How to use the time of Navratri for spiritual enlightenment
The most powerful time of year for spiritual ascension
Navratri is the Hindu festival of worship of the divine feminine, the word Nav means 9 in Sanskrit, which stands for completion, the awakening of the entire chakra system, and the 9 manifestations of Shakti which are worshipped in this time. Ratri means night, and a lot of rituals are done in the night time.
So why is Navratri such a significant time period and how can you use this time to accelerate your spiritual growth, your inner healing journey and everything else?
There are actually FOUR Navratris in a year. Two of these are Gupt Navratri, so there is no outward celebration. The most significant is Sharadiya Navratri which occurs at the conjunction of fall and winter. The second one which is celebrated outwardly is Chaitri Navratri which begins on 22nd March 2023.
What is happening energetically in the cosmos during Navratri?
Before we dive into ways to benefit from this time period and learning about the traditional Vedic knowledge systems around this, let us understand what is actually happening energetically in the cosmos during this time period.
The whole universe is constantly regenerating itself. The cycle of samsara or life involves continuous cycles of birth and death and birth again. We stay rotating through this cycle because we are UNCONCIOUS and the minute our soul starts to ascend, we start to break free of the various patterns which keep us trapped in third dimensional bondage. Now the third dimension is valid and necessary, I don’t subscribe to this spiritual bypassing new age spirituality superficiality. New age spirituality has its own validity, but the roots are the ancient traditional origins which go back thousands of years. The various rituals and practices during this time help our microcosm align with the movement of the macrocosmic ascension of energy occurring during this time as we move through the 9 days.
If you notice firstly that Navratri always falls according to the Vedic calendar at the conjunction of seasons. What does this mean? It means this is a time for transformation. During this period, the cosmos (which itself is a creation of Shakti), regenerates itself entirely. So we can regenerate ourselves energetically too; just as the serpent sheds its skin and our serpent energy moves through our chakra system.
Secondly, during this time there is a natural UPSURGE of our inner Kundalini Shakti and a massive cosmic influx of divine consciousness which we worship in different forms according to the manifestation of the divine mother present on that day. Each day is related to a different Goddess, colours, and chakra.
This is also a time of deep clearing - because we are leaving one season behind and entering a new season. Hindu rituals and practices exist to help us harness this energy and experience karmic clearing. In Hinduism, the goal of life is moksha; and thus Navratri has a particular significance with this. Therefore this is an excellent time to fast, detox and more (in fact this is necessary to be able to absorb the new downloads of consciousness coming through in this time).
Essentially, during this time we are simply creating an ENVIRONMENT for this energy to activate within ourselves, to be able to connect with the divine flow of the universe and further our soul growth. On some level we are also withdrawing inwards through discipline which assists us to converse and utilise this subtle energy for our future endeavours.
Each of the days of Navratri is related to a different form of Maa Durga, and each of these Devi has her own significance. There are specific ways of worship for each.
What can I do to enhance my spiritual growth during Navratri?
The number one thing you can start with during this time is fasting. On a physical level, we are what we eat. Our intake is our vibration; and during these particular periods by maintaining discipline over what we eat, our body is in a position to absorb the energies present and receive deep healing. We are also accumulating cosmic energy during this time and when that energy is used in digestion the energy moves downwards. But we want our energy to move upwards. There are different ways of fasting during Navratri and you can start with whatever is feasible for you as a first step.
The way I fast is I only take fruits, dry fruits and organic desi cow milk. If I am super hungry I might boil some sweet potatoes in the evening but I try to avoid cooked food.
Now, if that’s difficult or not feasible for you health wise, then you can also opt for falahaari food which is basically cooked food which does not contain salt, no meat or alcohol is consumed, no grains also. You can read more about how to make good falahaari food on the internet.
Another thing you can try is fast the entire day and then eat your meal in the evening post sunset. This is called ‘ektana’ in Gujarati or one time meal.
At least during this 9 days, leave out alcohol, meat and grains from your diet. These have very dense vibrations. On the subject of meat, goats are often offered as part of traditional Hindu Shakta rituals to ferocious forms of Kali and Durga. These deities require this and this is written clearly in scriptures, in Vedic and Tantric, in right hand and left hand paths both. But this meat is offered in a very ritualistic way by traditional pandits. It is not the same as the meat that is consumed normally. Plus this is only part of certain traditional sects, so we must respect their practices. Sanatan Dharma is not about veganism or linear thinking; it is as specific as it is diverse and contextual. Something to be aware of.
The second thing is use this time to conserve your energy as much as possible. So avoid environments like clubs and bars. Turn off Netflix. Our consciousness is programmed by all of these things and during this time, if you allow the energy to flow through naturally, you will find your state of being elevated naturally. Create more space in your life to be still and be in nature to receive full benefit.
This is a time to perform spiritual practice, even a simple meditation in the morning can help you so much. There are exponential benefits of doing any spiritual practice during Navratri. Any sort of Yoga, Pranayama, meditation, mantra japa etc. is very fruitful.
Learn about the different forms of the Divine Mother (Durga) that are worshipped across the nine days. Starting from Maa Shailputri to Maa Siddhidatri. Each has their significance and has a specific mode of action on the awakening of the chakra system and offers us blessings to succeed in our life. You can listen to the different Stotras on YouTube for each of the Devi in each day.
That’s all for now. If you have more questions or want to learn more about this, you can always send me a DM on Instagram! Chaitri Navratri starts from 22nd March 2023. Blessings for a fruitful Navratri. Jai Maa
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