This New Moon was the end of Pitṛpakṣa, the time of the ancestors. And it was also the beginning of one of the most loved annual celebrations – the 10-day festival in honor of the Devī, the Goddess. This year, in many parts of the world, the 10 lunar days are actually across 11 solar days, ending on October 10th, (and in some places in the Eastern hemisphere, it ends on the 11th – for example, Australia).
For those of you who took the Pitṛpakṣa course we just offered, you know firsthand that it can be an intense 16 days of practice, reflection, austerity, and transformation. For some time now, our attention has been on the past and on the dead.
Well, now we’re in an equally intense but very different ten days – embracing LIFE with full gusto! This festival is known as Navarātri (technically it’s “navarātrā” in Sanskrit), and it means “Nine Nights”.
For the next nine nights, we experience the sacred feminine energy as she surges forth and battles all the darkness and unconsciousness in the world – a strong mother protecting her children. During this time, we honor her power and beauty. We rejoice in her presence with great devotion, gratitude, and joy. Each night, we light candles, sing, dance, worship, and offer praise. On the 10th day, we celebrate the Divine Mother’s victory – the triumph of dharma.
Even though it’s become commercialized in many parts of the world, the original tradition is quite beautiful and its spirit lives on. If you’re curious, you can Google search for “Durga puja” or “Navratri garba” and see all the traditional practices and dances that people are doing around the world.
As for us, we were so excited about Navrātri that we decided to create two more free learning opportunities to share with all of you:
FIRST, we are offering a 10-day course on the Goddess and Navratrī practices. Each day, we will introduce you to one of the major devīs, as well as a unique traditional practice each day. You can sign up here.
SECOND, tomorrow night (Monday Oct 3rd), we are offering another live webinar class with Shivani Ray, the founder and a Core Teacher for Living Sanskrit. She will guide us through a traditional dhārana, a visualization practice, for the Goddess. She will also discuss the different manifestations of the Goddess, and some of the differences between traditional sacred feminine and sacred masculine deity practice. This session will be highly interactive and you’ll be able to ask questions live. Sign up here.
In lieu of giving you a single practice for this issue, we encourage you to study the wide range of traditional Navrātri practices by participating in the course and the live class.
May you experience Her beautiful presence and loving protection always, and everywhere.