Navaratri means “nine nights” in Sanskrit. During these nine nights and days, three forms of the Female Divinity are worshipped and different stages of spiritual progress are reflected in the sequence of Navaratri celebrations.
During the first three days, Durga is worshipped. She personifies that aspect of Shakti which destroys our negative tendencies. Then, we should supplant our negative vasanas with positive qualities, i.e. the Divine wealth (daivi-sampat). Similarly, we worship Lakshmi during the next three days. Lakshmi does not just give gross wealth or prosperity, but also the Divine wealth according to the needs of her children. Only when we are endowed with the Divine wealth, are we fit to receive the knowledge of the Supreme. Accordingly, the last three days of Navaratri are dedicated to worshipping Saraswati, the embodiment of Knowledge and the Supreme Truth. The tenth day is Vijaya Dashami, or the festival of victory, symbolizing the moment when Truth dawns within.
Navaratri has very significant meanings. We should invoke Durga’s help to surmount obstacles, pray to Lakshmi to bestow peace and prosperity, and contemplate upon Saraswati to gain knowledge. These three ingredients are all necessary for a full and complete life.
At Amritapuri campus, Navaratri is celebrated with the wholehearted involvement of all students and staff. We conduct talks about the significance of Navaratri festival. There are also devotional chanting of Akanda Lalitha Sahsranama, Sri Lalita Sahasranama Deeparchana with 108 Deepams, evening pujas, bhajans and satsangs during this period of nine days and nights. Students also perform Dandiya dance, which is the popular dance form in Gujarat during Navaratri. Everyone and the environment are charged with uplifting vibes.