SCIENTIFIC SIGNIFICANCE OF NAV-DURGA CELEBRATION

*SCIENTIFIC SIGNIFICANCE OF NAV-DURGA CELEBRATION*

Axis of the Earth is inclined at 23.5 degree from the axis of its orbit in which it revolves around the Sun. Thus astronomically, earth undergoes two major sun operations in a year. Seasons are dependent on the direction of the relative movement of the sun.

  1. When the sun appears to move southward of the equator (Dahshinayana), intensity of the sun is not harsh during this period, and the environment is full of moisture. This signifies the onset of winters.
  2. When the sun appears to move northward. In this period the sun rays are more intense and the environment is more of a dry kind. This signifies the coming of summers

Thus two times, the two seasons summer and winter combine. The first union of two seasons comes in March end to mid April (CHITRA SHUKLA PRATIPADA TO NAVAMI as per Hindu calendar) and second one comes in September  end/anywhere in October month (ASHWIN SHUKLA PRATIPADA TO NAVAMI as per Hindu calendar). These nine days/nights are called NAVRATRI.

As Earth orbits the sun, the sun appears to pass in front of different constellations. The signs are derived from the constellations that mark out the path on which the sun appears to travel over the course of a year. During Navratri (around October), winter season approches; and before sun-rise, we can visualise the constellation “Simha” (Leo) {सिंह-राशि} and later Kanya कन्या-राशि (Virgo) on the horizon as ascendants. Hence we can visualises the image  as a “a young woman sitting on lion”. This is the image of Goddess Durga (देवी दुर्गा). Durga ji is generally depicted as a woman standing atop or riding a  lion, which represents power, will, and determination. The lion is a symbol of uncontrolled animalistic tendencies such as anger, arrogance, selfishness, greed, jealousy, desire to harm others etc. The image of  Durga on lion reminds us to have a control on these tendencies and protect your mind from vitiating from these evil tendencies.

zodiacDurga

The Sanskrit word Durga (दुर्ग) means fort or a place that is protected and thus difficult to reach. It is derived from the roots ‘dur (दुर्)‘ (difficult) and ‘gam (गम)‘ (pass, go through). In Sanskrit fortress is called DURG, That is why these two periods have been termed as NAV DURGA also. Thus DURGA refers to a fortress that we build to protect ourselves from marauders. Thus, Durga  is the psychological fortress of our body and mind that we build by making a system leading life and get them audited regularly by regulating your life style.

Because of the begining of the change of season, during these periods human body becomes more prone to diseases as it is less resistant, both physically and mentally to the attack of outside environment, micro organism, bacteria and viruses. Remedial measures to combat the possible disease is the deep significance in celebrating the NAVRATRI. Our body acts as a fortress  for us; and body’s immune system is the army that  defends our body-systems from the outside environment and foreign bodies such as micro organism, bacteria and viruses. According to Ayurveda, fasting enegises the digestive fire. An increase in the digestive fire burns the toxins in the body. When the toxins are flushed out of the body, it loses dullness and lethargy. It helps in de-stressing and building up immunity. All the cells of the body are rejuvenated. Fasting, therefore, is an effective therapy to cleanse our body.

NavDurga signifies that we should renew our body system (DURGA) by detoxifying through keeping fast, purifying the environment by HAVAN or YAGYA. Also we need to get rid of all the negative feelings and emotions. Our nervous system needs to be strengthened by performing a specific meditation (SADHANA) and prayer each night of NAVRATRI in the manner specified for that (NAV DURGA) day in order to rejuvenate our mind and nerves in order to make our body capable to fight disease and get success in life. Thus, there are three rituals that are followed during Nav-Durga days in order to stregthen our own two fortress (Durga दुर्ग) body and mind:

  1. Fasting
  2. Yagya
  3. Prayer and Celebration

When the body is cleansed, the mind becomes calmer and more peaceful and alert because of the deep connection between the body and mind. Fasting is combined with prayer all over the world and in all religions, because when you are fasting, you are detoxified, and your prayer becomes authentic and deep.

Yagya and Havan purifies the environment from bacterias and viruses that may cause

diseases.

Prayer and celebrations for that fill us with the positive energythat strengthen our nervous system.

Goddess Durga symbolizes the divine forces (positive energy) known as divine shakti (feminine energy/ power) that is used against the negative forces (negative energy and vices—arrogance, jealousy, prejudice, hatred, anger, greed and selfishness) of evil and wickedness. Shakti  means power, the resort of all transformative energy. She is Chit-Shakti, the power of consciousness, out of which the cosmos coalesces as matter, life and mind.

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