In Physics, Power/Energy/Force is not associated with gender. But, when living things exist as male and female, description of Power/Energy/Force may have gender association. In Indian tradition, ‘Deva’ means God and ‘Devi’ means Goddess. Devi in Indian tradition is personification of God’s Supreme Power/Force/ Energy or ‘SHAKTI’. To fully account for human existence, man needs two distinct or separate Principles that come together to produce harmonious singular identity of man. The issue is not about God’s gender. Father Principle is called Originating Principle. Mother Principle is called Source Principle, for Mother is Source of Matter, Energy, and Knowledge to establish Life. Father provides Identity to human form, Mother provides Substance, the structural and functional basis of human form.
During 2016, Indians celebrate ‘DEVI NAVRATRI’ or ‘SHARAD NAVRATRI’ from Saturday, October 01, to Monday, October 10. The term ‘Nav’ or ‘Nava’ means Nine. ‘Ratri’ means night. This celebration happens in a month called ‘ASVAYUJA’ ( or ASHWAYUJA – September – October), the month in which Full Moon Day is associated with first star (Tithi) called ‘ASVINI’ in Indian Astrology.
Devi or Shakti is often called ‘DURGA’ for She is embodiment of great strength. She is also called BHADRAKALI, JAGADAMBA, ANNAPURNA, SARVAMANGALA, BHAIRAVI, CHANDIKA, LALITA, BHAVANI, AND MOOKAMBIKA. During the 9-Night or Navratri festival, Indians worship nine different forms of Goddess Durga with 1,000 names. She is simply adored as Divine Mother and often addressed as ‘MOTHER'(“MATA” or “MAA”) whatever may be the name or form She assumed on different occasions.
Goddess Shakti has three Supreme Forms called DURGA, SARASVATI, and LAKSHMI. In India, traditions vary from region to region. First 3 – days of Navratri are dedicated to Goddess Durga, following 3-days are dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi and concluding 3-days are dedicated to Goddess Sarasvati or Goddess of Knowledge, Wisdom, and Speech. On Friday, October 07, 2016, the Sixth Day or Shashthi ‘NAVARATRI’ is dedicated to Goddess called ‘KATYANI'(legendary daughter of a devotee by name ‘KATA’). On this day, Goddess Sarasvati is worshiped for this day is associated with a Nakshtra(Star) called ‘MOOLA’.
DEVI NAVRATRI CELEBRATION – OCTOBER 2016 CALENDAR:
1. Day -1, Saturday, October 01. First day of the Bright Half of Ashvin. Navratri Begins as Pratipada or Ghatsthapana. This Year, the First day continues on Sunday, October 02 as the ‘Tithi’ remains the same. Observed as Chandra Darshan. Shailaputri Puja.
2. Day – 2, Monday, October 03. Dwitiya, Brahmacharini Puja.
3. Day – 3, Tuesday, October 04. Tritiya, Sindoor Tritiya, Chandraghanta Puja.
4. Day – 4, Wednesday, October 05. Chaturthi, Kushmanda Puja, Varad Vinayak Chaturthi.
5. Day – 5, Thursday, October 06. Panchami, Skandamata Puja, Upang Lalita Vrat, Lalita Panchami.
6. Day – 6. Friday, October 07, Shashti, Katyani Puja, Sarasvati Awahan Begins on October 06, Sarasvati Puja.
7. Day – 7. Saturday, October 08. Saptami, Kalaratri Puja, Sarasvati Balidan, Maha Lakshmi Puja.
8. Day – 8. Sunday, October 09. Mahashtami, Durga Ashtami, Annapurna Parikrama, Sarasvati Visarjan, Mahagauri Puja, Durga Puja.
9. Day – 9. Monday, October 10. Navami, Maharnavami, Ayudh Puja, Siddhidatri Puja, Navami Homa.
10. Day – 10. Tuesday, October 11. Dasami or Dashami. Vijaya Dasami, Dussehra Celebration.