Ya devi sarva bhuteshu, shanti rupena samsthita
Ya devi sarva bhuteshu, shakti rupena samsthita
Ya devi sarva bhuteshu, matri rupena samsthita
Ya devi sarva bhuteshu, buddhi rupena samsthita
Namastasyai, namastasyai, namastasyai, namo namaha
O omnipresent goddess who is the Universal Mother, the omnipresent goddess who embodies power, the omnipresent goddess who is peace personified, O Devi, who resides in all the living beings in the form of Buddhi (Intelligence) and Rupena (Beauty), I bow down to you over and over.
The months of October and November in India are full of celebration. With beautifully tinted skies, lit houses, and people looking their best in gorgeous ethnic attires, the entire country gets into a festive mood to celebrate Dussehra and Diwali. However, they are both preceded by Navratri: nine days of fasting and worshipping of goddess Durga and her nine divine manifestations. “The Navratri season is a time when Maa Durga pays a visit to her parents on Earth, along with her children, and relaxes at her Maayka (maternal home). She brings hope, prosperity, happiness, and strength, and blesses us with her presence,” my grandfather used to tell me when I was a little kid.
Being a Bengali (the Durga Pujo tradition is very prominent in Bengal), I have always wondered about the significance of Devi Shakti (divine feminine energy), also called Maa Shakti (Divine Mother), who is worshipped in the form of Goddess Durga in the Hindu tradition. I have always felt that Maa Durga is not just some deity or a god-like entity but divine energy that resides in all of us. This divine energy makes us fight our battles and live a righteous life.
With Pujo and Dussehra having just gone by, and Diwali around the corner, this might be the perfect time to discuss ‘Shakti’ and how she is a part of our existence. I believe that ‘Maa’ is someone who lives within us all our lives and not for just two or three months of her earthly visitations. She’s the inner-strength that defines our existence and should be celebrated every day of our lives through our deeds, beliefs, and words.
The story behind the celebration
During the Treta Yuga, when Lord Ram was in a fierce battle with the mighty demon king of Lanka, Ravan, there came a time when he and his army of monkeys failed in every way to defeat the king. Tired and on the verge of giving up, Lord Ram decided to worship Maa Durga for nine days known as ‘Okal-Bodhon.’ Happy with her invocation, Divine Mother blessed Lord Ram, and he was finally able to defeat the demon king on the tenth day which is known as ‘Dussehra.’
In life, all of us are faced with hardships and challenges. Sometimes, you know what’s right but fail to gather the courage to do the right thing. In such times, Devi Shakti (divine feminine energy) gives us the strength to go ahead and fight our battles fiercely, irrespective of the consequences. Just like the Lord sought the blessings of Maa to defeat Ravan, similarly, we should peek inside ourselves and find the Devi Shakti in times of dilemma and challenges to emerge victorious in the end.
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
Yuga of the youth: A time for transformation
Maitreya Dadashreeji explains to Rishi Rathod that we are at the threshold of a new yuga cycle and have the opportunity to ensure lasting peace on Earth in the New Age if we courageously choose love over fear
Merging into the Ocean
Sit back and surrender yourself to this inspirational article by Barbara Ann Briggs. Her words, augmented by quotes from the masters, throw light on the joy and true nature of surrender.
Sri Aurobindo: The doctor for all times
Sri Aurobindo was unique among spiritual masters in taking the goal of spirituality further from individual salvation to making the world a place free from misery and suffering. Written by Dr. Ramesh Bijlani this article is the first in a series that celebrates the 150th birth anniversary of Sri Aurobindo, which falls in 2022.
Milk of human kindness
Today, consumers all over the world are divided into three categories: non-vegetarians, vegetarians, and vegans.
Feluda's Next Case
It’s been almost a year now since the novel coronavirus has plunged the whole world into darkness.
CONVICTION: A DOUBLE-EDGED SWORD
Annesha Banerjee believes that your conviction should be your life’s Rock of Gibraltar if it embraces inclusivity and is life-affirming. However, this very same desirable asset, if built on the sands of intolerance and discrimination, can wash away your life as well as those of others.
Eating For A Healthy pH
Naini Setalvad educates us on how to include certain foods in our diet to maintain the body’s acid-alkali balance
WARRIORS of the LIGHT
As the world went into lockdown mode due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some real-life superheroes turned this period into an opportunity for selfless loving, caring, and giving, which impacted thousands of lives, says Rishi Rathod
The Boat Pose
Kamala Venkat advises Navasana as a great way to strengthen your willpower along with your back and abdominal muscles
Pradeep Krishnan speaks to Dr Pradeep Ullal about Kundalini, Himalayan Kriya Yoga, and liberation, and the motivation behind his Kevala Foundation
र is for Ravana
Aesthetics and India
कोरोना और प्रदूषण ने कम कर दिया रावण का रौब
कोरोना के चलते राजधानी में रविवार को दशहरे के दिन सिर्फ चार जगहों पर पुतला दहन होगा। कोरोना से पहले हर वर्ष दशहरे के दिन 1200 जगहों पर पुतला दहन किया जाता था।
कोरोना की वजह से विजयादशमी का पर्व कई सावधानियों को ध्यान में रखते हुए मनाया
प्रधानमंत्री समेत कई नेताओं ने देशवासियों को दी शुभकामनाएं
Where the Shadows Speak
The founder of Sarmaya Arts Foundation takes us through the bylanes of his journey with Sindhe Chidambara Rao, the custodian of the ancient art form of shadow puppetry – Tholu Bommalata
After the battle between Lord Rama and the demon king Ravana was over, Hanuman went to the Ashoka grove, where Mother Sita was kept by Ravana after abducting her.