Navratri - The Festival of Worshipping Shakti :-
The scriptures say, “I bow again and again before Maa Jagadambaa (Mother of the universe), abiding in all beings and objects in the form of energy.”
God manifests Himself in numerous shapes and forms. One of them is that of the Mother. The manifestation of Supreme Brahman in the form of power, compassion, forgiveness, and benevolence has been termed as Maa (Mother) and Navratri is the time to adore and worship the Mother in her various forms.
The Mother's Grace is boundless. Her mercy is illimitable, Her knowledge infinite; Her power is immeasurable, Her glory ineffable and Her splendor indescribable. She gives us material prosperity as well as spiritual freedom.
In the ‘Srimad Devi Bhagawata’, it is written that one desirous of knowledge, wealth and begetting a son should meticulously observe the Navratri Vrata, which has the power of returning the kingdom to a dethroned king. Sri Rama worshipped Durga at the time of the fight with Ravana, to invoke Her aid in the war. He fought and won through Her Grace. It was also on this day that Arjuna worshipped Devi, before starting the battle against the Kauravas on the field of Kurukshetra.
The festival of Navratri should be celebrated with great fanfare through the rendition of devotional songs, music and dancing. One should sleep on the ground. One should offer food to as many young girls as one can afford to feed. But girls less than one year of age cannot be considered. Only girls from the age of 2 to 10 years can be served food on this occasion.
One unable to observe fast on all Navratri days should fast on the 7th, 8th and 9th lunar days (1st to 3rd Oct’14) and worship Goddess Durga. This affords religious merits of observing a fast on each of the Navratri days.
Night vigil during Navratri is beneficial when there are discussions according to the guidelines of the scriptures, the mind is cheerful, a pious lamp is lit throughout the night before Goddess Durga’s idol, and there is devotional chanting of the Divine Mother’s pious name with music. Sattvik dance should be performed, not disco or some other western dance.
The worship of Devi, the universal Mother, leads to the attainment of knowledge of the Self. Hinduism is the only religion in the world which has emphasized to such an extent the motherhood of God. One's relationship with one's mother is the dearest and the sweetest of all human relations. Hence, it is proper to look upon God as mother.
SALUTATIONS to the Divine Mother, Durga, who exists in all beings in the form of intelligence, mercy, beauty, who is the consort of Lord Shiva, who creates, sustains and destroys the universe.