significance of Sarad-nava-rAtri-utsava
The season of शरद् that can roughly translated as autumn starts when Sun is near equator on the southward journey. First month of this Rtu happens when moon is near Ashwini the first star on full moon day. This month is seventh in a Lunisolar calendar called ASvayuja. This is a parva or a special period based on Sun and Moon positions with respective to Earth that can accurately be calculated / observed by the intelligent beings.
The parva of nine nights of starting of this month are well known to invoke divine mother शक्ति in multiple forms, colors, names and celebrated with fasting.
What is Sakti? Sakti is derived from the dhAtu “Shak” which means “to be able” or simply ability. Ability of will / resolve / desire, ability to act and ability to think, learn & know are three primary abilities that makeup this world.
These three abilities are called iccha Sakti, kriyA Sakti and jnana Sakti they are derived from fundamental divine mother Sakti. All these energies or powers are inter-convertible. They appear differently and seem to perform different activities during the worlds’ creation, maintenance and transformation.
For these nine nights, three sets of three nights, each invoke goddess durga, lakshmi and saraswati representing each Sakti respectively for purification of will, action and knowledge of the devotee. (9 = 3*3)
On the tenth day daSami, the purified power of divine mother gives victory i.e., vijaya to the devotee over the negative forces originated in the defects of will, action or knowledge of the devotee.
It has shown time and again as the victory of goddess over the daemons and also as victory of lord rAma over rAvaNa. It is the celebration of vijaya daSami feast i.e., the utsava.
So, the power of universal lord is Sakti. Without the power there is no world. The power appears differentiated as three distinct energies and several sub energy bands. So, we give a different decoration and name to the dEvi’s idol each day and worship her with full knowledge that the basis for all the energies that manifest in this world are only the divine mother of all beings here!
Right worship with right knowledge in the right time leads to purification of the devotee and leads the merger of individual identity in the universal soul. That is the ultimate victory which is being celebrated during the navaratris and dasara! That is the significance of the festival!!
చిత్కళాం చిన్మయీం శాంతాం చిద్రూపాం పరదేవతాం
సచ్చిదానంద రూపాం త్వాం లలితాంబాం నమామ్యహం
om tat sat