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Navaratri

Navaratri (Sanskrit: नवरात्रि navarātri f. "Nine Night") is a colorful Indian festival to worship the Divine Mother over nine (Nava) solemn nights (Ratri) in spring and autumn. The worship of the great mother (Mahadevi) - Durga, Lakshmi, Saraswati - which is prevalent in India is a religious festival, an opportunity for great social enthusiasm. People celebrate in freedom to express their feelings for the divine watchful force that is seen as the source of the whole universe.

Durga on the tiger with their weapons

Spring Navaratri is also known as Rama Navami and is celebrated moderately. Autumn Navaratri is especially dedicated to the worship of the Divine Mother and, together with Shivaratri, Guru Purnima, Krishna Jayanti and Diwali, is one of the most important Indian spiritual festivals.

Sukadev via Navaratri

Transcription of a lecture video (2014) by Sukadev on Navaratri

Navaratri is a particularly holy festival. At Yoga Vidya, Navaratri is one of the holiest of all festivals. It's the longest festival we celebrate. "Nava" means nine and "Ratri" means nights. "Navaratri" - nine nights. Nine nights means that the worship ceremonies are held especially at night. Navaratri typically falls in late September or early October, and it involves nine days. The first three days of Navaratri are devoted to the worship of Durga and Kali, the next three days to the worship of Lakshmi, the last three days to the worship of Saraswati.

After those nine days are over, there is Vijaya Dashami, the tenth day of victory. If you have worshiped the Divine Mother for nine days, you may reach samadhi on the tenth day. Therefore dashami, literally on the tenth day, and on that tenth day you can attain samadhi. If you are not yet attaining samadhi, then you have to continue practicing for the next year and hope to achieve the highest realization at the next Navaratri. There are many Navaratri customs and there are many things to do about Navaratri. All you have to do is look at our website, www.yoga-vidya.de. Enter "Navaratri" above and you will find a lot of information about this nine-day festival of the Divine Mother.

The Navaratri festival and its spiritual meaning

During Navaratri, the nine nights, all of India worships the Divine Mother and worships her with great devotion. Dusserah, Durga Puja and Navaratri are one and the same. During the first three nights, DurgaalsKali, the destructive aspect of the mother, is worshiped. During the following three nights, the creative aspect, Lakshmi, is celebrated. And in the following nights the knowledge aspect Saraswati was worshiped. The tenth day is the day of victory (Vijaya Dashami).

This classification is based on a special meaning. When the goddess is first worshiped as Durga by a devotee in that order, the goddess first destroys the bad habits that lurk in his mind. As Lakshmi, she plants Daivi Sampat (divine properties) that promote spiritual development. Then she grants him true knowledge as Saraswati.

The tenth day celebrates the victory of knowledge over ignorance, good wins over evil. It is the day the boys start school. Spiritual aspirants receive their initiations on this day. The carpenter, tailor, bricklayer, artist, singer, typist and other technical worker make a puja for their instruments and tools. This is called Ayudha Puja. They see and recognize the power of Shakti behind these instruments and worship the goddess to grant them success, prosperity and peace.

The beginning of the principle of primal energy or Shakti seems to be hidden behind Navaratri: Tasmadvira ajayata virajo adhipurua, sa jato atyaricyata pascadbhumimatho pura ("He became the universe. He was the universe, is the universe, and will be the universe in the future. He as the universe created himself by himself "). This is the basic principle of Ardhanarishvara in our religious language. GodShiva is the epitome of androgyny (hermaphroditism), rather obviously androgynous absoluteness. It is his energy that cannot be separated from him. The way in which the origin of things in this world acts and our interpretation of this cosmic activity lies in the form of worshiping Shiva or worshiping Shakti. This mystery is indeed the backdrop to our desire to worship Mahakali, MaDurga, Mahasaraswati year after year, whether we understand what we are doing or not.

Navaratri is initially dedicated to Durga, the goddess of strength. Ancient mythology claims that the gods gave Devi Durga ten deadly weapons to save the world from evil in their battle with the Asuras. Brahma gave Kamandal (holy water vessel), Chakra was given by Vishnu, Shiva gave Trishul, the Vajra (lightning) was given by Indra, the Kuthar (ax) was given by Viwakarma, the Kaladanda (rod) was given to Durga by Yama, the Naga ( Snake) by Vasuki. Karga and Dhal (shield) were endowed by Surya and Dhanuswar (bow and arrow) by Vayu. These weapons were empowered through mantras recited by those who sought Durga's success. The tenfold armed Durga is also called Kali, Bhavani, Amba and Chandika. It is believed that the mantras have the power to protect human beings from any harmful forces. Red hibiscus is offered to Devi Durga, the goddess of power, since red is the color of power. From this arose the custom of offering her one hundred and eight lotus flowers in daily puja.

Navaratri is celebrated twice a year: during Sukhla Paksha (waxing moon) of the lunar month of Ashwin, the first being in September or October in autumn, and the second occurring during the first nine days of the bright fortnight of Sukhla Paksha of the lunar month of Chaitra Mid-March to mid-April in spring. The nine days of Navaratri is the most blessed time of the year because it is during this period that Ma Durga can be invoked, and her blessings can remove all evil from unfavorable karma, create well-being, health and wealth for her followers, and brighten the moods of unclean souls. Parvati, Laksmi, and Saraswati are worshiped continuously for these nine nights.

In the Navaratri festival, the first three nights are dedicated to the goddess of action and energy in her various manifestations of Kumari, Parvati and Kali. Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, peace and abundance, will be worshiped in her various forms over the next three days. Lakshmi, who has four hands, symbolizes the four goals of human life. In one hand she holds a lotus flower, which symbolizes the never-ending life and the constancy of the soul. The second hand, holding another lotus, describes detachment from worldly power or maya. The lotus symbolizes the opening of the soul. The third hand of Lakshmi distributes blessings of happiness and prosperity to all. Another hand of hers is open and points to the earth, it gives people support. There is also an interesting anecdote there that Navaratri is celebrated at night to clear the slumbering ignorance of tomoguna (the inner Mahishasura or lazy buffalo).

The blessings of Saraswati, the Goddess of Knowledge, are invoked as LalitaPanchami during the last three days of Navaratri. Saraswati grants spiritual knowledge in order to free man from the bondage of Maya or the material world. Yagnas, the final act of parting and gratitude, is celebrated on the eighth and ninth days of Navaratri.

Navaratri allows one to reverently sense the unanimous sacred existence of the Goddess while absorbing the spiritual energy and inner courage to liberate souls from the Maya of worldly existence. Durga, Lakshmi, and Saraswati are not mortal fateful women. Rather, the power of the cosmos is rooted in the absolute.

Navaratri address by Swami Sivananda in 1951

Swami Sivananda gave the following address on the occasion of Navaratri (DurgaPuja) in 1951:

"The worship of protective power is a need felt by all creatures. This worship can take the form of an intelligent participation in the universal, sustaining power, or it can appear, in ordinary, simple beings, as a mere instinct of submission to higher powers whose help they seek through their very nature, but man, endowed with the brilliant discernment, understanding, and conscious will, knows that his well-being depends on being in harmony with the governing power of the universe.

Humans need both physical and psychological protection. The unique Indian spirit has grasped the reality behind the universe as a highly intelligent being that functions with its force or might or shakti inherent in this universal intelligence. This supreme power appears as avatars descending into the visible world, or as invisible benevolent forces that humans cannot easily be aware of. Whatever form this power takes, its worship is essential to the good of humanity; this worship is therefore an attempt to get in touch with that power. The ancient scriptures prescribed occasional veneration for those who cannot always venerate them.

In a year, the beginning of summer and winter are two very important transitions of climatic conditions under solar influences. These two events are used as sacred occasions to worship the divine being. These are reported accordingly through the Ramanavaratri in the ChaitraMasa and the Durga Navaratri in the Ashwayuja Masa. Human bodies and minds go through considerable changes due to changes in external nature. Sri Rama is worshiped at Ramanavami on the first event, and DeviDurga on the second. While SriRama is the Avatar of God through his Shakti (Prakriti, AtmaMaya or YogaMaya), Durga is the Shakti that has manifested itself as a creative, sustaining and protective principle in the created world. This great principle is venerated as the Divine Mother, MahaKali, Maha Lakshmi and Maha Saraswati, and represents the aspects of Tamas, Rajas and Sattwa. Just as a rope is twisted from three strands, the universe is made up of these three gunas, or types of prakriti. DeviPuja is the worship of the ultimate cause of all things, and therefore serves the good of all. This is their effect.

Man has the duty to favor the divine mother, for she is the ruler of health and abundance of the universe. Even the intelligence of man is governed by it. Man is in truth ShaktiMaya (filled with Shakti). He cannot exist independently of Shakti. The whole universe is energy, and energy is Shakti. God in revealed form is Shakti or power. As an unmanifested aspect, He is chit or consciousness; Chit Shakti is the power of consciousness that drives everything as the material cause of everything. The prosperity of the individual, the family, society, the nation and the whole world depends on the worship of this Mother of All Things. Human strength is little; it gets its value from the inexhaustible source of divinity. When enlightened by the pure intelligence of the divine, she leans toward spiritual development and bliss rather than worthless destruction and misery. The great need of the hour is harmony and an adequate knowledge of the divine powers of the universe, the lack of which is the harbinger of evil and suffering. Loving connection with the whole means the happiness of oneness with the whole.

O seeker! You are not a self-sufficient, independent entity. Your greatness is a reflected part of the universal glory of the Maha Shakti or Aishwarva of the Lord. Leave vanity and pride behind. Surrender to the Divine Mother. Pray to Her who is BrahmaShakti, Vishnu Shakti and Shiva Shakti. You are a child of this mother. How can you disregard her? You are made of your substance. Know that everything pervades you. There is no place where she is not. Study the Devi Mahatmya and practice Japa with the DeviMantra. Meditate on Devi and adjust to her. This is your goal; this is your greatest wealth; this is the zenith of glory; this is Kaivalya Moksha or final liberation. May you be in peace and blessings. May the grace of the Divine Mother come upon you!

This article is copyrighted by Divine Life Society

How do you celebrate Navaratri?

There are many Navaratri customs in India. The Indian yoga master Swami Sivananda describes some of them in his book "Feasts and Fasting Days":

"In Bengal the Durga Puja is a big festival. Anyone who no longer lives with the family returns home during this time to celebrate Navaratri as a family festival."

"The potter shows his skill in modeling his works, the painter in painting his pictures, the musician in playing his instrument and the priest in reciting the scriptures. The Bengali save on the Navaratri festival all year round. Brahmins are plentiful The Bengali women welcome the goddess with motherly love. When, on the last day of the festival, they submerge the image of the goddess in the water, it is a symbolic farewell ritual for the daughter who is getting married and moves into her husband's house shed maternal tears. In this way, Durga's farewell to her beloved mother is celebrated. "

Navaratri at the Sivananda Ashram Rishikesh

Sivananda Ashram in Rishikesh

In the Sivananda Ashram in Rishikesh the following events and ceremonies take place on the occasion of Navaratri - this is how Swami Sivananda describes it in his book "Feasts and Fasting Days":

  1. A special puja (ritual) is performed daily to worship the divine mother. This also includes reciting Durga Saptashati, the 700 verses for the worship of the Divine Mother (Devi Mahatmyam).
  2. While reciting the Shri Lalita Sahasranama (“A Thousand Names of Lalita”), flowers are offered to the goddess a hundred thousand times in the temple (Laksharchana: Lakh means a hundred thousand, Archana means ritual sacrifice).
  3. All ashram residents recite the Navarna mantra “Aim hrim klim chamundayai vichche” or their own mantra as often as possible. (Japa means mantra repetition).
  4. An elaborately decorated altar is set up in the satsang room. On this altar there is an image of Durga for the first three days, then of Lakshmi and for the last three days of Saraswati. Verses from the scriptures such as Durga Saptashati or Devi Mahatmyam are recited and explained. Kirtans (spiritual songs, mantras) in honor of the Divine Mother are sung. The evening ends with the offering of flowers to the goddess and the arati (light ceremony). Sometimes scenes from the Devi Mahatmya are also performed as a drama.
  5. Serious spiritual aspirants only eat fruits or fast completely on these nine days or at least one day each of the respective three-day phases.
  6. On the ninth day, in addition to books that stand for Saraswati, i.e. for knowledge, other equipment such as typewriters and printing machines are symbolically venerated.
  7. At the end of Navaratri there is a mantra-diksha on Vijaya Dashami day: Spiritual aspirants can be initiated into their personal mantra on request. Anyone who has been on the spiritual path for a long time can receive the Sannyasa Diksha, the initiation to become a monk / nun, on this day. Schoolchildren - and also older "children" who do not know how to write - are especially blessed at the beginning of school, to learn the alphabet. Students start their new semester. On the morning satsang, the books that were venerated on the ninth day are venerated again in a puja. One chapter each from the most important scriptures such as the Bhagavad Gita, the Upanishads, the Brahma Sutras, the Ramayana and the Shrimad Bhagavatam is recited.
  8. A KanyaPuja is also performed on Vijaya Dashami day. During a Kanya Puja, nine young girls under the age of ten are worshiped as the embodiment of the Divine Mother. You will receive exquisite dishes and new clothes.
  9. On this last day, a great Havan (fire ceremony) is performed in the temple, during which the Durga Saptashati and other verses are recited in praise of the Divine Mother.

Navaratri at Yoga Vidya

Yoga Vidya Center in Bad Meinberg

At Yoga Vidya, Navaratri is the greatest of all festivals. The festival is celebrated for a total of 10 days.

  • The date of Vijaya Dashami can typically be found in Indian calendars or on the Spiritual Calendar page. The nine days before then are the nine days of Navaratri.
  • Stories from the Devi Mahatmyam are told and explained in the context of the satsangs.
  • To the first three days Durga or Kali is venerated by Navaratri:
    • As part of [Satsang]], the mantras Om Shri Mahakalikayai Namaha, Om Shri Durgayai Namaha and Om Aim Hrim Klim Chamundaye Viche Namaha are recited and mainly DeviKirtans are sung.
    • Pictures of Durga and Kali are placed on the altar.
Lakshmi, Durga and Saraswati

How can you celebrate Navaratri at home?

Use the time of Navaratri for more intense spiritual practice. You can intensify the practice of meditation, asanas, pranayama or even mantra recitation. During the nine days of Navaratri, the spiritual practices are particularly powerful.

The time of Navaratri is also very suitable for fasting and maintaining a particularly healthy diet.

Navaratri is also a good time to look back on your spiritual path to date and become aware of how you can advance in your spiritual practice.

At Navaratri you can especially worship God as Divine Mother, as Nature, as Cosmic Energy. You can become aware of how your relationship with God, with the Divine Mother, has developed. And you can fully expose your heart to the Divine Mother and ask for guidance.

If you want, you can also recite special mantras for Navaratri:

  • The whole time you can recite the mantra Om Aim Hrim Klim Chamundayai Viche Namaha over and over again. Recite your personal mantra or the mantra you were initiated into every day. Sing kirtans, especially Durga, Kali, Lakshmi, and Saraswati kirtans. You can also find many kirtan videos on the internet.
  • For the first three days of Navaratri, recite the mantra OmShriDurgayaiNamaha and / or Om Shri Mahakaliyai Namaha. Keep looking at a picture of Durga / Kali and meditate on its meaning.
  • In the middle three days of Navaratri, recite the mantra OmShriMahalakshmyaiNamaha. Keep looking at a picture of Lakshmi and meditate on its meaning.
  • For the last three days of Navaratri, recite the mantra Om Aim Saraswatyai Namaha. Keep looking at a picture of Saraswati and meditate on its meaning.
  • On the tenth day, in particular, recite your personal mantra or the mantra Om Aim Hrim Klim Chamundayai Viche Namaha. On this VijayaDashami day, make resolutions for your further practice. And also think about how you can spiritualize your professional life.

If you are familiar with puja / homa, you can also celebrate a puja / homa every day. Or you can celebrate a puja on each of the three thirds as well as on Vijaya Dashami.

Adoration of the Great Mother (Mahadevi) - Navaratri Message from Swami Krishnananda

Kali - the destructive aspect of the goddess

Every expectation that emanates from the human mind is subject to different facets and interpretations. When something happens, does someone stop to wonder why something is happening in the first place? Why should anything happen at all? Normally we attribute the events in this world to reasons that are visible to us or that can be calculated intellectually. To that extent, we can find out why things happen the way they do.

There are great scientists in the world who are knowledgeable about the origins of things. And as science advances, the meaning of "origin" continues to gain new interpretations. When it rained, religiously motivated observers assumed that GodIndra waved his vayra (thunderbolt), a weapon that he waved with his hands, he swirled all forces with it and so it comes to rain. The rainbow was considered to be Indradhanush, an arch that Indra wielded after the rain. We suspected divine causes behind visible phenomena, an arc that Indra swung after the rain appears as a rainbow. But science has nothing to do with religion. She only believes what she sees. Since we cannot see Indra in the sky, science cannot agree that he is the reason for the rain.

What do we see with our scientific eyes? Here, too, the observation has steadily improved from a rough assessment to a finer consideration. There were philosophers in both the East and the West who assumed that God originally created the cosmic sea, which He pondered on before creation began. A poem in Sanskrit says that God created water and everything came out of it.

There are others who think that this world is a splinter of the sun, a section of the sun's star and that evolution on this planet stretched in a straight line over the course of endless times. But why all of this happens was also a question of science. Everything happens because there are causes behind the causes. There are tiny molecules that are the cause of solid things like rocks. Everything that appears solid has a molecular structure. Then scientific observation ebbed for the duration of the Middle Ages. After that, however, it blossomed again and discovered ever finer forces behind the molecules. Everywhere forces seem to rotate like eddies in a gigantic sea of ​​energy. Based on mathematical computation, observation and experimentation, it was assumed that the solid structure of the world consisted of condensed energy. Energy which, even in its coarse form, like electricity, has such powers that it can break solid objects into pieces. If a sufficient voltage of powerful current is passed through a mountain, the mountain will shatter and only consist of fragments. So is it even with electricity.

The causal energies, which are suspected behind all events, were further analyzed by ever more precise observation processes and it was not easy to understand why there was such a great variety in creation. Even if one took it for granted that the cosmic sea manifested itself as matter. The multitude of individuals remained inexplicable. This was a further advance in the modern technique of scientific observation, which was able to establish that I am different from you and you are different from me - everything is different from one another, nothing is alike - the reason is a mysterious activity in the various centers of the cosmic Sea of ​​energy, although we cannot imagine any differences in a great sea of ​​equilibrium energy.

For example, we do not see any differences in the water of the ocean. No matter how far we travel on the surface of the water, the water is the same everywhere. We don't have one type of water in one place in the ocean and another in another. It is a multitude of a perfectly evenly distributed thing. But it appears that the world is not made of a lake of this kind, for there are dramatic differences. Why are you different from me in any way? Even the principles of RNA and DNA of medical science, which are believed to be the determinants of the cells of the human body, do not create identical individuals.

Why are there different psychological properties

Why are we born with different psychological characteristics? Internal analysis of modern science is based on what are called the quantum mechanisms of observation, and it has been found that there are actions and interactions between the centers of life in this vast energetic ocean. A pressure is exerted at a central point, which has a certain character, a special intensity, a specification; this form and significance has a relation to similar centers in this sea of ​​energy. The importance of these processes is very difficult to understand. A particular action in a partial energy center is not only an independent action of that center alone, but is universally determinative through its tentacle-like connections. It manifests itself millions of times through centers of the same kind, so that it consists of centers that represent a bundle of relationships with one another rather than a collection of individual fixed centers of activity.

Buddha statue in Borobudur

We are reminded here of what the Buddha said a long time ago in a similar context. There is only movement, relativity, change and process. Nothing is fixed and is permanently in one place. Even a flame in a lamp is not solid. It is an expansion that shoots out at speed, forces that collide with one another, like the course of a river that looks like a uniform mass of water. It is the same with a flame, with a fire. Buddha said that the world is a burning fire. From this point of view one can understand what he meant.

Why is this happening? Science has its own answer. There was an act of creation in the universe and that act is the reason for any subsequent act. Many names have been given to this original act of creation. Some call it the Big Bang, and a great sound emerged. What kind of sound was that that created the cosmos? We cannot imagine. It is believed that the act of creation broke the universe in half - one half here and the other half there. This view is supported by the Upanishads, the Manu Smriti and the Mahabarata. And what it says is not a fairy tale. There seems to be some truth to it, for it was said before science was born. The Manu Smriti says that there was a great Anda, a cosmic egg that simply broke in two. We can say that half was made of gold and the other half was made of silver. Who broke it “He created everything. He was everything, he is everything and will be everything in the future. He who is everything created himself out of himself, ”says the Purusha Sukta. "Tasmadviradajayata virajo adhipurusah, sa jato atyaricyata pascadbhumimatho purah": The cosmos emanated from him; the determining principles of the cosmos proceeded from this and through this appeared that which decides about the course of things in this universe after it was broken.

The beginning of the energetic concept or Shakti seems to be hidden here when we hear that one part has been separated from the other. In our religious understanding this is also the concept of Ardhanarishvara. Lord Shiva is half man and half woman, but he is not divided in the sense that there are different incompatible parts. It is a complete androgyny. Shiva is not half a man while the other half is separated from him. It is his energy that cannot be separated from him.

Representations in the scriptures: Yoga Vasishtha and others

Such descriptions are presented in scriptures such as Yoga Vasishtha, Vishnu Purana, etc., which tell us that the relationships of one part and the other - Shiva and Shakti and Ishvara and Nari in the imagination of Ardhanarishvara, are as Sesame to the oil that is contained in it. Water containing liquid, fire from which heat cannot be separated, the sweetness of sugar which cannot be withdrawn, etc. These are examples given in scriptures such as Yoga Vasishtha. In the Vishnu Purana this is how the relationship between Narayana and Lakshmi is described. Sesame is narayana, oil is lakshmi; Water is Narayana, liquid is Lakshmi; Fire is Narayana, Heat is Lakshmi; etc.

These fascinating descriptions of certain mysteries seem to be the cause of everything and of ourselves as well. The speaker and the listener, the building and the whole world - they are all included in the power of this comprehensive event that created everything, in the language of the Purusha SuktaYajna or sacrifice. God sacrificed himself to become the universe. Why is the victim called? He became something else. The alienation from oneself in a different form than oneself, this represents the sacrifice. When I am no longer quite what I was and leave parts of myself to someone else, then I make a sacrifice. If I don’t give anything, then it’s not a sacrifice. If you are doing something charitable and you don’t lose anything, it is not charity. You have not shared any personal joy. If a millionaire gives a dollar, it is not a big sacrifice for him because he did not share his joy. It is his pleasure to have the dollars and he did not lose that joy in the least if he gave away a dollar. But if he had given half of it willingly, he would have shared a large part of his joy and made a sacrifice.

It is said that the abundance of divine joy in its universal existence is abundant in creation. This is how mystics sometimes exuberantly describe the process of creation: it becomes its own power. “I am death and immortality,” says God in the Bhagavad Gita. The Nasadiya Sukta says, “Death and immortality are like shadows that emanate from their absolute being.” Immortality is also a shadow, so what is its origin? You cannot call anything immortal as long as there is no death. They are factors that correspond and there is no such thing as detached immortality minus its relationship with the concept of death. Therefore immortality is only seen as a second cause. God transcends death and immortality, life and destruction, for he himself is the process.

"One who observes this mystery," says the Brihadranayaka Upanishad, "he himself becomes death." Death cannot kill this person because death becomes his whole existence. Death itself, which is so terrifying, which is completely remote from us, which controls us in every way, is the essence of this person who knows this truth. If the self is essentially death itself and death is your own self, who can kill it? That's impossible.

In an act of sacrifice from the Almighty, he became his creation; he became a different form from its original form. Shiva became Shakti, Narayana became Lakshmi, Brahma became Saraswati, this means the power of transformation, the power of supply and the power of enlightenment are three stages of a huge movement that is completely integrated in the huge sea of ​​energy that is I mentioned - which, if modern scientists are to be believed, is the origin of creation.

"Namo visvasrje purvam tadanu bibhrate, atha visvasya samhartre tubhyam tredhasthitatmane." This is the beginning of a prayer in Kalidas Raghuvamsha Kavya that came from the gods when they went to the abode of Narayanas and prayed to him to free them from the suffering Ravana brought upon them. How does this prayer begin?

"Namo visvasrje purvam": Homage to the one who created everything.

"Visvam visvasya samhartre": Homage to the one who transforms and destroys everything.

"Tubhyam tredhasthitatmane": homage to the one who appears to be triune. He himself is not triune; He is the judge, the executive, and the legislator, if we can even imagine such a thing. The legislature, the executive and the judiciary are not identical. There are three facets of the governance principle. But what if one of them were all three? There used to be a king. He was the judge, he was the executive, and he was also the legislative authority. He could do anything. In this way the origin of all things seems to rule in this world and our religious understanding of this procedure is reflected in the worship of Shiva or Shakti. No matter how we try to understand this mystery, this mystery is the reason for our irresistible urge to worship Mahakali, Mahalakshmi and Mahasaraswati every year, regardless of whether we understand what we are doing.

Calcutta

Calcutta, where Durga Puja is very popular and people prepare for it a month in advance, is at the same time very Marxist. The Marxists say, “What the heck; let the Durga Puja take place. ”They all put their heart and soul into performing the Durga Puja in the center of Calcutta and outside the premises where worship takes place, they sell the works of Karl Marx. Whatever takes place, let Karl Marx be there, but the transforming takes place in him. Ultimately, people's ideas are not the final judgment on things. Behind all political, administrative dogmas and assumptions there is something that obliges them to think that way. There are democracies, plutocracies, aristocracies, tyrants and monarchies. There is peace and war. In the historical process of the universe, everything is there. In the end, none of this is an original human thought. Rather, they are compelled by a cosmic force to go in these directions. History is a movement of forces within cosmic structures that manifests itself as a human, political and historical process.

Cancel the duality of the sexes

There is something that remains but has not yet been properly understood. If we assume that God created the world, this understanding of the mystery is the mystery of the relationship between God and his Shakti-Rudra-Shakti, Shiva-Shakti, Brahma-Shakti and Vishnu-Shakti. It cannot be understood. More precisely, if you look at things with an open mind, you cannot understand the relationship between a man and a woman. Although we think everything is understandable, we don't understand it. It becomes more and more unclear the more we explore the phenomenon of the duality of the sexes. It cannot be understood until you have transcended both. You have to stop being a man and you have to stop being a woman then you will see the relationship between them.As a man or a woman, you cannot see it because you are part of it yourself. One part cannot judge the other. Therefore, people are unable to understand this mystery, for what is man? He is either a man or a woman. They only think in terms of their social role understanding and the connection between Shiva and Shakti or Narayana and Vishnu, etc. is not a social connection. It is impossible to understand what kind of connection that is. The fourth section of the first chapter of the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad begins for us with a great mystery:

"Atmaivedam agra asit purusavidhah: The cosmic figure existed from the beginning. This is the personal concept of God, which e.g. prevails among the Christians and also in the teachings of the Vaishnava and the Saiva doctrine in India. God is a person.

But we have to be careful about understanding the word "person". It is not a human person, it is the entity, Mahapurusha, the divinity of the great PurushaSukta and Purushottama in the language of the Bhagavad Gita. This primordial being, who became creator and creation at the same time, posed an everlasting problem in the relationship between cause and effect from the beginning, to the annoyance of all philosophers. Even today we cannot explain how an effect comes from a cause. If the effect is completely outside the cause, then we cannot say that it is related to the cause. If it has a living connection with the cause that is inseparable from it, then there is no independent effect, there is only the cause. In any case, we have no way of knowing what happened. The cause did not produce the effect if in some way the effect cannot be separated from it. The clay didn't create the pot. Although we can carry water in a pot, we cannot do the same with clay. So there is a difference between the clay and the pot. Is there a difference? Yes, but which one? If we break the pot, it will go back to its original shape.

So we don't know if there was a reason for the universe or if the world came into being as the cause of that reason. Who made it and how? The conclusion of the NasadiyaSukta of the Vedas is: “He who created everything does not know.” The poets say with a smile, “Perhaps he himself does not know how he did it.” Ya va veda, ya va na veda : "Maybe he knows, maybe not."

It is that difficult to understand life. We move like know-it-alls on the surface of knowledge, imagining that we are great philosophers and scientists, which is neither. When we dive deeper into things, even a philosopher ceases to be a philosopher. He becomes very small. He forgets all his knowledge through the little needle pricks of everyday life that seem to haunt him, like the creditor the debtor, no matter where he goes. And scientists know that they know nothing because they have come to the conclusion that until they have recognized themselves as an inseparable part of the process they are observing, they cannot see anything. Ultimately, what does science that is materialistic tell us? Know yourself, then you will know the universe, for you are involved in the entire process of understanding the universe which is the object of your conclusions and observations.

There is no other way to understand the Shakti. In the great prayer of the gods, in the Devi Mahatmaya - NamoDevi, Maha Devi - everything is said about them. I don't know if I can even use the word "you". Something is missing in the language. She is not a woman. How can you accept God's alienation from his own being for the purpose of appearing as a feminine form of creation? As you might assume, there is no man or woman in this world. Certain functional forms have manifested which were necessary for the exchange of cosmic forces with one another, as I mentioned earlier. Asexuality determines this cosmos, this is the meaning of the so-called distinction between Shiva and Shakti. God dances, sometimes we also say Shakti dances. We don't know who is dancing on whom. In some pictures we see Kali dancing on Shiva's chest. Why is she dancing on Shiva? How does this happen? It is the power of the cosmic dance in connection with the absolute. This phenomenon cannot be described.

Durga Puja as the worship of the absolute

The worship of Shakti, Devis, the Durga Puja, is not the worship of a female deity, as some people mistakenly assume. Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati are not women in this world. We would describe these Shakti as they are presented to us in the Devi Mahatmaya: Narasimhi, Rudrani, Kumari or other names. She appears as Skanda with a spear in hand, like Narasimha with a roaring snapdragon, as Vishnu with Sudarshana in hand, as Rudra with pashupata in hand. Can we call this great being a woman? Men always faced the difficulty that something was opposed to them, and so did women. This idea must be destroyed before we can become true worshipers of this great deity. Otherwise it becomes a kind of tantric cult and a ritual that leads us nowhere, like a firecracker that falls to pieces during Divali. It can explode in the sky or in our faces, anything is possible.

Tantra, which is the background of Navaratri Puja, is not a cult for its own sake. It is the basic explanation behind every action that takes place in the universe. Even your smallest movement can only be understood in the sense that tantra explains the meaning of life; but we cannot grasp this meaning with a snap of our fingers. Dynamite is powerful. It can blow up hills and mountains and if we don't handle it properly it can behead us. It will be against us.

Therefore, this is a particularly momentous and highly significant spiritual opportunity that presents itself to us, not just a purely religious one in the ordinary sense, where we come to the knowledge that God in all his power in all his forms, which may be revealed like them want - as beauty for the eyes, melodic music for the ears, fragrance for the nose, sweetness for the tongue, softness to the touch and intellectual enthusiasm for a literary genius, to be recognized as Shakti in action. Therefore, during Navaratri it is a condition for the ardent seeker and worshiper of the divine to be blessed through this worship and not just to take part in these nine days as a routine. "It's been held for so many years and that's how we're doing it now, we make noise and then it's all over." It is not like that. Religious customs have a spiritual meaning, as we know. They are of deeper significance as divine opportunities that have been prepared for us to support our souls on the way to their destination.

What do we worship in our worship? God as he is and God as he appears to us - God as the cause and God as the effect; God as the masculine and God as the feminine principle; God as positive and God as negative. Worship is often described as an act of the soul without the involvement of the body. It is Shakti worship, TantraSadhana, that tells us that this is a mistake. There are different realities, ways of expanding the divine, and we rise from a lower level to a higher one. We cannot cut off our connection with the lower levels when we pretend we are on top, for everyone is aware of their body. Body awareness must be changed, not destroyed. Otherwise the soul will wriggle in agony over having lost part of itself and the result would not be a yogic achievement but a miserable rebirth. The body should not be despised, it must be transformed into finer energies. A molecule becomes an atom, an atom becomes an electron, an electron becomes electrical energy, and then it becomes a space-time continuum or whatever we like to call it. We do not reject the molecule in favor of the finer essence, for they are altered forms of the thing we see with the eyes - a solid object.

In spiritual practice, in TantraSadhana, nothing is given up, nothing is rejected. We cannot reject Shakti and attain Shiva. That's impossible. It would be like rejecting creation in favor of the Creator. It doesn't work like that, says the Purusha