It is said that King Dhruvasindu was killed by a lion when he went out hunting. He had two wives named Lilavati and Manorama. Preparations were made to crown the prince Sudarsana, son of Manorama. But, King Yudhajit of Ujjain, father of Queen Lilavati , and King Virasena of Kalinga, the father of Queen Manorama, were each desirous of securing the Kosala throne for their respective grandsons. They fought with each other. King Virasena was killed in the battle. Manorama fled to the forest with Prince Sudarsana and an eunuch. They took refuge in the hermitage of Rishi Bharadwaja. King Yudhajit, thereupon crowned his grandson, Shatrujit, as the king of Kosala. He then went out in search of Manorama and her son. The Rishi said that he would not give up those who had sought protection under him. Yudhajit returned to his capital. Fortune smiled on Prince Sudarsana. A hermit’s son came one day and called the eunuch by his Sanskrit name Kleeba.
|Children do you know that there are four Navaratris celebrated at four different times in a year. These nine days are dedicated to the nine forms of Shakti (Mother Goddess). They are :
During the festival nine forms of Durga are worshipped which are: Shailputri; Brahmacharini; Chandraghanta; Kushmanda; Skandmata; Katyayini; Kalratri; Mahagauri and Siddhidatri .
The prince caught the first syllable Kli and began to pronounce it as Kleem. This syllable happened to be a powerful, sacred Mantra. It is the Bija Akshara (root syllable) of the Divine Mother. By the repeated utterance of this syllable, the Divine mother appeared before him and granted him divine weapons and an inexhaustible quiver. The emissaries of the king of Benares passed through the Ashram of the Rishi and when they saw the Sudarsana, they recommended him for Princess Sashikala, the daughter of the king of Benares.
A Swayamwar was arranged and Sashikala at once chose Sudarsana. They were duly wedded. King Yudhajit, who had been present at the function, began to fight with the king of Benares. The Divine Mother helped Sudarsana and his father-in-law. Yudhajit mocked Her, upon which the Divine Mother promptly reduced Yudhajit and his army to ashes.
Why Nine Nights and Days?
Navaratri is divided into sets of three days to adore different aspects of the supreme goddess. On the first three days, the Mother is invoked as powerful force called Durga in order to destroy all our impurities, vices and defects. The next 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 the inexhaustible wealth. The final set of three days is spent in worshipping the mother as the Goddess of wisdom,Saraswati.
Thus Sudarsana, with his wife and his father-in-law, praised the Divine Mother. She was highly pleased and ordered them to perform Her worship during the Vasanta Navaratri.
Prince Sudarsana and Sashikala returned to the Ashram of Rishi Bharadwaja to seek his blessings. He crowned Sudarsana as the king of Kosala. Sudarsana and Sashikala and the king of Benares implicitly carried out the commands of the Divine Mother and performed worship in a splendid manner during the Vasanta Navaratri.
Sudarsana’s descendants, namely, Sri Rama and Lakshmana, also performed worship of the Divine Mother during the Vasanta Navaratri and were blessed with Her assistance in the recovery of Sita.
|Significance of Navaratri
During Navaratri, we invoke the energy aspect of God in the form of the universal mother, referred to as ” Durga,” which literally means the remover of miseries of life. She is also referred to as “Devi” (goddess) or “Shakti” (energy or power). It is this energy, which helps God to proceed with the work of creation, preservation and destruction. Truly speaking, our worship of Shakti re-confirms the scientific theory that energy is imperishable.
Why Worship the Mother Goddess?
We think this energy is only a form of the Divine Mother, who is the mother of all, and all of us are her children. “Why mother; why not father?”, you may ask. Let me just say that we believe that God's glory, his cosmic energy, his greatness and supremacy can best be depicted as the motherhood aspect of God. Just as a child finds all these qualities in his or her mother, similarly, all of us look upon God as mother. In fact, Hinduism is the only religion in the world, which gives so much importance to the mother aspect of God because we believe that mother is the creative aspect of the absolute.
Why Twice a Year?
Every year the beginning of summer and the beginning of winter are two very important junctures of climatic change and solar influence. These two junctions have been chosen as the sacred opportunities for the worship of the divine power because:
(1) We believe that it is the divine power that provides energy for the earth to move around the sun,causing the changes in the outer nature and that this divine power must be thanked for maintaining the correct balance of the universe.
(2) Due to the changes in the nature, the bodies and minds of people undergo a considerable change, and hence, we worship the divine power to bestow upon all of us enough potent powers to maintain our physical and mental balance.