In the Vedic calendar there are a few times in the year when the collective invokes the Mother Divine aspects of consciousness.
Mother Divine or Universal Mother is commonly referred to in the Vedas as "Durga" (remover of miseries), "Devi" (goddess) or "Shakti" (feminine energy or infinite power).
There are many ways to invoke the Mother Divine in us and in the collective.
Aspects of Mother Divine
- Gracefulness, elegance.
- Invincibility, capability.
- Feminine counterpart of the "destruction operator" in nature. - Like a stern mother ensuring we are following the laws of nature, or else, some destruction will occur to shake us up.
- The Divine personality known as 'Durga' (pictured) sits on her tiger with infinite arms holding shining weapons ready to slay the demons. This is expressive of the capability of pure Being (infinite arms) to dissolve (slay) negativity, stress and disease (demons).
These aspects of consciousness are referred to as Durga in the Veda.
- Increase of flow.
- Choosing the higher value of behaviour over the lower value of behaviour.
- Having every resource at the tip of your fingers. Because they align to the value of which nature is desiring for you and the universe.
- It is our natural-born heritage to be abundant. If mother nature is abundant, then we are.
These aspects of consciousness are referred to as Lakshmi in the Veda.
- Music, arts, culture.
- Feminine aspect of creation - the force of Natural Law (prakriti) that creates all expressed values on the basis of pure intelligence (Purusha).
- Education and knowledge. Personification of divine knowledge.
These aspects of consciousness are referred to as Saraswati in the Veda.
- Infinite adaptability and infinite organising power. (Shakti)
- Nourishing, nurturing, protecting. (Devi)
Navaratri: Times of the Year to Access Infinite Regenerative Energy
Every year, a special Vedic celebration is honoured called Navaratri.
"Nav(a)" = Nine.
"Ratri" = Night.
The festival "Navratri" is the 9 Nights of Mother Divine. This is an opportunity to join masses all over the world in invoking the energy aspect of mother divine.
When is Navaratri: Seasonal & Astrological Significance
There are actually 4x Navaratris each year. They come in the midst of seasonal transition (rtu sandhi) , giving us the opportunity to reset, let go, purify, rejuvenate, and move into the next phase of our life with greater lightness and ease.
There are two main Navratris to counter-balance the seasons that are associated with sickness and death:
Vasanta (Spring) and Sarat (Autumn) in India.
These seasons are called "Death's Teeth" (Yama Danta) because it is when the world is unstable. Spring is detoxifying what accumulated in the winter and autumn is purifying the accumulations and acid from the rainy season.
Furthermore, these two Navratris come at thresholds of the northern solstice (Uttarayana, Agneya) and southern solstice (Dakshinayana, Saumya).
It is at these times that us as a society have special need for grace, and so the Devi’s Navaratri, the Vasanta (spring) and Sarat (autumn) Navratri, are observed as times for special prayer and regeneration.
The "main" Navratri that is most celebrated and auspicious is Sarat Navarati, which takes place after the autumn monsoon and the autumn harvest (which in Australia is our Spring). It begins on the first day of the bright fortnight of the lunar month of Ashwini.
It is around September / October each year and changes according to the lunar calendar and the planetary alignments to align with Nature's powerful, rejuvenating and evolutionary cycles, rhythms and energies.
Ways to Invoke the Mother Divine:
(for both females, males and all gender-identifications to invoke)
- Place your awareness on the aspects of mother divine in you, people you know and that which permeates throughout the world. This is good to practice while you are in your most de-excited state (after meditation and yoga for example).
- When spending time with the people in your life, especially the women that are close to you, immerse in relationships with more honour, gratitude and love for the feminine divinity that emanates through that individual. Whatever you place your attention on grows. Allow that divinity to blossom and permeate! (This "Shakti" also certainly emanates through males).
- Chant or listen to mantras specific to mother divine.
- Attend ceremonies, celebrations and pujas with a specific focus on the mother divine.
- Perform the more specific rituals and rites that are outlined by the Rishi's (seers), gurus and in the ancient texts. Check your local Hindu temple, vedic community or pundit (Vedic Priest). In Sydney, I attend ceremonies with Pundit Sudheer Sharma and all over the world - online with Pundit Baskaran.
- Make the nine days a little retreat - honour yourself with more self-care and time by doing more dinacharya (Ayurvedic daily routine), sadhana (practice to attune yourself with nature), yoga, extended meditation programs (according to your meditation technique/program).
- For Navarati October 17th-25th - sponsor special Vedic fire ceremonies, known as 'Yagya', that take place in India over the 9 nights.
Ayurveda's View on Woman's Wellbeing
In Ayurveda, the woman's health and wellbeing is pivotal for not only the health and happiness of the family, but to the whole society and even the nation at large. Their wellbeing is a core influence that ripples throughout their (larger than you think) vicinity.
Woman's healthcare is a priority. From menarche (start of menstrual cycle) to pre-conception, to pregnancy, to menopause - the woman's health plays a major influence on the health of the people around her.
A Time For Transformation
The 9-days of Navrati represent the 9 months a baby spends in a mother’s womb. During Navratri, our consciousness evolves everyday from tamas (inertia, delusion) to sattva (purity, awakening).
- The initial step is to get rid of all the countless impurities (Kali).
- Then acquire virtues and auspicious and divine qualities (Lakshmi).
- Thus purified, knowledge flashes upon you like the brilliant rays of the sun in crystal waters of a perfectly calm lake (Saraswati).
This process can take a lifetime or more. It can also be fast tracked and experienced in a big hit during these 9 days, Navratri, by allowing the Divine Mother to operate though us.