Navratri: The nine nights of the Goddess – By Maria Stylianaki5 min read

The Navratri (nine nights) is a Hindu celebration that takes place every autumn and spring and honors the Shakti feminine energy, the Divine Mother, and is an opportunity for the Indians for spiritual cleansing, guidance and enlightenment. This year is celebrated from 6 to 14 April. The celebration lasts nine nights and ten days. Each night is one of the nine faces (qualities) of Durga goddess and her triumph against evil is honored. The tenth day is the day of Victory.

The myth of the war goddess Durga

Durga is probably the most popular goddess in India, her name means “Outlast Castro” and she is both an undefeated warrior and a loving, sympathetic mother. She is usually presented riding a tiger or a golden lion and she is impressive and beautiful as it is appropriate for a goddess! It has long black hair, wavy hair and dark almond eyes. A red sari covers her tense body and beautiful gold jewels adorn her neck, arms and legs. She wears an imposing crown on her head, a symbol of her power and supremacy, and she is presented with eight or ten hands holding her weapons of power. In one version Durga was created by the male gods to fight the demon Mahishasura. Powerless the gods in front of the demon who constantly won the battles gathered their powers and emitting light from the third eye they created the goddess. They armed her with their forces and sent her to battle to save the world from the domination of the great demon. But today we will deal with another great battle of the goddess …

The battle against the Shumbha and Nishumbha brothers

Once upon a time, at the beginning of the world, but perhaps not so old, perhaps today our myth begins … And the myth concerns what else? The eternal battle between good and evil, which in our story is well represented by gods (devas) and evil by the demons (asuras). Devas are bright beings who work with love weapon for the good and protection of mankind while asuras are those bright beings who have gained their strength with rigorous discipline and prayer but in order to gain power, wealth and sovereignty. .

Pray for wealth or love?

So both brothers Shumbha and Nishumbha are engaged in strict disciplines, stand on one foot between five fires with their hands raised in the sky and holding their breath for millennia and thus manage to get the promise from God Brahma that they will be undefeated by gods and people! Brahma can not deny (because every effort is paid) but asks them to choose a kind from which they can be defeated. Those who do not know any woman capable of defeating them in the battle choose the woman for their bad luck. So the years go by and the demons spread their dominance to all three worlds. Incompetence, greed, evil, selfishness, wars, racism, misery, terrorism, decadence, lust and idleness dominate the world … People forget the customs and customs and offer no sacrifices to the gods, evil is everywhere and humankind is in danger of being destroyed. The gods lose one battle after the other until a wise man appears and reminds them that the demons are undefeated by gods and humans but not by a goddess! So they decide to visit the Great Goddess in her home high up on the mountain where she is hiding because she has been forgotten by both gods and people, and with hymns and backyards she asks to appear and save mankind from evil.

The appearance of the goddess!

The enthusiasm of the gods Durga appears outside the palace of Shumbha and Nishumbha brothers. Irresistibly beautiful and sensual, emitting light around her, riding on her golden lion, who can resist her? The two brothers are losing their beauty and asking her to marry! “Oh, thank you!” Says the goddess, “but it is known when I was little I made a stupid oath and I must keep it!” “I swear to marry the one who will beat me in the battle!” Holding their laughs, the two brothers tell her that she does not fight with women. “Let it be!” She says, pulling her sword out of her sheath, and in a gentle motion like a wing she kills their assistant. In the hours following, the two brothers send a small army, then one bigger and then one bigger until they realize they will either fight the goddess or they will be lost!

The birth of the goddess Kali

They are sending their best generals, Chanda and Munda and their most terrible army to fight the goddess, followed by a terrible battle, and then the goddess’s third eye goes out, the goddess Kali, is thrown into battle and cuts Chanda’s heads Munda. But the battle does not end here, as the demons, not wanting to deliver the weapons, send their most terrible army, Raktabijas, whose name means “a drop of blood.” As her goddess passes through her sword, for every drop of blood flowing on the ground, a new demon emerges, the goddess continues to decapitate them, but in their place, new, tireless demons spring up. You see, I do not get so easily … where you think you’ve beaten it, it finds a way to get out of the corner, it changes shape to trick you out, and as long as you fight so much it rains and fights …

The innumerable faces of the goddess

Then the goddess Durga makes a terrible crunch, and from her chest are gathered beautiful armed goddesses! Indrani on an elephant, Saraswati on a swan, Vaishnavi, Tara, Chinnamasta, Bhairavi, and among them the goddess Kali, who begins to shed the blood of Raktabijas as he decapitates them so that they do not fall on the earth . Within a few hours, the terrible army has vanished and only the two brothers Shumbha and Nishumbha are left. First falls Nishumbha and then comes Shumbha’s turn. “You said you would fight us on your own but see a whole army of gods! You cheated us! “She tells her to save time. “Fool! All these goddesses are nothing but My Self! “With one move, she gathered the gods in her chest and rushed against the last demon. They fought on the earth and the devil fled to the earth. As a syllater died he heard his lips: “Ma! Ma! “Which means a divine mother!

«Aum Dum Durgaye Namaha!»

Maria Stylianaki

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