Navratri, meaning ‘nine nights,’ is a significant Hindu festival that honors goddess Durga in her nine forms (the energy behind the creation, preservation, and destruction), symbolizing the victory of good over evil and is also a period of introspection and divine connection.

These nine nights are dedicated to deepening our inner journey, detoxifying the mind, body, and spirit, and awakening the inherent divine feminine energy within us.

Navratri serves as a reminder of the power of the divine within and encourages us to transcend materialistic desires and purify our consciousness.

It also officially marks the beginning of winter, determined according to the lunar calendar.

Navratri is a journey from the outer world of names and forms to the subtle world of energies; to the innermost core of our being – the Self. ~ Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

New Delhi, India – Starts Sunday 15th October until Tuesday 24th October

New York, USA – Starts Sunday 15th October until Monday 23rd October

London, UK – Starts Sunday 15th October until Tuesday 24th October

For local timings download the align27 app

Here’s what you can do during this time:

MEDITATE

Why should you meditate during Navratri

  1. Align your mind and body with nature: immediately after the night of ‘no moon’, we start the countdown from phase one of the moon until phase nine, to culminate with the tenth day grandeur. The new moon day marks the threshold of the Dhussehra festival.
  2. Renew your commitment towards yourself: Navratri is a time to begin things afresh.
  3. Group consciousness: when you meditate when others are meditating it has the power to elevate you faster.
  4. The time is right: when you meditate during Navratri the benefits and energy linger on throughout the year and meditation is effortless.

Try the ‘Navratri – Nine Divine Nights’ Collection on the Sattva Meditations and Mantra app which includes a chant you can meditate to for each of the 9 days of Navratri.

MANTRA CHANTING

The nine days of Navratri are solely dedicated to Goddess Durga and her nine Avatars – the Navadurga – each day a different incarnation is honored:

Shailaputri (day 1), Brahmacharini (day 2), Chandraghanta (day 3), Kushmanda (day 4), Skandamata (day 5), Katyayani (day 6), Kaalratri (day 7), Mahagaur (day 8), and Siddhidhatri (day 9).

Tap the deity’s name for more information about each form and what she represents as well as her associated mantra that you can chant 108 times.

You can also join the ‘9 Days of Navratri’ mantra chanting challenge on the Japa 108 app which gives all 9 forms of Durga mantras to chant consecutively during this period, to fully absorb and experience the scintillating energy of the divine Mother.

Goddess Shailaputri, represents Mother Nature and means “Daughter of the Mountains.” As the presiding devi of the Muladhara (root) chakra, she holds special significance for yogis. On the first day of Navratri, it’s essential for devotees to focus their attention on the Muladhara chakra. This lays the foundation for the sublime ascent of energy, leading to profound spiritual experiences as Navratri unfolds.

Goddess Brahmacharini exemplifies mastering one’s senses, urging us to immerse in the vastness rather than getting lost in the trivial. This mastery is pivotal for attaining both bliss and moksha (ultimate liberation). “Brahmacharini” translates to one who practices devout celibacy and moves in the infinite expanse of consciousness.

For individuals with a weak Mars, Mars as their Atma Karaka, or those experiencing Mangal Dosha or Mars Dasha/Antardasha in their horoscope, honoring Goddess Brahmacharini can kindle the virtues of sacrifice, devotion, and self-restraint. This self-restraint is what we call the “Yamas” or the Code of Conduct, as outlined by Sage Patanjali in his Yoga Sutras.

Goddess Chandraghanta, with her ever-open third eye, symbolizes unwavering vigilance against malevolence. “Chandra” reflects the diverse nuances of emotions and thoughts, akin to the changing phases of the moon, while “Ghanta” signifies a bell that emits a singular, resonant sound. She embodies valor and courage, guiding us to confront and conquer our inner adversaries, leading us closer to divine consciousness. Those grappling with anxiety and fear often find solace in paying homage to Chandraghanta.

Goddess Kushmanda embodies warmth and empowerment, revered as the cosmic mother who created the universe. Residing at the heart of the Sun (Surya), she guides its celestial actions and infuses it with energy and radiance, illuminating the cosmos. In Vedic astrology, the 4th house symbolizes warmth, happiness, and the mother (creator). Goddess Kushmanda deeply influences this house, representing happiness, the nurturing warmth of a mother, and the profound bond of a mother carrying her child in the womb.

Goddess Skandamata embodies fearlessness and strength and represents the origin of Jnana (knowledge) and Kriya (the principle of action or activity). She cradles Lord Skanda, or Kartikeya, the divine warrior deity associated with Mars, in her arms. By sincerely and purely honoring him, one can counteract the adverse effects of Mars, drawing upon his gifts of courage and fortitude.

Goddess Kātyāyanī governs the subtle, unseen, ethereal realm. By honoring her, she grants us liberation from past-life transgressions. Focusing on the Ajna Chakra (center of the forehead) during meditation whilst thinking of her, invites her blessings of profound insight, joy, and abundance. In this manifestation, she embodies the mysteries of the divine that elude human understanding.

Goddess Kālarātri, despite her fear-invoking appearance, she is a powerful protector who actually banishes fear and bestows strength. This fierce form of Goddess Durga embodies courage, empowering us to confront and conquer our inner demons. Her energy and workings have a deep resonance with Lord Shani (Saturn).

Goddess Mahagauri embodies pure beauty and serenity, serving as a beacon of tranquility and grace. She blesses one with the resources for materialistic achievements, ensuring inner contentment and guiding one’s path forward.

Aligned with Rahu, the planet of desires, Mahagauri illuminates the duality of ambition. While Rahu drives our aspirations, it often leaves a void of fulfillment. In the same way, Goddess Mahagauri bestows materialistic successes, allowing one to recognize the fleeting nature of desires and urging the soul to seek genuine peace and purpose from within.

Goddess Siddhidhatri bestows upon you Siddhis, or exceptional abilities, ensuring excellence in all you undertake. “Siddhi” translates to a supernatural prowess or deep meditative insight, while “Dhatri” signifies a giver or granter. It is said that half of Lord Shiva’s form is that of Goddess Siddhidhatri, and it was through her grace that he acquired his remarkable Siddhis. Embracing Siddhi leads to a life of completeness and holistic success in all realms.

The word ‘Ratri’ means deep rest or relief from three ‘tapas’, three types of fire or botherations- the physical, the subtle, and the conscious. A deep rest can relieve you from all these three botherations.

It’s a time of prayer and rejuvenation. A child is born in nine months. These nine days are like coming out of a mother’s womb once again. Having a new birth.”
Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

MAHA DURGA ASHTAMI - Sunday 22 October

Maha (great) Durga Ashtami is one of the most important days to honor Goddess Durga, the power behind the creation, preservation and destruction of the universe and, when called upon, can give these aspects to us.

This includes her ability to alleviate problems related to the influences of the shadowy north node of the moon, Rahu, who can lead us astray in the material world. Align with her all-encompassing energy by writing her mantra, “Aum Dum Durgaye Namaha,” 108 times.

Many who do this practice notice feelings of great peace or ecstacy, as the act of writing this sacred language has powerful energetic effects.

VIJAYADASHAMI / DUSSEHRA - Monday 23rd/Tuesday 24th October

Vijayadashmi, also known as Dussehra, is a major Indian festival celebrated on the tenth day of Ashvin month according to the Hindu calendar and culminates the 9 day period of Navratri.

The day is celebrated to commemorate the killing of Ravana by Lord Rama and the killing of demon Mahishasur by Goddess Durga. Largely, the day is celebrated to commemorate the prevalence of good over evil.

A day for “victory of faith over doubt, compassion over anger, magnanimity over pettiness and contentment over anxiety”, as shared by Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.

Vijayadashami is an incredibly auspicious day for new beginnings. It is considered an excellent day to start learning something new; new projects, new skills, new launches, new anything.

SHARAD PURNIMA - Friday 27th/Saturday 28th October

Sharad Purnima is one of the most important days for strengthening the Moon which is the most important planet in your birth chart.

It is a day dedicated to Lakshmi, the Goddess of wealth and prosperity. It is believed that Goddess Lakshmi descends on earth on this day searching for people who are awake to bless them, so people often stay awake and fast to seek her blessings. On this day the Moon shines with all the 16 Kalas (phases) and its rays have healing qualities.

“Sharad Purnima is considered to be the best, the biggest and clearest Full Moon of the whole year. It is said that the face of Mother Divine (Devi) is like the moon of Sharad Purnima. Meditation on Full Moon is umpteen times more effective than meditation on other days.”
~ Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

FASTING WITH YOGA

During Navratri, seasonal shifts can make our bodies more vulnerable to imbalances. Fasting during this period aids our inner journey to bliss, reducing mental restlessness and promoting meditation.

Many opt for a single daily meal or eliminate high-energy foods. It’s recommended to avoid meat, grains, alcohol, onions, garlic, and processed foods. Focus on gluten-free grains, fresh fruits, and easily digestible foods like yogurt. This dietary approach supports our digestive system by emphasizing light, nourishing choices.

When ending your fast in the evening, opt for a light meal. Heavy meals can hinder digestion and negate the benefits of your fast.

Incorporating gentle yoga poses, stretches, and twists enhances the fasting benefits. These practices boost detoxification and leave you feeling rejuvenated.

We fast not to please the divine, but to cleanse our body.
Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

JOIN PUJAS / HOMAS ONLINE IN YOUR HOME

THE COLORS OF NAVRATRI

There are specific colors associated with each of the nine days of Navratri. You can honor the Goddess of the day by wearing something of this color.

Rest, rejuvenate, refresh – the ultimate mantra for this highly auspicious month of October.

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