Message on Navratri

 Navratri is one of the most Auspicious Religious Festivals held around the Globe twice a year. The first being in the month of Chaitra, i.e. in April, which marks the beginning of a new year both to the Hindi and Tamil speaking Hindus. During this very auspicious period of nine days, the worship ultimately culminates in the birth of the Lord as Sri Rama. This two fold fruit, one being the grace of the divine Mother, and the other this Birth of God into our lives,  is truly aspired for.

The second time, whereby, this Divine Mother or Shakti is worshipped, is during the month of Ashwin, which generally falls around September/October, and which takes place immediately after the ceremonial period of Pitra Paksha. This auspicious period too glorifies Sri Rama, who, in fact had commenced this worship of mother Durga, in order to Destroy the Evil king Ravana.

During this period of Navratri, the seeker is given an opportunity to identify with the Divine Mother or Shakti, in the form of Maha Kali, Maha Luxmi and Maha Saraswati, taking place in three day intervals each, during this nine days of worship. The greatest benefit to the aspirant comes in his identity to the mother as a child. This aspect has been revealed by Sri Ramakrishna, as well as by many other Saints and Sages, stating that the intimate relationship and it's closeness to a Mother, a Goddess, is in becoming a child. This no doubt brings out the inherent quality of purity, sincerity, and simplicity, which is most required in Spiritual life.

The first three days of worship to Maha Kali, indeed, removes the many, many obstacles of the aspirant, in the Spiritual field, viz. lust, anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, pride and egotism. It ois only in the removal of these vices would the next fruit of prosperity, comes. Hence, the worship of the Divine Mother as Maha Luxmi commences for the next three days. Remembering, that the wealth of the world never belonged to us, and what we have today will be left behind tomorrow, leaves the individual thinking. Acquire that kind of wealth which will be eternally yours, and that can only come from Spiritual gain. Such an asset leads the seeker forward to Spiritual knowledge, which now comes in the worship of Maha Saraswati, the Goddess of learning, which takes place for the last three days, during this Nine Days Navratri worship.

The nine days worship takes place with all pomp and glory, and this worship entails RITUALS, AGNI HOTRA, OFFERINGS OF SWEETS AND FRUITS AS PERSAD, OBSERVING FASTS, CHANTING HYMNS TO THE DIVINE MOTHER, AND SINGING THE GLORIES THROUGH KIRTANS AND BHAJANS IN SATSANGS.

All these acts performed with sincerity and love definitely, gives the aspirant the fruit to prosperity and God realization. May Mother's Grace dawn upon each and every one of you, and may you realize the purpose of your existence, is my heartfelt prayer. Love and goodwill also comes to you from the devotees of the Sri Ramakrishna Dham, both in Gauteng and Durban. Mothers Blessings.

Swami Premananda Puri