Words from Him

Words form Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, founder of the Art of Living foundation

Monday, September 25, 2006

On Navaratri

‘Nava’ means nine. It also means ‘fresh’ or ‘new’. ‘Ratri’,‘ra’ means giving solace or rest. ‘Tri’ means three. There are three types of botherations or problems that may affect a person - physical, mental, spiritual. That which gives you relief from all these difficulties is ‘ratri’. ‘Ratri’ or night relieves you and brings you comfort. It takes you into its arms and puts you to sleep. Even birds and animals go to sleep at night. The night relaxes everybody, whether happy, unhappy or miserable, everybody goes to sleep. ‘Navaratri’ means the new night or the nine nights that give you rest from all these three types of problems.
The nine days represent the nine months spent by the baby in the mother’s womb. It represents the evolution of the consciousness to a heightened awareness.
In life, there are positive and negative qualities that affect us. Navaratri represents how the negativity can be conquered by the inherent positive qualities in an individual so that one emerges as a divine being.
In the ashram, when such a celebration happens, it is done for the benefit of all of humanity. It is done with an intention that all the people should be happy; there should be good rainfall, prosperity in the country and so on. Many 'homas' are conducted with the chanting of 'mantras' creating an atmosphere of positivity and celebration.
'Mantras' remove fear from the mind. They break the thread of repetitive thoughts and bring the mind to the present moment, which is the field of all possibilities. The sound energy of the mantras charges the atoms positively. These vibrations are absorbed by every atom of our body.
'Homas' are ancient ways of purifying the individual and collective consciousness. They have three aspect; Devapuja -honoring the divine in all its forms, Sangatikarana -hastening the process of evolution by bringing together the elements of creation and Dana -sharing what you have been blessed with.
Women are celebrated during these days. In the Hindu mythology, the three deities Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati representing courage, wealth and wisdom are celebrated.


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