vikshep.
Aavaran = Veiling caused by spiritual ignorance.
Vikshep = oscillating mind of desires, scattering, tossing, throwing, discharging.
Spiritual A-Gyaan, Aavaran and Vikshep are linear elements.
Ignorance and Aavaran are like a cataract in the eye preventing Light (of Wisdom) reaching the eye and brain (soul). This veil or cataract prevents the Light of Sat and Chit of Brahman from reaching the soul. They are impediments to spiritual progress.

In the absence of spiritual wisdom (Saktinipatam = descent of Wisdom as in Shaiva Siddhaant) coming into the soul, the mind jumps from one desire to the next illustrated by the morphing of the desire-demon from an elephant to a buffalo. When one desire is killed, another desire pops up in its place in an endless fashion. It is the whipping gale of desire, its many variants, permutations and effects. On a philosophical note, Vikshep Shakti is driven by A-Gyaan (ignorance) and desire. Mind is the stage wherein the Vikshep demon jumps from one desire to the next in an endless fashion. One desire morphs into another one when you kill the preceding desire. It is removed by Nish-Kaam Karm, action without expectation of rewards or desireless action. As in cataract extraction, you remove this ignorance by Aavaran Bhang (removal of the veil [cataract] by Upaasanaa, worship).

To illustrate this concept of eradication of the clonal colony of desires, Mahaa Lakshmee sucks the marrow dry and drinks the last drop of blood of the demon (of desires) so he does not shed any more blood and make more clones of himself (desires) arising from the dripping blood. Mahaa Lakshmee presides over this stage and overcomes Raajasik Aavaran and Vikshep. The end result is enlightenment.

Note: Ancient Indian seers did have then idea of cloning. Whenever the demon shed a drop of blood, that drop of blood became another demon - like Raktbeej Asur.


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Created by Sushma Gupta on 3/15/06
Updated on 06/16/11