Navaratri: Goddess Saraswati Brings Wisdom & Grace

 

The story goes that once there was a famous Brahmin scholar who had a good-hearted but very stupid son. In the old Vedic world, the ability to memorize and recite sacred texts was a crucial skill and the mark of a man’s worth. The son couldn’t even pronounce the Sanskrit correctly. So, instead of being educated like other Brahmin sons, he was put to menial tasks like cleaning the house and carrying jugs of water from the river.

Then one day, when the son went to the river, he came across a beautiful woman in distress. The son rescued her, gave her water to drink and took her home for a good meal. She was profuse in her thanks. As she said goodbye, she did a strange thing: she touched her finger to the boy’s tongue. Suddenly, the boy burst out with a verse of Sanskrit poetry so subtle, so sinuous in meter and rhyme that everyone present could only gasp in amazement.

From that moment on, the boy displayed powers of speech, memory, and rhetoric so far beyond his father’s that in only a few years he became the most famous orator in his district. That mysterious woman was the goddess Saraswati, demonstrating the power of her grace. A verse says, “When Saraswati gives her blessing, a dumb person becomes a poet.”

Swami Vivekananda, the great Hindu teacher whose eloquence captured the American imagination at the Chicago Parliament of World Religions in 1893, related that as he stepped on stage to deliver his paradigm-shifting address, he did so without notes or even a plan. Instead, he asked for Saraswati’s grace and winged it, utterly confident that she would give him the words. She did, and in that one address, Vivekananda changed the way  a pivotal group of Western religious people understood Hinduism. To be blessed by Saraswati is to be able to transform the world through words.
 
Day 7
The seventh manifestation of Mother Durga, worshipped on the seventh-day of
Navrartri, is Goddess Kalratri. She has a dark complexion, tousled hair and a valor posture. Having three eyes that shine intense and bright and dreadful flames originating from her breath; she is often depicted sitting on a donkey as she rides on “Gadarbh”. She is admired with name “Kalratri” because she represents herself as a death of “Kaal” appeared like a dark night for demons. She is also addressed with the name ‘Kali Maa’. Her huge red eyes, open red tongue and a sword in the hand fiercely demolish demons.
She is a remover of all the evil powers and thus is called by the name of Kalratri.

You should give Jaggery (Brown Sugar) or sweets made with
jiggery as an offering.
 
Day 8
The eight manifestation of Goddess Durga is Maha Gauri, worshipped on the eighth day of Navaratri. Maha Gauri is a manifestation of Goddess Parvati. When Parvati observed a hard sacrament to obtain Lord Shiva in the forest of Himalayas, she developed a harsh complexion. When Lord Shiva accepted her great devotion, he washed the body of Parvati with water of “pure Gange” or “Ganga” and her body regained its beauty. She came to be recognized as “Maha Gauri”, meaning “extremely white” and became prominent as the consort of Mahadev(Lord Shiva). Devi Gauri is bright, peaceful and calm and her beauty glows like sparkling White Pearl. The single ladies get blessed with the desired husband and married women enjoy peaceful, pleasant and long married life. 

It is believed that donating Coconut to the Brahmans on this day bless childless couples with a child.

Day 9
The ninth manifestation of Goddess Durga is Siddhidatri, worshipped on the ninth day of Navaratri. Maa Siddhidatri has supernatural healing powers. This Goddess offers
 all types of Siddhi (perfection) to her devotees and thus is recognized as ‘Siddhidatri’. She is always in a heavenly, happy and charming pose. She has four arms and sits on a lotus. Her arms hold Gada (bludgeon), Chakra, Shankh (scallop shell) and lotus flower.
 

 Mata Siddhidatri is the Goddess of all Siddhi. She is offered Til (Sesame Seeds) as an offering.