Before the manifestation of the world, there was only SHIVA (the BRAHMAN), which existed in its formless state. SHIVA — the formless, omnipotent and omnipresent — existed all alone in its static consciousness state. When the intention to create arose in Shiva, first His creative power emanated from Him.
This creative power of Shiva, in its formless state, is called SHAKTI and the same in its form is called DURGA. Creative powers are thus feminine in nature. When the feminine power of creation separated from Shiva, it first enveloped Shiva Himself, as otherwise delusion (MAYA) couldn’t have got created which is the basic principle to sustain the creation. Thus, DURGA is also referred to as MAYAVI SHAKTI.
Shiva being inert, static and inactive cannot itself create anything. Hence, the active energies are required to create the universe and thus the Dynamic Consciousness (SHAKTI / DURGA) from the static consciousness became necessary. Creating the universe itself has no meaning unless it is supported with sustaining powers.
In order to sustain the universe and the living beings therein, nine types of SHAKTIS were required. These 9 SHAKTIS became active to sustain the universe. They are referred to as NINE DEVIS.
The names of these 9 DEVIS are JAGADAMBA, BHADRAKALI, ANNAPURNA, SARVAMANGALA, BHAIRAVI, CHANDI, LALITA, BHAVANI & MUKAMBIKA. Each of these DEVIS are bestowed with distinct powers : JAGADAMBA is bestowed with the power to create and procreate; BHADRAKALI is the giver of fortune; ANNAPURNA is the giver of food to all living and non-living beings; LALITA is the love aspect in male and female beings; BHAVANI is the giver of life force, etc.
When we are not in the same frequency as these SHAKTIS, we suffer in the world and create impediments in our road to peace and harmony. During NAVRATRI, these 9 DEVIS are worshipped with the BHAVA of surrendering at their feet and seeking mercy, protection and peace.
MA DURGA, the dynamic consciousness of Shiva and the main cause of creation of the universe, is also bestowed with the knowledge of salvation (MOKSHA). Salvation takes place when Shiva is projected out from the shadow of MAYA. MA DURGA is thus worshipped for the knowledge of enlightenment as well.
The first three days of NAVRATRI worship are to seek the DURGA aspect so as to cleanse our impurities and destroy the inner demons such as lust, anger, jealousy, hatred, enmity, etc. The next three days dedicated to the LAKSHMI aspect, which is the provider of wealth, peace, health and over all prosperity. And the last three days are dedicated to the SARASWATI aspect, the Goddess of wisdom, for knowledge and enlightenment.
NAVRATRI is the occasion to celebrate and recognise the advent of creative powers SHAKTIS from Shiva and an opportunity to surrender at their feet seeking all-round peace, prosperity, harmony and eventual salvation from the ego of our individual being.
—————– Sadhguru Rameshji.