The nine nights and days of Navaratri indicate the darkness of ignorance present in us and ways to bring in the light of knowledge that will remove the darkness. Krishna says in the Gita that because of ignorance, humanity is suffering. Devi, the feminine aspect of nature, is venerated during Navaratri. The first three days are dedicated to Durga, destroyer of inertia; the next three days to Lakshmi to overcome passion and the last three days to Saraswati to embrace the pure aspect of nature. The tenth day, Vijayadashami, celebrates the victory over all these three – Tamas, Rajas and Sattva.The Vedas say, listen carefully; practise Shravanam, that is, listen in totality. Ved Vyasa says, ‘Go on listening till you understand’. We have a gross body and deep within is the subtle body and our soul which is consciousness, awareness. Rakshasa in the gross form has a gross body and represents our disorganised energy. When anger, hatred and jealousy exist, they generate disorganised energy; it makes you miserable. Whereas if you have compassion, love, caring and silence within, it is organised energy; godly energy. Disorganised energy is a demon.Each demon in the Navaratri story represents a type of disorderliness.In each of the thirteen chapters of Devi Mahatmyam there are demons, namely, Madhu and Kaitabha, Mahishasura, Chunda-Munda, Shumbha-Nishumbha etc. When all these demons are killed, ignorance is destroyed.The tenth day also celebrates the defeat of Ravana by Rama. Ravana’s ten heads signify negative energies and impure mind. Rama symbolises Atma, soul and Sita stands for hridaya, heart. Therefore listening to scriptures and performing service help to purify the mind.Mana, mind in Sanskrit, when purified by devotion and understanding, becomes Nama. Our Manaha has to become Namaha. When there is no devotion and no spiritual exposure, your mind will become Ravana and it will keep going round and round in a vicious circle.
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