Devi or the Divine Mother is the energy which has given birth to the entire universe including the celestial stars far away and the subtle mind and its emotions. Called ‘shakti’ which means energy, the Divine Mother is also responsible for running this creation.

Navratri is the time when this energy can be tapped. One of the ways to do so is to worship all the names and forms of the Divine Mother.

“The divinity is everywhere, but it is dormant. Pooja (worship) is the process to awaken it.”

~ Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

Durga, Lakshmi, Saraswati

The Divine Mother or Shakti has three major forms: Durga, the Goddess of defense; Lakshmi, the Goddess of wealth; Saraswati, the Goddess of education. During the nine nights and ten days of Navratri, these three forms are invoked.


The first three days of Navratri celebrate Devi in the form of Goddess Durga. In the presence of Durga, negative forces fade away. She transforms negativity into positivity.

Durga is also referred to as ‘Jaya Durga’ or the one who brings victory. Following are a few notable aspects of Durga:

  • The color red

Durga is associated with red. She is depicted as wearing a red saree. Red is the color of dynamism – the ‘moving’ energy. You may be trained and skilled, but if you are not able to move things, people, and efforts in unison, then the results are delayed, and you can’t be effective. When you pray to Durga, she brings forth dynamism in you to make things move.

Nav Durga are the nine aspects of the Durga Shakti which act as a shield to ward off all negativities. Just remembering these qualities of the Devi can remove your mental blocks. Chanting these names elevate your consciousness and make you more centered, courageous and composed. It is especially beneficial for people suffering from anxiety, self-doubt, and fear.

  • Mahishasura Mardini form of Durga

Devi Durga, in Her form as Mahishasura Mardini, is the destroyer of Mahisha. The word Mahisha means buffalo which is a symbol of laziness, lethargy, and inertia. These are the qualities which impede the spiritual and material progress of an individual. The Devi is a storehouse of positive energy, and any trace of laziness or inertia dissolves in her very presence.


The next three days of Navratri honor the Devi in the form of Goddess Lakshmi. Lakshmi is the goddess of wealth and prosperity. Wealth is a vital ingredient bestowed upon us for the maintenance and progress in our life. It is much more than just having money. It means abundance in knowledge, skills, and talents. Lakshmi is the energy that manifests as the complete spiritual and material well-being of a person.

There are eight aspects of this divine energy that may be bestowed upon us:

  • Adi Lakshmi

Is the memory of the Source. When we forget that we are part of the entire creation, we feel small and insecure. Adi Lakshmi is that aspect which connects us to our source, thus bringing strength and calmness to the mind.

  • Dhana Lakshmi

Is the aspect of material wealth.

  • Vidya Lakshmi

Is the aspect of knowledge, skills, and talents.

  • Dhanya Lakshmi

Manifests as wealth in the form of food.

  • Santana Lakshmi

Manifests as wealth in the form of progeny and creativity. People who are full of creativity, skills, and talents are bestowed with this aspect of Lakshmi.

  • Dhairya Lakshmi

Manifests as wealth in the form of courage.

  • Vijaya Lakshmi

Manifests as victory.

  • Bhagya Lakshmi

Is the aspect of good luck and prosperity.

During a person’s lifetime, Goddess Lakshmi may bestow Her grace in these different forms. On the three days dedicated to Devi Lakshmi, we pray to the Divine Mother to bestow us with all these aspects of wealth.


The final three days of Navratri are dedicated to Goddess Saraswati.

Saraswati is the Goddess of Knowledge – the one who gives the essence (saara) of Self (Swa). There are many aspects of the Goddess which tell a story about Her.

Rock: She is often depicted as being seated on a rock. Knowledge, like a rock, is steadfast support. It stays with us at all times.

Veena: Goddess Saraswati is shown to play the ancient Indian instrument of veena, whose mellifluous notes bring harmony and peace to the mind. On a similar note, spiritual knowledge brings relaxation and celebration into one’s life.

Swan: Her vehicle is depicted as a swan. It is said that if a mixture of milk and water is given to a swan, it will drink the milk. This symbolizes the power of discrimination (viveka), using which we must take the positive from life and leave the negative.

Peacocks: Peacocks accompany the Devi. A peacock dances and displays its glorious colors just before the rains, and not all the time. This energy of the divine gives one the ability to express the right knowledge in the right atmosphere, and at the right time.

Devi Saraswati is the consciousness which vibrates with different types of learning. She is the source of spiritual light, remover of all ignorance and the source of knowledge.

“When we honor the Devi during the nine days of Navratri through the chanting of the many names and qualities of the Devi, we enliven those qualities within us. They manifest in us according to the need of the hour.”

~ Bhanumathi Narasimhan, sister of Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar