Today is the second day of ‘Navaratri’, meaning nine nights. This is a festival celebrated in India, to celebrate the goddess. The goddess within us and the goddess around us. Traditions are such a wonderful thing! I have come to appreciate them even more now that I’m here in the US. Mainly because I’m beginning to understand where they come from. Traditions, followed blindly can sometimes become a chore. And yet, traditions followed mindfully, connect us to our ancestors. to our family. to our roots and who we are.
This particular tradition is a beautiful one. Its one where we celebrate all the women in our lives. We realize how much more meaningful our life has become having women around us. and we celebrate ourselves. The nine nights are for nine forms of the goddess, or 3 forms each of the triple goddess. The first three days are for goddess Durga. Durga is the goddess of strength and compassion. She rides a tiger, majestic and confident of her power. She is always there to rescue us from our demons, to slay them. We have to, but think of her. She is strong. And yet, gentle and loving. She is the forever young (‘Lalitha, one of her names, is often depicted as being forever 16!) and the divine consort of Lord Shiva. She is the beginning and end of creation. and She is in us. We all have Durga in us, and we can celebrate our Durga qualities these three days!
The next three days are for goddess Lakshmi, the goddess of beauty and prosperity. She is the epitome of beauty and divine. If I had to see Lakshmi in person, she would be draped in rich silks and flowers and gold, glowing with light and love. Lakshmi is the most beautiful part of us. The inner woman in our soul.
And then the last three days are in the honor of goddess Saraswathi. Holding the musical instrument veena in her hands, and sitting on a lotus, wearing white and gold, she is creativity, knowledge and wisdom. Her face is serene.She is the wise in us. The creative part of us, that can go beyond the boundaries and become the divine.
Every day, the goddess takes on a different role-the protectress, the loving, the strong and brave, the beautiful, the divine. We each have the goddess in us, and it is time to celebrate!! The new moon was yesterday, and as we take this journey for 9 days, we will reach its pinnacle next saturday, the 10th day celebrating the victory of the goddess. The goddess who shows us the way to the light. It is the time to create new beginnings in life and to celebrate the old ones.
I feel blessed to have some amazingly wonderful women in my life, and I shall be thinking of them all with love during this time.
I wish you a lovely Navaratri!!
Much love, S.