Today is the eighth day (Ashtami) of this annual festival that is marked as an especially important time of sadhana (spiritual practice) for students and practitioners of Yoga. The eighth day is one of the most auspicious days to honour the Divine Feminine who resides in all beings as Shakti.
From the qualities of love, abundance and prosperity that are represented by Goddess Lakshmi, to the fierce forms of the Goddess such as Kalaratri and MahaKali who bear the bolt of lightning that pierces the great night of darkness – She brings empowerment on many different levels, as well as profound lessons in truth for the sadhaka (spiritual practitioner). Her goal is always to awaken, illumine and lead us forward, that we may look behind the veil of outer appearance to the perception of value in its more lasting forms.
The following Sanskrit verse honours the Goddess as One who removes fear and bestows vitality:
सर्वस्वरूपे सर्वेशे सर्वशक्तिसमन्विते ।
भयेभ्यस्त्राहि नो देवि दुर्गे देवी नमोऽस्तु ते ॥५॥
Sarva-Svaruupe Sarveshe Sarva-Shakti-Samanvite |
Bhayebhyas-Traahi No Devi Durge Devii Namostu Te ||5||
Meaning ~ “Salutations to you, Devi, you are established in all forms, you are endowed with all of the great Shaktis (powers). Protect us from all fears. O Durga, prostrations unto thee. ” ~ Verse 5 of the ‘Durga Saptashloki’, a powerful invocation to Devi.
For the gift of life, and the richness of possibility that the experience of life provides to us. For embodying the rhythms of creation, and leading us in to the cosmic dance of Spirit. For illuminating the intellect in profound ways, and holding the greatest mysteries of existence that are revealed only to the serious seeker. For permeating all of creation as Shakti, we offer salutations. We bring our awareness to you, in gratitude, Divine Mother!
During this time of Navaratri, the nine nights of worship of Devi – the Supreme Goddess – let the mind be drawn towards her, and the intellect open to her sacred knowledge. Let the richness of celebration also find its way to the illumination of the deeper meaning and value of Shakti.
The Durga Suktam, a powerful invocation to Goddess Durga, is from the Maha Narayana Upanishad. These verses hold within them the immense power of Shakti. Immerse yourself in the glory of the Divine Mother through this meditative recitation.
Here is the link to my recitation, with lyrics in Sanskrit and the Roman transliteration as well:
“Om Durgaayai Namaha” (Salutations to Goddess Durga)
With Love and Peace,
Sai Ganesh Nagpal