Navratri is a vibrant festival, known for its array of colors and gaiety. It is also associated with silence, with a strong focus on chanting shlokas, fasting, and prayers. Many people look at it as a time to turn inward through meditation.
“There are three levels of existence - the outer world, the subtle world of different energies and Divinity or God. All the yagnas being performed here aim to achieve, both, spiritual and material benefits. When you go deep inside yourself, from where everything has come from, you experience the supreme peace. Only when you are in deep meditation, these mantras have an effect. These are very powerful and beautiful and enrich the subtle creation. We are so fortunate to be able to be a part of this.”
~ Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar on the significance of yagyas (pujas) performed during Navratri
Meditation brings in relaxation and rejuvenates the mind and the body. It is the resting time for the spirit in you. It is the time when you withdraw yourself and experience silence through meditation.
Yogis have practiced meditation for centuries, and researchers have, now, proved its benefits scientifically. Here are four reasons why you should start meditating during Navratri:
1. Align your mind-body with nature’s balance
Nature plays an important role to keep us in balance. Nature is considered as an abundant source of energy and meditating amidst nature brings in that instant connection to go deep within. It is said, scientifically, during the summer solstice (when the Sun reaches its northernmost point of the equator, marking the beginning of summer) and the winter solstice (the astronomical phenomenon marking the shortest day and the longest night of the year), the sun goes to extremes. During Navratri, the sun is right in the middle, bringing the balance between the daytime and nighttime, thus making it the perfect timing for meditation.
2. Renew your commitment towards yourself
Meditation gives you an opportunity to get to know yourself and spend time with yourself. Sometimes we feel that we ought to have been more regular with meditation. Perhaps we got bogged down with the busyness of life. Fear not.
Navratri is the time where you can press the Ctrl+Alt+Delete button and make a new beginning. Vijaya Dashami is, particularly, an auspicious time to start off anything new. So, it doesn't matter if you forgot to meditate or have not been able to yet. Navratri is the time to make a fresh beginning.
3. Benefit from the multifold impact that Navratri brings
It is believed that when we do any practice in a group, it becomes a yagna, its benefits are multiplied and obtained faster. When everyone joins together and does meditation during Navratri, the group consciousness has the power to elevate you faster.
4. The significance of Navratri meditation
When you take a shower, you have to make an effort to get wet. However, in the rain, getting wet is inevitable. Similarly, meditating around the year, normally, takes a little effort. But during Navratri, the environment is such that your meditation happens effortlessly. If you meditate for these nine days of the Navratri festival, its effect lingers on for a longer time. It's like an immunization. You do it once, but its effect lingers for much longer. The mantras, the chanting during Navratri, help us to get into a meditative state much more effectively. This rejuvenates us, and the energy gets carried forward for many months.
What type of meditation is recommended?
You can meditate on chants, Devi Kavacham, and Lakshmi Astottara, once a day, for all the nine days of Navratri.
With inputs from Seema Thanedar, Senior Faculty, The Art of Living
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