Navarathri – Satu Perayaan Yang Berbeza


 ‘Navaratri’ is the festival of worship of Goddess Shakti (feminine manifestation of the cosmic energy). The Goddess fought evil Demons over nine days and nights and destroyed them on the tenth day.

Answering an invitation of a friend who were performing as part of a dance school, on the 8th night we went to the Lord Murugan temple in Batu Caves. There weren’t many people there contrary to our expectation and I was very much relieved to be able to park my car inside the temple compound. Our friend who is working in the same office as my wife will be performing at 9:00pm. I was quite amazed to learn she have been taking dance classes since she was 6 years old. It reminds me of some friends I know in Turkey who have been taking Islamic calligraphy classes, Mevlevi dance, sufi music, etc since very small. How strong they hold to their ways is what amazes me. So what is Navarathri? To accompany the photos, we googled up some information and try understand what we watched and recorded. So the dance performed throughout the nine nights is actually a 9 night chronology of the fight betwen good and evil.

Navaratri means “nine nights”. What does the nine signify? There are nine planets (grahas), according to astrology. The human body has nine openings. If a deep inquiry is made, it will be found that mankind is dependent on the planets. Although astrologers speak about nine planets, in reality, only two “planets” matter: attachment (raaga) and hatred (dwesha).

In the worship of the deities during Navaratri, one of them is worshipped each day, not externally but with one’s heart and soul. Bodily actions are ephemeral. The body derives its value from the spirit within. Hence it should be regarded as a sacred temple. During the Navaratri festival, for the purpose of eradicating one’s own demonic and evil tendencies, the deities are worshipped with sacred powder (kumkum).

Therefore, the Navaratri festival is observed by contemplating on God for ten days, cleansing one’s self of all impurities, in order to experience the divinity within. The last but one day of the festival is dedicated to what is termed “worship of weapons” (ayudha puja). The weapons to be worshipped are the divine powers in man. When the divine is worshipped in this way, one is bound to progress spiritually.

During Navaratri, the energy of Sree Durgadevi is intensely active in the atmosphere.

The Celebration
Navratri is divided into sets of three days to adore three different aspects of the supreme goddess or goddesses – Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswathi. Their esoteric significance is represented by three potencies (shakthis): will power (ichchaa shakthi), the power of purposeful action (kriya shakthi), and the power of knowledge (jnaana shakthi).

First three days
The goddess is invoked as a spiritual force called Durga also known as kali in order to destroy all our impurities, vices and defects.
When the divine Goddess is in dreadful rage to destroy the wicked elements, she assumes a fearful form. To pacify the dreaded Goddess, we her children offer worship to Her with sacred red powder (kumkum). Seeing the blood-red kumkum at her feet, the Goddess feels assured that the wicked have been vanquished and assumes her benign form. The inner meaning of the worship of Devi with red kumkum is that thereby the Goddess is appeased.

Second three days
The Mother is adored as a giver of spiritual wealth, Lakshmi, who is considered to have the power of bestowing on her devotees inexhaustible wealth – not just money but intellectual wealth, the wealth of character, health and others. She is the Goddess of wealth!

Final three days
Ashtami is the day devi is enlighetened, she kills the asura who is the embodiment of samskaras, he assumes diffrent forms as one samskara when suppressed becomes another. On namavi day siva comes to serve her. On dasami her enlightenment is celebrated. Enlightenmnet is the point of transtion between beast and man – between instinct and intellect – that is the birth of intuition.

The final set of three days is spent in worshipping the goddess of wisdom, Saraswathi. She bestows intelligence, the capacity for intellectual inquiry, and the power of discrimination on us.



~ oleh teratakmaya di Oktober 9, 2008.

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