In the United States we celebrate Mother’s Day one day a year. When we commemorate, we remember something and by doing so to honor it, (as per the dictionary). Some people question following certain practices fearing perhaps idolatry, going against society, being judged as different. Perhaps by engaging in a practice it may wash us anew with awareness of what is valuable and natural. Some just like to attend festivals and celebrations just because of the gaiety and fun. The pantheon of global festivals helps us to appreciate the diversity of what is means to being human in this dimension. Often we learn a little more about ourselves when we allow immersion. From hatha yoga we know we all have both masculine and feminine energies. In the yoga we seek to yoke together, to balance both energies regardless of our gender. It’s strange to think now that this is such a popular celebration that begins the most popular season leading to Diwali in India, and now more than ever there is so much violence against women in villages and cities across India. (As well, globally,violence against women continues) Maybe changes would happen if more time was spent to explain the meaning behind the celebration instead of just attending temple for a few minutes and attending family homes to feast. Then men who commit crimes against women may see themselves harming their own feminine vibrations. Perhaps if all of us took some time to celebrate the sun/male and moon/female energies in a regular part of ritual/celebration we might be more respectful towards one another, our differences and our connections to the larger natural order. We can choose to follow a certain ritual or even better take the initiative to create our own. We can simply light a candle and reflect on the significance of what is important and those ideas we want to develop a better understanding and keep close. Thanks Sadhguru for sharing your wisdom and knowledge with us, there is nothing better than having a living teacher to help us navigate on this often dark and confusing conscious path. OM Jai Bhairavi Devi OM
The following is from the Isha Blog and if you want to read more please do check out: http://www.ishafoundation.org
Navaratri, the nine nights that celebrate the Divine Feminine are a time of great festivity in India. At the Isha Yoga Center, several colorful and exuberant events will be taking place throughout these nine days, and on Vijayadashami, the day after Navaratri.
On the second day of Navaratri, Sadhguru explains about tamas – the nature of the first three days of Navaratri. Accompanying the text is Sounds of Isha’s rendition of Adi Shankaracharya’s Soundarya Lahari, written in praise of Devi.
The Soundarya Lahari, composed by Adi Shankaracharya, is considered one of the most exquisite compositions in Sanskrit, which extols the beauty, power and grace of Devi. Soundarya Lahari literally means Wave of Beauty, and consists of two parts – Ananda Lahari or Wave of Bliss, which consists of the first 41 shlokas, and Soundarya Lahari, which consists of the remaining shlokas.
According to legend, the composition was bestowed to Adi Shankara by Devi, and was then destroyed by Nandi, leaving Adi Shankara to rewrite the divine gift again. Here is Sounds of Isha’s rendition of this powerful composition.
The Nature of Tamas
Sadhguru explains the quality of tamas, which is the nature of the first three days of Navaratri.
Sadhguru: In yoga, all the qualities of the world have been identified as three basic gunas: tamas, rajas, and sattva. Tamas literally means inertia. Rajas means activity. Sattva is the breaking of boundaries. The first three days of Navaratri are tamas, where the goddess is fierce, like Durga and Kali. Tamas is the nature of the Earth, and she is the one who gives birth. The gestation period that we spend in the womb is tamas. It is a state which is almost like hibernation, but we are growing. So tamas is the nature of the Earth and of your birth. You are sitting on the earth. You must just learn to simply be one with her. You are anyway a part of her. When she wishes she throws you out, when she wishes she sucks you back.
It is very important that you are constantly reminded of the nature of your body. Right now, you are a mound of earth prancing around. When the earth decides to suck you in, you just become a small mound.
In the ashram I always tell people, no matter what work you are doing,every day you must stick your fingers into the earth at least for an hour. Do something with the garden. This will build a natural bodily memory in you that you are mortal. Your body will know that it is not permanent. That realization in the body is extremely important for one to keep his focus on his spiritual pursuit. The more urgent the realization becomes, the stronger the spiritual sense becomes.