The festival of Nine Nights or “Navratri” known to us from time immemorial is finally here. It is said, Maa Durga killed the demon king Mahishasura who had a boon that no man could kill him. My Guruji, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar ji explains the concept of Navratri in a beautiful way.
What is the meaning of Navaratri? Ratri, “ra” means giving solace. Solace from three types of problems, that is “tri” – physical, ethereal and causal. Ratri relieves you and puts you to sleep. No animal needs to worry at night. Whether happy or unhappy everybody goes to sleep. In Sanskrit, words are connected to the meaning. This leaf (tied on the stage) is “parna”. It absorbs sun rays and photosynthesis happens. Similarly there is “aparna”. That which doesn’t absorb but radiates – like a mirror. This white cloth (pointing to his white robes) is “aparna”. White color doesn’t absorb, it reflects. Similarly green is “parna” as it absorbs.
Navaratri has two meanings – “New Night” and “Nine Nights”. It takes nine months for a child to be born. The child rests in the womb during this period. Similarly in Navaratri you get back to the Self – self referral. Dip into yourself and then you come out with more creativity and are victorious. Negative forces – craving and aversion – get relief from all these. Go to the source of energy.
Craving and aversion are two asuras (demons) like “Madhu” and “Kaitabha”. Then there is also “Raktabijasura”, that which is in your genes. “Rakta” means blood, “bija” means seed. Raktabijasura is like gene in the blood. Sometimes your behaviour is not in your control – it’s in your genes, Raktabijasura. Medication and meditation are required to tackle Raktabijasura. When such energy comes to you, transformation happens, the genes change.
Then there is “Mahishasura” – dullness. Dullness like a buffalo. You need “Shakti” (energy) to deal with this. When Shakti comes, inertia is lifted out. “Shumbha” and “Nishumbha” – doubting on everything. “Shumbha” means doubting oneself and “Nishumbha” means doubting others. Doubting at every step. These days people are so busy. Mind is so clogged, so occupied, no time to think of oneself. If someone insults you, don’t think it as intentional.
“Chanda” and “Munda”. Chanda means opposite head. Chanda will oppose anything you say. One who cannot agree with anything. “Munda” does not have a head at all. Whatever you tell them, it will all go in air. Then there is “Dhumralochana”, “Dhumra” means smoke and “lochana” means eyes – smoky eyes. They see everything hazy.
All this is due to lack of Shakti. When you are full of energy and enthusiasm none of these rakshasas (demons) can come in you.