Festivals - Navaratri and Vijyadashami (Dasara)
Date: Navaratri or the nine sacred nights to the Mother Goddess
are celebrated in the month of October - November to commemorate the victory
of Good over Evil. Dasara, also known as Vijyadashami, is celebrated on
the tenth day.
Legend: Navaratri commemorates the day (Suda Padyami in the Asvayuja
month) on which the combined powers of the three Goddesses Durga, Lakshmi
and Saraswati (Ichcha Shakti, Kriya Shakti and Jnana Shakti) put an end
to evil forces represented by the buffalo headed demon Mahishasura.
"The Navaratri (Nine Nights) festival is celebrated in order to
proclaim to the world the power of these three Goddesses. One's own
mother is a combination of all three Divine beings. Mother provides
us energy, wealth and intelligence. She constantly desires our advancement
in life. So she represents all three goddesses that we worship during
Navaratri festival. Recognising one's mother as the very embodiment
of all Divine forces, one must show reverence to her with love. This
is the true message that the Navaratri Festival gives us.
It is a festival of nine nights dedicated to the three principle Shakti
forms of goddesses Mahakali, Mahalakshmi and Mahasaraswati. The number
nine represents the Universal aspect of Divinity. All numerals from
0 to 9 form all other numerals. There is no numeral beyond 9.
- The First three days are to invoke Durga to surmount the six evil
forces of desire, anger, hatred, lust, greed and pride through karma.
- The Second three days are to invoke Mahalakshmi to subdue mental
agitations (vikshepa) which can only be achieved by praying to the
Divine and by upasana (constant contemplation).
- The Third and last three days are to invoke Mahasaraswati to overcome
the ignorance and illusion by the wisdom and knowledge."
The tenth day is Vijyadashami which is also the day when the Asura (evil)
King Ravana was destroyed and Shri Rama was crowned at Ayodhya. It is
also the day on which the great Emperor Vikramaditya ascended his jewelled
throne acquired as a boon and also the anniversary of the passing away
of the founder of Jainism, Mahavir Swami.
Last updated: Jul 17, 2000
Quotes from Discourses: Inner Significance of Festivals, Prashanthi Nilayam, Nov 9, 1988
and The Mother Divine, Prashanthi Nilayam, Navaratri Festival and Veda
Purusha Jnana Yajna, Oct 14, 1988