Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Tomorrow it is the first day of Navaratri. There are more, but generally there are two Navaratri’s celebrated generally in India. In many places around this vast country where Sanatan Dharma ( The eternal Law) is deeply imbedded in life, the Shrimad Devi Bhagwatam is read and spoken about by acharya’s ( teachers of Vedic knowledge). Intense battles between Goddesses and demons are the main theme throughout this scared book. These demons are sort of personified tendencies of lower human nature like greed, attachment, jealousy, ignorance, me & mine etc that are slain one after the other with various aspects of the Divine Mother, the Mother of all forms, in Her where all life takes place. This contains a hidden practice that has been valid since the birth of humanity to raise human consciousness, evolving the entire human race. Babaji said that that was His mission and this is why we celebrate Navaratri in our ashrams happily, vividly and constantly.
In the ashrams several intricate puja’s and sacred fires are offered, scriptures are read and explained and lot of sacred chanting throughout the day and in particular in the evening. Now that we cannot go to the ashrams all that is not really available for most of us we can still celebrate wherever we are, concentrating on the essence of Navaratri. Throughout the ages, self reflection and mindfulness have been practiced by very few but in these dark times there is an advantage, that self-awareness is becoming a much more common occurrence. Many wonderful teachers are now spreading the practice far and wide and thru the internet with lightning speed. Practicing this next to any other practice is putting a super turbo charge on it. Because of the energies during the auspicious days of Navaratri, the radiant energy of the Divine Mother is fully in our support to become aware of what is holding us back in surrendering to Her Divine harmony. Our lower tendencies, mentioned above are forcing us unconsciously in other directions than towards The Divine Light, our Home, Paradise, our original essence or however you want to call it. The first step to such deep healing is to recognise this inside of ourselves and how it directs our life and secures us of all sorts of hardship to let the light shine into the dark corners of our being, we can let the Divine light shine in the dark corners of the world.
For those who have a little shrine or a picture set up……keep an oil lamp going or a candle all the time….Offer a flower, a glass of water and an incense and call on that Divine force in your way , in your words. For nine days stop the vices and mental escape & entertainment of TV etc and shower your mental activity in sacred mantra’s. Sleep and eat less so you have more time to pray and focus inside in these special days. Test the Divine by giving it your best to see if there is a response, show that you are hungry. The Divine Mother cannot ignore the call from an earnest calling child. For many of you I am saying nothing new. I am not trying to tell you something just describing my personal process and pray that it may be inspirational to continue, start or deepen your own.
In the Vedic tradition the name for the all encompassing Divine Mother is Durga and the Sanskrit meaning for Durga is a place that is protected and cannot be reached by evil forces. The word Durga also means invincible, unbeatable and undefeated. She is considered to be the combined forms of Goddess Kali, Goddess Lakshmi and Goddess Saraswati.
Devi Durga is also known as Mahishasurmardini which translates to slayer of a mighty evil buffalo demon called Mahishasur, which represents tamo-guna, the dark quality of inertia, ignorance, and laziness.
The mantra that is commonly used to honor and worship Devi Durga is “Aum Dum Durgayai Namaha”. This is an extremely powerful mantra to harness the energy of planets and prevent them from afflicting us.
Meaning and Explanation
Aum – The primordial sound of the universe; The essence of everything.
Dum – The seed mantra (sound) of Devi Durga.
Durgayei – To Devi Durga
Namaha – We bow down to you or we surrender to you.
More popular and also more practiced at our collective puja’s in Babaji’s ashram is Her mantra : “Om Aing Hreeng Kleeng Chamundaayai Viche”.
It has the same object of fighting evil forces, fulfilling earthly desires and the realisation of the self.
Going for darshan and celebrating Navaratri in Babaji’s ashrams is reinvigorating the Divine connection we have in our heart.
It is good to remember that now the circumstances have limited us this time to go to one of Babaji’s ashrams, that going there is not really making you a better devotee. This comes from the practice you do and the concentration you have. That may come easier in an ashram or center, but it does not seems that these are times to take it easy. It is believed that these are auspicious days where your daily practice is a lot more potent and beneficial to reach your desired outcome. With the madness that is now celebrated around the world it may be very wise to take a few steps back from that for the next 10 days and concentrate on your Divine essence in your heart. Perhaps it is even a blessing in disguise not to be distracted by all the rituals, all the people, beautiful surrounds etc and be fully concentrated on the essence of beauty and well being, The Divine Mother.