Autumn Navaratri About Durga

Navaratri ~ Nine Nights in Relationship with Feminine Divine

All revere your lotus feet, Oh Goddess.
Giver of all that is beautiful.
Give us your form, give us victory, give us wellbeing, remove all hostility.
~ Devi Mahatmya

Enjoy this intro to Navarātri & invocation of the feminine divine. 

I hope this resource offers some depth, while remaining accessible to newcomers to this practice and those with very full lives and schedules. 

Navarātri is a sacred time in the vedic calendar meant to bring us insight, inspiration, transformation, sustanence and wisdom on our journey of spiritual growth. 

When you connect to feminine divine, you deepen  connection to everything that is, including yourself and your potential. 

Any seeker of devotional relationship can start in small simple ways to fit your life and journey.

To dive in deeper with sacred stories and their meanings, teachings and mantras for feminine divine, you are invited to join me in the Nectar of Navarātri {we start October 7th}

Who is the Devī?

For those who recognize that there is more to life than what is "seeable"... there is the sense that there is a presence, changeless, timeless... within and behind all that we see. That presence can be related to when we cognize it as a form. Feminine divine, Devī or Śakti is the form of the presence and power of all that is. We can say that the whole manifestation itself is the "body of the Goddess". Wherever there is a force, there is the Devī. We can celebrate and appreciate anything & everything as Her divine form - this includes everything that we desire and everything that we find distasteful. There is nothing that is not divine.

In Śaktism – devotion to Feminine Divine – which rests on principles of both Tantra & Vedānta – all that is, is a form of the divine feminine. There is nothing that is not Her. 

Feminine Divine, Śakti, or Mother – is not about gender or biology. She is the power, capacity, movement that is alive as and in everything. She is the One presence and power that creates, sustains and resolves… in the ongoing dance of manifestation. 

Harvest Navarātri - Divine Nourishment

There are special times in the Vedic Calendar that are considered “super charged” opportunities to deepen practice. Navarātri means “9 nights”, and is an opportunity to celebrate Feminine Divine in a seemingly endless array of forms. There are several Navarātri’s throughout the year, at special juncture points… but the Harvest Navarātri, when the abundance is “pulled out of mother earth” is considered most special. 

There is effort and transformation required to “pull” the blessings of the earth up out of the ground, so that the living creatures can be nourished by the bounty of mother earth. 

This BIG Navarātri of the year is a time for deeper, more austere dedication to practices. We are called inward to sit with candlelight or ghee lamp and sing, pray or talk to the Divine Mother. We bring her our pain and burdens, our hopes and desires, and our deepest aspirations. 

 

“Day 1” begins with the first phase of the October waxing moon. 

In 2021, Navarātri* goes from October 6-14 in the Americas and October 7-15 everywhere else.  This is a powerful, healing and transformational time. 

 

Navarātri is for the aspect of the spiritual journey that is played out here – in our bodies, minds and lives… the challenges, the blessings, the messes and the successes. 

Durgā Devī: Divine Purification

The First three days of Navarātri are dedicated to forms of Durgā Devī.

Durgā is always looking serene, calm, loving, yet ready for battle. She battles to destroy all that obstructs us in life… vanquishing ego, disturbance, materialism, bypass, hatred, and all other manifestations that poison our minds, bodies and lives. 

Durgā Devī

She is the one we call for when we are struggling. She delivers courage, divine will and the tools for transformation. She can shape shift to meet each of our inner and outer challenges and obstacles, and she does it with love.  

Durgā is the one who gives us a RENOVATION… tossing out what  obstructs or distracts us and Navarātri is a supercharged time to do it! Durgā gives us the courage to cut out all current actions and past karmas so that we can move forward in life & spiritual growth. 
The special Goddess of the 1st day is, Śailaputrī Devī. She is a a warrior goddess associated with Kuṇdalinī Śakti of the spine, with the Muladhāra Cakra, or root, of the tailbone region. She is the mountain, a metaphor for your spine. She is associated with the color Red and with new beginnings. 

Engaging with with Durgā for Navarātri

Simplify and nourish your life by letting go of all those things which are obstructing you, “poisoning” you and holding you back in life and from yourself. 

“Take stock” and assess what can you let go of. You do not need to overachieve here {maybe that’s a habit you have to let go of!}. 

Keep in mind this is not about shame, self-criticism or being “good”, this is not about sin… it is about making wise choices in your own best interest, is about living a life that is in alignment with cosmic order, and that allows you to thrive ultimately. 

This aspect of Navarātri is about purification,  some austerity, releasing, doing less, letting go to clear the wayHere are a few places in life to look and try to commit for 9 days. You can pick one, or a few. It is okay to pick something easy.  

  • Routine – improve sleeping, waking & eating times and release old habits that are not supporting you. 

  • Food – commit to foods that are appropriate for your constitution, or let go of foods that you know aren’t working for your long term health. During Navarātri sattvic food is ideal, if possible for you {increase your plant foods, whole foods, seasonal foods}

  • Speech – maybe you can say less… abstain from giving unwarranted advice or criticizing others or gossiping. Nectar of the Gitā grads can refer to teachings in Part 3 on “Vāk Tapas”. 

  • Home – maybe you can do some spring cleaning! 

  • Mind – can you abstain from thinking that poisons you – cultivate the opposite of whatever the pattern in, or work with Yoga Nidrā to resolve thinking patterns at the root. 

  • Life get clarity about what you can let go of in your life, something you are pursuing or engaging with that you can release? Vedic Astrology can help you get clarity on this. 

  • Body, Spine & Karma – work with your spine in gentle ways to release & purify both physical holding patterns & karmic knots that are disturbing you and holding you back. Scroll down for a practice.  

Divine Transformation

When we purify our bodies, minds, speech, and lives, we free ourselves of those things that obstruct, disturb or restrict us. We release distorted and misaligned desires, transforming our relationship with the objects of desire and with desire itself. 

Without purification… 

  • We crave things that do not serve our ultimate greater good.
  • Our desire is rooted in sense of lack or insecurity that drives us to “fill up” with short term satisfaction
  • We are misguided to think that our happiness is inside the object of desire
  • We are compelled by desire, so much that we cause harm to ourselves or others to gain short term satisfaction. 
Purification refines your free will, so that rather than being dragged around by desire, you become the master of it and can choose to satisfy desires that are attuned to cosmic order and your own highest purpose. 

The Devī Within

the subtle spine

Your spine is the central axis of your whole body – resource of both strength and mobility. 

Your spine is also the conduit of consciousness and the storehouse of karmic seeds. It is the central channel of your spiritual process.

When we work with the spine, we are in relationship Feminine Divine, as Parvatī is the Goddess who’s name means “Mountain” and as the Kuṇdalinī Śakti is the transformative feminine form who rests at the base of your spine and traverses up the spine for the sake of your spiritual growth. 

Most everyone’s spine is tied up in “knots”, particularly in the regions of the pelvis & heart, but we can release those knots – both physical and karmic – in order to experience the physical freedom, true inner strength, depth of being and ease of spiritual process that you are designed for. 

With that, I invite you to this mini practice, which honors you, your body, and your spine, not as a machine that has to be forced, but as a beautiful form of the divine which can be loved, enjoyed and nurtured. In this practice we release the Tailbone, which is associated with Śailaputrī Devi – the Goddess of the first day of Navarātri, and the Sacrum, which connects to your softness, capacity for creativity and intimacy. 

I invite you to this SRY practice daily during Navarātri, to purify rigid holding patterns in the body particularly your pelvis, releasing karmic knots related to your sense of self-worth and your relationship to desire, and nourish and nurture your divine Self.  Your own body is an altar of the divine. 

Enjoy! 
Love, 
Kaya

Love as a Path to the Self

*Do not do any strenuous yoga or exercise immediately following this practice! You can do this pose after something strenuous, but not before. After this āsana you can rest, meditate, do shavasana or go on with your day with a soft gentle, unfurled inner attitude!

This is a sacred practice from inside the SRY Studio. Learn more here.