Navratri is going now. That means… Navratri means nine nights.
Why this Navratri is – every month, after the no moon day, or the new moon day as it’s called here, or the Amavasya, after that, days are counted.
The ninth day is called Navami. That means nine, the ninth day it is. These nine days are considered feminine.
Out of the twenty-eight days, one-and-a-half days or nearly thirty to thirty-six hours is a neutral time, when the full moon is on.
So twenty-seven days are the days that are calculated in a certain way.
Twenty-seven days or twenty-seven is significant concerning the solar cycle also. So one-third of it is called the feminine part of the month, the nine days.
The remaining eighteen days are masculine. So, when the feminine is on, Devi’s thing is on.
So that is why, in the tradition, up to Navami, all the worship is for the Devi. After that, things will change. Particularly in the tradition that comes from Kashmir, which is a very strong feminine-worshipping culture – I’m talking about the past.
Today, if we say Kashmir, you think of terror, you think of militancy, you think of Islam, you think of extreme manifestations of many things.
But this is all about… started about seven centuries ago. Before that and even after that for quite some time, Kashmir was a very strong Devi process and very feminine-oriented practices, very powerful things were done.
There are… Every Navami, that is every nine days in these twelve months that is going on, they are dedicated to different Devi’s. The one that comes now, which is called the Dussehra, or the Navratri, as it’s largely celebrated, is dedicated to Devi Sharada.
This was considered most important because Sharada is the goddess of learning. So among the various things that a human being can do, this tradition held learning as The Most Important that a human being can do.
He can fight, he can win, he can conquer, he can run. But the most important thing that a human being can do is they can learn.
That is the significant aspect of who we are.
Other creatures can run faster than us, they are stronger than us, they can do many, many things that we cannot do. But they can’t learn like us.
So this Navratri, which is coming now, end of September or no, beginning of October, I think is dedicated to Sharada Devi, the goddess of learning, because this is unique to us.
This is the pride of being human, that you can learn just about anything. If you’re willing, you can learn. Even if they are willing, the other creatures cannot learn.
So this is the most significant Navratri dedicated to Sharada. And you must prepare, learning something.