Relevance of Navavidha Bhakti to Navarathri festivities
Srimad Bhaghavatha states that there are nine different ways of showing our devotion to the supreme Lord.
They are summarized in the following sanskrit verse as given below
श्रवणं कीर्तनं विष्णोः स्मरणं पादसेवनम् ।
अर्चनं वन्दनं दास्यं सख्यमात्मनिवेदनम् ॥
We need to develop these different ways of devotion throughout our life to make our life meaningful in the spiritual realm. I am of the belief that the one of the best things with our great motherland is its vibrant culture. Irrespective of the caste, creed or social status, we are exposed to all these types of devotions in one way or other to us from our early childhood.
How are Navavidha Bhakti and Navarathri related?
Generally, Navarathri for us means worshipping nine different forms of Godesses as well as Kolu/Golu (Arrange Dolls based on some themes from Ithihasa / Puranas, Various deities in clay forms and other clay or wooden based dolls). It also means we get to eat nine different types of Sundal / Usli (a snack made of various legumes) during these nine days. These nine days culminates with Vijaya Dashami, a day to celebrate victory of good over evil. It signifies the victory of Lord Sri Rama over Ravana and Pandavas ending their exile period and come out of Vanavasa period.
Apart from the above, spiritual significance of Navarathri is that it is the right time to shed weaknesses within us and emerge stronger with virtues of good quality. By having Navavidha Bhakti towards the Lord we overcome, the traits within us like pride, ego, greed, lust, and envy, anger so on and so forth.
Ravana was killed long back by Lord Sri Rama, He was an embodiment of various vices. However, we as humans are still keeping Ravana alive with our ego, greed, anger, lust etc. To remove these vices, let us follow the Navavidha (nine types) of devotion towards the Lord thereby, emerging stronger, gain victory (Vijaya) and become full of virtues. This is the true celebration of Navarathri in spiritual terms.
On a lighter but important note, I wish to complete my little thoughts.
Today, we get to travel to many divine/pilgrim places like Tirupathi, Ahobilam, Srirangam etc. Whenever we go to pilgrimage, we also need to shed nine types of major mistakes we commit. The mistakes we commit are
- Create commotion and disturb fellow pilgrims (talking loudly on our phone, fight with officials of these temples)
- Jump the queue and give a feeling that we and our time are very important or bribe people to visit the sanctum sanctorum
- Dressing inappropriately while visiting the temple.
- Throw wastes and litter in those places thereby causing pollution
- Pollute the rivers or waterbodies which are the lifeline for us
- Not pray but take only selfies to show-off on social media
- Not learning the importance and significance of the pilgrim place where we are visiting
- Looking for our pleasure and self-gratification and using pilgrim places as vacation spots / picnics
- Not helping old and needy people at these places
Let us not do these and keep our pilgrim centers divine. This is also one type of devotion, which are valid in the times we live. We should remember, if we do not respect our pilgrim centers, others would never respect.
Wishing all the patrons and well-wishers of PrideOfBharat a HAPPY and PROSPEROUS Dasara.
About the Author
Srividya is a student of 10th grade in RVK, BSK, Bengaluru.
Special interests in Dancing, Music and sports (won many national and state level inter school competitions).
A special interest in Indian philosophy and Sanskrit studies.