15
Oct 15

Shubh Navratri

or Happy Celebration of the Great Divine Mother

From October 13th to October 22nd Hindus around the world will be honoring Shakti, the personification of the divine feminine force. Shakti is embodiment of creative energy and fertility. Shaktism holds Devi ("the godess") as the Supreme Being.

For nine days Shakti is worshiped in her different aspects while on the 10th day climaxes with: "Vijayadasham, also known as Dussehra, which celebrates the triumph of good over evil."

But this is not the only Navratri. Navaratri is celebrated Four times a year. They are Vasanta Navaratri, Ashadha Navaratri, the Sharad Navaratri, and the Paush/Magha Navaratri. Of these, the Sharad Navaratri of the month of Puratashi and the Vasanta Navaratri of the Vasanta kala are the most important.Other two are observed only by shaktas only

Vasanta Navaratri: Vasanta Navaratri, it's nine days are dedicated to the nine forms of Shakti (Mother Goddess) in the month of Chaitra (March–April) and is observed during the Shukla Paksha (waxing phase of moon) of Chaitra. The beginning of this Navaratri also marks the start of the new year as per the Hindu mythological lunar calendar (Vikrami Samvat).

Ashad Navaratri : Gupta Navaratri, also referred as Ashadha or Gayatri or Shakambhari Navaratri, is nine days dedicated to the nine forms of Shakti (Mother Goddess) in the month of Ashadha (June–July). Gupta Navaratri is observed during the Ashadha Shukla Paksha (waxing phase of moon). This is mostly observed by shaktas only

Sharad Navaratri: This is the most important of the Navaratris. It is simply called Maha Navaratri (the Great Navaratri) and is celebrated in the 'pratipada' (first day) of the bright fortnight of the lunar month of Ashvin. Also known as Sharad Navaratri, as it is celebrated during Sharad (beginning of winter, September–October).

Pausha/Magha Navaratri: Pausha Navaratri, also referred as Shakambari Navaratri, is eight days dedicated to the nine forms of Shakti (Mother Goddess) in the month of (December–January). Paush Navaratri is observed during the Pausha Shukla Paksha (waxing phase of moon). Shakambhari Purnima is the last day in the 8-day long holiday of Shakambari Navaratri. Most Navaratri begins on Shukla Pratipada except for Shakambari Navaratri, which begins on Ashtami and ends on Purnima in Paush month.

Nor is Shakti the only Mother Goddess, even in Hinduism. I started counting and ended my estimate around 100 or so. This not even consdiering various aspects of the same being or pseudo-goddess figures venerated by non-polytheistic faiths.

A few years ago Time magazine did a nice top 10 list that you should check out.

Now the question: Given that femininity, creativity, and fertility are such vital and universal parts of the human nature, how does your faith deal with them?

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