As a child, I had often wondered why “Durga” is the first goddess worshipped in the beginning of the Navarathas. When we are told that Saraswati is the Goddess of knowledge should we, especially when we are students, not respect her the first ? I could not help asking my grandfather if he had got the sequence confused. It was then that he explained the significance of the Navaratras.
Navaratri actually represents a celebration of the Goddess Amba, (the Power). In fact, the worship of Shakti (the sublime, ultimate, absolute creative energy) of the Divine conceptualized as the Mother Goddess-Durga, whose worship dates back to prehistoric times before the dawn of the Vedic age. In the Vedic age, a whole chapter in the Rigveda addresses the devotional sadhanas of Shakti.
Durga is considered the most significant and also the most powerful as she represents destruction of evil. The evil, in this case, could be external enemies or the inner vices that most of us grapple with, time and again.
After Durga, Lakshmi is worshipped. Lakshmi here refers to abundance and not mere notes and coins. A feeling of abundance could be there in the poorest of the poor while a feeling that one does not have enough could be present in the richest of people. Abundance comes when we know we are feeling looked after and our needs shall surely be met.
After these two are worshipped, then one worships Saraswathi, the Goddess of Knowledge. This is extremely significant as knowledge when a person has not progressed spiritually could cause tremendous harm to oneself and in extension to the world.
In today’s world, is this not really true ? We have all kinds of gadgets and wealth, but we are lonely. We can travel all over the world but are worried and scared that anything could take place in our backyard.
We do not have to remain like this. This Navaratri, let us pray to Maa Amba with all her manifestations to enable us to become more powerful by understanding that we are the creators of our world.
To begin with, let us fast spiritually to remove all evils in us and then the rest will surely follow.
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