In a previous essay, we have discussed what the Divine Mother is and how she manifests in our lives with an intimate, personal touch, closer than our physical mother, vaster than all our conceptions and their reach.

According to Sankhya all that manifests is She. This expression in name and form, in roopa and gati, is not just in the gross world but also in far subtler worlds that are not perceived by our gross senses. Thus she is our vital energy or prana, our mind and intelligence, and our sense of ego. As soon as one understands and sees clearly that the personality that is so dear to us are only her energies, something else emerges. An awareness that is free of all manifestation, that is niranjan, pure, without any tendencies or direction. This awareness is the purusha.

And yet, this prakriti described in sankhya has a higher status in the para prakriti or Mahashakti, she who moves faster than our intelligence, is subtler than our finest senses, and is deeper and higher than all our attainments. This Mahashakti as the highest, widest and greatest power of the Divine, the Parameshvari is the one we invoke on Navratri.

Expressing herself in cycles of seasons and day and night and the movement of Sun and moon and stars and oceans and galaxies, she is too more manifest at certain times of the year. When she is closer to our invocation and her force nearer our worlds in ability or will to express. Those times when the powers of her various emanations are concentrated recur during certain parts of the year and have been described as nine nights or navraatri.

And thus, to the ardent adorer or seeker, these nights are auspicious and dhyana during these special hours can be accelerated if the yogi or bhakta approaches her with sincerity, openness and aspiration for her to descend and manifest. Expressing herself in form and name, in various patterns and designs, sounds and intonations, and gestures and moods, she is yet mysterious and surpasses constantly our mind. And our ancients created certain mantras and yantras to assist us in meditation and establish her force in the physical. Thus, the emphasis on meditation on certain forms of manifestations, certain names and root sounds to fix her presence in our lives, her bliss, her realizations, her intense revelations.

This is the theory in essence explained briefly. There is so much more to be said, fit for seas of ink and skies of scrolls. But if this insight is understood then we can use the navratris to ascend faster and higher and facilitate her descent deeper and wider to create better instruments and adhars of us.  Navratri is the time in her yearly cycle when she is closest to us. As the surge of the ocean brings in the looming wave on which we can hang ten and surf higher, faster, further. And that is the special night of the Beloved, the Divine Mother, who is our Truth, our Consciousness and Bliss in creation.

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