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Maha Navami Oct 15th-Ayudha Puja

10/15/2010

Ashwini Shukla Paksha Navami or Maha Navami marks the ninth day of the Devi Navaratris . Goddess Durga devi is worshipped both as Aparajita and Siddhidhatri on this blessed day. Both Aparajita and Siddhidhatri are incarnations of the divine mother that can be found in the Devi Saptashati . The mother goddess takes these forms to deal with specific negative forces. Maha Navami is also celebrated as the day of the Ayudha puja . In most parts of America Saturday will be competely Dasami or the festival of Dusshera.

There are two stories behind Navami being the Ayudha puja day. The mother goddess had finished the destruction of the negative forces on this day and she no longer had any need for the various weapons she had manifested during the nine day battle. The second story is of the Pandava prince Arjuna who had hid his weapons during his stay at the court of Virata to stay incognito and had reclaimed his weapons on this particular day to protect the same kingdom from the onslaught of the Kaurava armies. Either way the deep metaphyiscal meaning behind the ritual is actually this. Ayudha puja means worship of the tools that one uses in daily life , it is not limited to the vehicle alone . The ritual is a way of gently reminding us that the tools we daily use are a form of the divine and any work that we do in this world should be viewed the same way as an offering to the divine. If the same attitude can be maintained year long it would result in everybody working much more peacefully.

Lord Vishnu’s devotee’s also worship Hayagriva the horse faced incarnation of the lord who rescued the vedas on this particular day. The rituals vary from place to place . In Kerala today Goddess Saraswati is worshipped and it is beleived any activity started on Mahanavami will definetly lead to being fulfilled. In other parts of the country Kumari worship is undertaken as a part of which young girls are worshipped as the form of the mother goddess . It is interesting to notice the parallels. Lord Hayagriva represents knowledge just as Goddess Saraswathi represents knowledge as well.

Goddess Siddhidhatri

Siddhi Dhatri literally means granter of all the powers in the cosmos. Markandeya Purana and Brahmavaivarta Purana significantly mention this form of the mother goddess. The Eight siddhis traditionally described in yogic lore are Anima, Mahima, Garima, Laghima, Prapti, Prakaamya, Ishitva and Vashitva.Goddess Siddhidatri has four arms. She holds a Chakra in her right lower hand and a mace in the upper. In the left lower hand there is a conch and in her upper left hand a lotus flower. She is seated on a lotus flower with the lion as her mount.The deep inner meaning of this description of the goddess is basically the realization that everything in this cosmos is a form of the divine mother and this is the greatest siddhi one can possess instead of hankering about for material occult powers.

Goddess Siddhidhatri -Granter of all boons

NavaDurga -Nine forms of the divine mother

Hail thee magnificient mother of the cosmos

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