One of the popular, pan India festivals is Navaratri.

Navaratri is the time when Goddess Durga was victorious against Asura Mahisha. Mahisha Asura is represented as Buffalo demon, Mahisha meaning Buffalo.

The word ‘Mahisha’ has two meanings. While Mahisha means a Buffalo, this word is also used to refer to the Supreme Lord, Maha Esha, Maha meaning great and Esha meaning Lord.

The Buffalo stands for Tamas, meaning inertia, laziness. The Asura Mahisha stands for Tamas.

The Supreme Lord is also said to be inactive, being above Prakriti and is called Mahisha, Mahesha. This is the reason why Shiva who famous epithet is Maheshwara, is said to represent the quality of Tamas in the Puranas.

Devi got the name Mahishasura Mardini, Mardini meaning ‘to destroy’, the destroyer of Mahisha Asura.

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Mahisha Asura Mardini

Devi Durga is worshipped in this form of Mahisha Asura Mardini during Navaratri.

The legend

This story of victory of the Goddess over Mahisha Asura is described in detail in the Text – Devi Mahatmayam.

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Devi Mahatmyam

The story goes that a Asura by name Mahisha Asura who was in the form of a Buffalo grew very powerful and defeated the Deva. The Devas including the Trinity were helpless as the Asura had secured a boon from Brahma that he could be vanquished only by a woman. This made Mahisha Asura almost invincible.

At this time, all the Devas including Brahma Vishnu and Shiva combined their energies into a single ball of light. This light took the form of Devi Durga.

Devi Durga battled with Mahisha Asura for 9 days and on the 10th day, she killed Mahisha Asura.

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An art work depicting the battle between Devi Durga and Mahisha Asura

Stotra by Shankaracharya

There is a famous stotra by name ‘Mahisha Asura Mardani’, composed by Adi Shankaracharya. This stotra is addressed to Durga Devi as Mahisha Asura Mardini.

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Adi Shankaracharya

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Two stanzas from Mahisha Asura Mardani Stotram

Mahisha Asura Mardini form of Durga is much revered across the land. This story is found sculpted in temples through the land.

Sculptures of Mahishasura Mardini

In South India, the two ancient sculptures of Mahisha Asura Mardini can be found at Mahabalipuram in Tamil Nadu and at Badami in Karnataka.


In the Mahabalipuram Cave at Shore Temple, there is a lion sculpture with a depiction of Mahisha Asura Mardini culled inside.

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Location of Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu

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Shore Temple, Mahabalipuram

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Lion Sculpture at Shore Temple depicting Mahisha Asura Mardini

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Mahisha Asura Mardani Cave – Mahabalipuram

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Mahisha Asura Vs Durga Devi Fight – Sculpture – Cave Temple—Mahabalipuram


Similarly, in Badami too, we have the beautiful sculpture of Mahisha Asura Mardini.

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Mahishasura Mardini Cave Temple at Badami

These sculptures at Mahabalipuram and Badami date back to over 1000 years.

In other places


Sculpture of Mahishasuramardini, Aihole, Karnataka


Sculpture of Mahishasuramardini, Elephanta, Mumbai


Sculpture of Mahishasuramardini, Thirukurangudi village, Tirunelveli, Tamil Nadu

There are statues and temples of the deity across the land.

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A Statue of Mahisha Asura Mardini at a temple shrine in Assam

Durga Puja, the worship of Mahisha Asura Mardini during Navaratri period is observed across the country, and with extra vigour in the state of Bengal.


Moving away from Alcohol – The traditional way

In the Veda of Ancient India there is mention of Somapana, an elixir that invigorates. This is understood to be a non-alcoholic drink, much in use in the early Vedic days.

120 verses of Veda deal with the qualities of Soma. The divinity of Soma is also referred to as Soma Deva.

As times evolved, Moon and Shiva were referred to as Soma Deva.

The first day of the week, Monday draws its name from the moon. In the Indian calendar, it is called Somavara, again drawing its name from the moon, Soma. We see a similarity here in the naming of the 7 days of the week based on the astral bodies.

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Soma Deva, Moon Divinity

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Divinity for each day of week, a Medival European expression

The famous Somnath Temple in Saurashtra which is celebrated as one of the 12 Jyothir Linga of Shiva, where Shiva is called as Somnatha.

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Somanath Temple

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Jyothir Linga, Somanatha

Like this we see so many references to Soma. In this Vedic knowledge society, the drink Soma was not looked as an alcoholic drink but more as an invigorating drink that helps to elevate oneself.

The process of making the Soma decoction with various herbs is discussed at length in the Veda.

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Making of Soma

Unavailability of Soma Pana

Some of the later Vedic verse also bemoan the fact that the pure Soma drink was not available to them. This could be because the ingredients to make Soma could well have dwindled with time and the process to make them could have been lost as it was passed onto generations.

Sura Pana – alcoholic drink comes into vogue

This over a period of time led to the making of a new brew, a new drink known as Sura Pana. This turned out to be an alcoholic drink. With the passage of time, because of the alcoholic nature of the Sura Pana, the Soma Pana being a precursor drink got the tag of being an alcoholic drink.

A careful reading of the text show that Soma Pana was an invigorating drink while Sura Pana was alcoholic.

As people migrated over the millennia, they carried with them the making of the Sura Pana.

Patents to Lithuanian brewery

An interesting sidelight story is of a similar drink that is being made for the last few centuries in Lithuania, in North West Europe. They attribute their concoction to have its origins from this Vedic drink.

Lithuanian company holds the patent for Madhu Madya (honey alcohol).

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The India Baltic Chamber of Commerce (IBCC) wants to launch the mead – this old fermented drink made from honey, water, yeast, herbs and vegetable seasoning.

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Logo, India Baltic Chamber of Commerce

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Queen Elizabeth II in 1969

On September 30, 1969, Queen Elizabeth 2 granted Stakliskes factory of Lietuviskas Midus with the patent number 1280830 to make this drink exclusively.

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Lietuviskas Midus

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Lietuviskas Midus logo

This drink with added vitamins is now made from honey, hops, lime flowers, juniper berries and other Vitamin C inputs.

It is indeed interesting to note that a faraway Lithuanian company has holds patent for this ancient drink, though not in the name of Soma Pana or Sura Pana, but as Madhu Madya.

Madhu – Honey

The word ‘Madhu’ means honey not just in Indian language but also in Russian language. The President of Russia is Dimitri Medvedev.

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Dimitri Medvedev

The word “Medvedev” is a conjunction of words, ‘Med’ and ‘Ved’. ‘Med’ means honey and ‘Ved’ is derived from ‘Vidya’, which stands for knowledge”. In the Russian language the word Medvedev signifies, ‘the one who has knowledge to make honey’. It also signifies ‘one who knowledge is as sweet as honey’.

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Traditional ways of making honey

Madhu – Across World, Across Times

From this we gather that the word ‘Madhu’, ‘Med’ as the word for honey spread all across, from ancient India to North West of Europe which leads upto Russia and Lithuania. As the word ‘Madhu’ spread across these lands with the people, the knowledge of making Sura Pana could also have spread to these lands.

Back to Soma Pana

When the world is looking for a new form of beverages, it is time for us to dwell back and see if we can once again make the Brew not of alcoholic Sura Pana but the invigorating Soma Pana. As this civilization moves into a knowledge era in the coming decades, Soma Pana which was the elixir of the Vedic knowledge era could well be the apt complementing drink to move away from alcoholism.

World Heart Day

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Lohini, Loha, Haem, Haemoglobin

The blood is continuously circulated in our body by our heart, hrdayam. Blood is known by the name Raktha in Samskrt. Raktha means nourishment, desire, red and blood. Blood is also called lohini in Samskrt, for, it contains loha, iron. In the Greek language it is referred to as haem for iron. It is from the word “haem” that we get the word “haemoglobin”.

Heart – “Hrdayam

The very word “heart” traces its etymological roots to the Smskrt word “hrdayam”.

The word “hrdayam” itself is a technical word based on the functionality of the heart.

“Hrdayam”-Give, Take, Circulate

Harathi, means “to take” and from which is taken the syllable “Hr”.

Dadathi means “to give” from which is taken the syllable “da”. The word “Dhana”, meaning “donation”, comes from the same root.

Yathi, Yam means to circulate. The activity of circulation is called Yam.

When we join the syllables, Hr+ Da+ Yam, we get the technically coined word “Hrdayam”, which brings to us the functioning aspect of the heart.

‘Heart to donate blood’

But for the continuous circulation of blood in the body, life would come to a halt.

While the heart represents the aspect of circulation of blood in the body for the life to live, we need to have the heart in us to give dhana, to donate our blood and ‘circulate’ it among the needy in the society.

In other words, yathi, yam means “to circulate”, for which, “we get in return” harathi, satisfaction and heartful gratitude.

So, hrdayam, heart circulates the blood in our body to rejuvenate us. Those of us who have a heart, hrdayam need to donate, circulate blood and gain satisfaction, gratitude.

 A beautiful blend of hrdayam, both for oneself and the society at large!

With this thought in mind on this World Heart Day, let us donate blood as frequently as medically permitted, to give life, to rejuvenate our society.

Raja Ram Mohan Roy – Death Anniversary

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Socio Religious Reformer

Raja Ram Mohan Roy was a socio – religious reformer during the British rule, who was a major player in effacing some of the evils prevalent in the Indian society. He challenged some of the practices that had crept into Indian culture which was detrimental to the progress of India. He played a key role in the abolishing of Sati and pitched for women’s rights at a time when superstition and social bigotry was much prevalent in the Indian society.


Raja Ram Mohan Roy

Father of Modern India

For laying down the guidelines for the development of the Indian society under the British Rule, he was given the title ‘Father of Modern India’.  His ideas were propagated through Brahmo Samaj which he later founded.

Raja Ram Mohan Roy was born on May 22nd, 1772 at Radhanagar village of Hoogli district in Bengal.

An Independent Thinker

From his young age Raja Ram Mohan Roy was an independent thinker. He had differences with his father, an orthodox Brahmin, on certain superstitions and practices that were followed in the society. He was also against idol worship.

Travel to Himalayas

He soon left home for Himalayas seeking true wisdom and travelled upto Tibet. He returned home after this Himalayan sojourn.

Entering Marriage

After his return, Raja Ram Mohan Roy was compelled to enter into marriage by his parents, inorder to bring about a change in his thinking process and outlook.  The marriage however did not have any impact on his progressive mindset.

Learning Vedas and Upanishads

Raja Ram Mohan Roy travelled to Varanasi and pursued his interests in Indian philosophy, studying the Veda and Upanishad.

Forming Atmiya Sabha

Raja Ram Mohan Roy was against all superstitions, which he wanted to remove from the society. His first step in bringing about a change in the society was taken when he formed the Atmiya Sabha. The main aim of this association was to trigger socio religious reforms in the society. He vehemently opposed the practices of Sati and Polygamy and pushed for women rights, such as women’s right to own property. Another area of activity for this Sabha was women’s education. Raja Ram Mohan Roy was seen as a savior for women, working to improve their lives.

Founding Brahmo Samaj

In 1828, he founded the Brahmo Samaj through which he furthered his mission of educating people to give up what he called ‘evil practices’ that had crept into Hindu religion.


Brahmo Samaj


According to him, evil practices such as Sati and polygamy were actually allowing Christianity to get converts and bring a bad name to Hindu religion.


The practice of Sati

Immediately a year later, the efforts of Brahmo Samaj and its founder bore fruit, when Sati was abolished in 1829.

Establishing Schools

Raja Ram Mohan Roy established many schools under Brahmo Samaj to spread his idea of education, which was an amalgam of Vedic and Western thought. He felt a change in the education system was necessary for India to make progress in the modern world.

Ever Indebted

Brahmo Samaj remains the legacy of Raja Ram Mohan Roy to this day, an institution that has grown over the last two centuries.

This country will be ever indebted to Raja Ram Mohan Roy for ridding the society of unwanted superstitions and inculcating the true sense of modernism in people at the time of British rule, to bring about a progressive outlook in the minds of the people, away from conservatism.

Let us honour the ‘Father of modern India’ on his Death Anniversary.

International day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons

A nuclear war looms large, as tensions grow between the major world powers. There is also the danger of the nuclear weapons falling in the hands of terrorists. Will third world war be a nuclear conflict? Do we even understand the adverse consequences that a nuclear war would bring? The fallout of the fallout!

International Day for Nuclear Disarmament

After a high-level meeting on nuclear disarmament on 26th September 2013, the UN General Assembly’s designated 26th September as the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons. This Day provides an opportunity to highlight the need to eliminate nuclear weapons and the social and economic costs of perpetuating them.

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Logo of International Day for Nuclear Disarmament

Hiroshima and Nagasaki

The dropping of the atomic bomb on Nagasaki and Hiroshima during World War II, are the nuclear bomb drops, we have encountered in the modern world till date. Until then, descriptions of such bombs and their destruction were unheard of and would have been passed off as a figment of imagination.

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Atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Photos courtesy: US National Archives and Records Administration

Did the ancient world and India have the nuclear capability? Were there a nuclear wars in ancient time? Were nuclear arsenal used during the war?

The knowledge about any such war from ancient times will help understand the universal holocaust that a nuclear conflict could bring, and thereby make us more serious about disarmament of these destructive weapons.

Dr. Robert J. Oppenheimer and the Bhagavad Gita

Dr. Robert J. Oppenheimer, the nuclear physicist of America, responsible for the development of the first Atomic Bomb in the modern world, while witnessing the first nuclear test explosion in 1945, in New Mexico Desert quoted from the verse 11.32 of the Bhagavad Gita

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Dr. Robert J Oppenheimer

Photos courtesy US National Archives and Record Administration

“I am become death, destroyer of the worlds”.

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“The Supreme Lord said: I am death, the mighty destroyer of the world, out to

destroy. Even without your participation all the warriors standing arrayed in

the opposing armies shall cease to exist.”

(Bhagavad Gita – Chapter 11 verse 32)

The Upadesa. – Bhagavad Gita, got the Kurukshetra war of Mahabharata underway and this particular phrase which Dr. Oppenheimer quoted, speaks of the power to destroy.

Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer, director of the Manhattan Project, learned Sanskrit in 1933 and read the Bhagavad Gita in the original. He has cited it as one of the most influential books to shape his philosophy of life.

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Manhattan Trinity Project – The Explosive Gadget

Photo courtesy Los Alamos National Laboratories

The quoting of the Bhagavad Gita verse 11.32 by Dr. Oppenheimer does not seem to be a one off statement. There are pointers that make one wonder whether Dr. Oppenheimer was quoting the Gita at the moment of the first nuclear test explosion of the modern world, from a philosophical perspective or whether he was perhaps quoting it to imply some other connection or similarity.

Was he of the opinion that the Kurukshetra war of the Mahabharata, which brought forth the Bhagavad Gita, too had nuclear arsenal in it and was he aware of the same?

Dr. Oppenheimer conveys a plausible connection, when he articulates his view on the nuclear capability of an ancient civilization.

Shortly after the first nuclear test explosion, called the Manhattan Project, Dr. Oppenheimer, addressed the students of the Rochester University. Here one of the students asked him a pointed question, if his experiment was the first nuclear explosion of the world. He responded thoughtfully as “Well …. Yes, in modern times ofcourse …”.

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University of Rochester

This cautious, measured, response of Dr. Oppenheimer, which has been recorded for posterity, makes one wonder if Dr. Oppenheimer believed that in an earlier civilization, there could have been nuclear capability. By earlier quoting the Bhagavad Gita during the test explosion, was he perhaps pointing to the Indian civilization as having had that capability?

In Mahabharata

This thought is further substantiated by the Indian text Mahabharata and the adjunct text Purana, which give a vivid description of the Asthra or missiles and their capabilities.

The description of the special manner in which these Asthra were invoked, the number, colour, shape and the rapid speed of individual discharges from each Asthra, the extent of destruction they had caused and the awe in which they were held as compared to the regular bow and arrow, make them appear to be special weapons of mass destruction, beyond our comprehension today.

Were they based on nuclear technology or something even beyond?

It is to be noted from the account in the texts, that not everyone who took part in the war had the Asthra. The common soldier used only Shasthra. Very few persons seemed to have had Asthra.

Notable amongst them, on the Pandava side, Arjuna had such asthra and on the Kaurava side, Karna had them.

Both Arjuna and Karna are described in the text as level headed warriors with great will power, patience, tolerance and sagacity. They had obtained these asthra weapons, only after great penance and austerities.

Is there any ground proof of an atomic war in the past?

Ground Proof

All pointers so far, make us ponder if really a limited nuclear war was fought at the Kurukshetra battle. Many have commented for and against on this aspect.

But all studies seem to have halted at a superficial level, leaving this as a still unanswered question.

The maximum one is able to trace, is upto the work by two European researchers David Davenport and Ettore Vincenti, who seem to have done some ground work in and around MohenjoDaro. Not many details can be found of their work or its acceptance, but their findings seem to be very interesting and plausible, warranting further attention.

In one of their excavation sites, they claim to have found evidences that suggest that the ancient town may have been ruined by a powerful blast.

Ruined town

They found big stratums of clay and green glass crystallised, fused or melted at its identified epicentre and bricks around this epicentre were melted on one side, characteristic of an explosion.

It is obvious that not much ground research has been done to validate these statements of the Mahabharata text or that of these 2 research scholars.

There are over 2600 archaeological sites around the Kurukshetra region.

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Hardly a handful of them have been excavated and worked on by the Archaeological Survey of India.

Need to check for remnant signs

Just as Archaeo-Astronomy is bringing about a new revolution in history, we need a revolution in our ground Archaeology as well. The services of IAEA (Indian Atomic Energy Agency), the National Physical Laboratory and similar such research institutions with expertise in nuclear sciences and other intra disciplinary subjects, may also have to be enlisted to check for remnant signs of any nuclear explosion in the Kurukshetra war theatre area.

In parallel, if the texts are studied seriously, it can yield a wealth of information on the weaponry, army formations and other details of the Kurukshetra war to give us better insights into this war and the fallout of the war.

A short in the arm to disarm

If it does turn out to be a major war fought with all those advanced technologies, then it is indeed a wake up call for all of us, in this age of nuclear armaments to study and understand this war and draw lessons from it.

It will be a shot in the arm for the nuclear disarmament and global peace program. This is especially because the current generation seems to be slowly forgetting the long lasting impact and sufferings of the people post the bomb droppings at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, having not seen it firsthand.

More on this in our book, “Triple Eclipse”, which can be read online at

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Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar


One of the key figures for Renaissance in Bengal was Ishwar Chandra. Due to his contribution as a thought Leader, he came to be known as Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar.


Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar

Ishwar Charan Bandopadhyay was born on 26 September 1820 in Paschim, Mednapur, West Bengal. He grew up to be a philosopher, academician, reformer, and philanthropist and received the title Vidyasagar, from the Calcutta Samskrit College, from where he had graduated. Vidya stands for knowledge and Sagar for ocean. He was given the title Vidyasagar, ocean of knowledge, in recognition of his yeoman services to the field of education. He thus came to be called popularly as Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar.

He rationalized and simplified the Bengali alphabet script called abugida. It has been used since his times as the type set of the Bengal script.

Vidyasagar threw open the doors of Samskrit College in Calcutta for students from all castes. He took initiative to push through the Widow Remarriage Act of 1856.

An interesting incident happened in Bengal when Sri Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar and his few friends were busy collecting donations to start Calcutta University.

One day Vidyasagar stopped at the door of the palace of the Nawab of Ayodhya. The Nawab was not exactly known to be a generous person and many people tried to dissuade Vidyasagar from taking up this mission. Vidyasagar however met the Nawab and presented his cause. On hearing Vidyasagar’s plea, Nawab got up, pulled off one of his shoes and dropped it in Vidyasagar’s bag as donation.

Next day Vidyasagar organized an auction of the Nawab’s shoe in front of his palace. Many of Nawab’s knights, Jahagirdars, court members, who wanted to impress the Nawab started bidding. By mid-afternoon the shoe had been sold for Rs 1000. The Nawab, happy to hear that his shoe had fetched Rs 1000, matched the auction money. He added his own Rs.1000 as donation.

Ishwar Chandr rose above his personal feelings and ego when the shoe was dropped by the Nawab in his bag and exploited the situation creatively, converting it into the biggest donation for the university then.

The Vidyasagar Setu, second largest bridge across the Hoogly River in West Bengal, was named after this Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, in recognition of the thought leadership he had provided.

Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar was a social leader, who gave the modern script for the Bengali literature, worked for a casteless society and empowered the hapless women. He developed Calcutta University and gave impetus to usage of Samskrit as a scientific language. He was a true leader of his times. A Prajapathi.

Navaratri – Celebrating Change


India is a vast land with an ancient culture. It has a range of colourful festivals. Navaratri is one among these festivals. This festival is not celebrated for a day, but for nine nights as the term Navaratri suggests.

Honouring Feminine Forces

While the period and date of festival is common across the land, it is celebrated in different ways across the land, but is still the same festival and spans across the same time window. The spirit is the same, that of honouring the feminine forces in Nature in the form of the three Goddesses Durga, Lakshmi, Saraswathi, which finds expression in the place of honour given to women and girls during this festival.

 Navaratri Celebrations across the land

Celebrated with Different names in different ways

In Tamil Nadu and other parts of South India, it is celebrated as Kolu, festival of dolls, ending with Saraswathi Puja. In Mysore, it is celebrated as Dassera with Devi Chamundi as the primary divinity. In Bengal, it is called Durga Puja. In Central India and Northern India, Dassera is celebrated with the Dahana, burning of the effigy of Ravana to symbolize the victory of good over evil.

How is it that the same festival is celebrated in different ways in the same culture, in the same religious milieu and still accepted across the land by the same name, Navaratri and Dassera?

The connecting bond for all these festivals is the culture, which is called Samskrti. The word Samskrti itself means “that which is well done” as Kriti means “to do well”.

This is said so for, over time, the civilization in India had learnt, understood and perfected the ways of living. It is a way of living which is in sync with Nature as reflected in the timing of the festivals in India which are mainly based on seasons and the scientific principles of Nature.

4 Navaratri

Even though most people celebrate just one Navaratri festival during September – October every year, there are actually 4 Navaratri festivals in a year, each lasting for 9 nights and days.

Why are there 4 Navaratri festivals in a year?

India has 4 seasons and so Navaratri is celebrated 4 times in a year.

The prime ones are celebrated in the months of March-April, the transition from Winter to Spring and in the months of September-October, the transition from summer to autumn. If you note, these are the windows close to the two equinoxes as well, the period when days and nights are equal and balanced.

Why does each celebration last for nine nights and days?

Navaratri festival celebrates the transitory nature between the four major seasons in Nature, they being summer, winter, spring and autumn. The transition from one to the other season does not take place in just one day but in fact was considered in Indian thought, to be a full span of 9 to 10 days. So this transitional nature of Nature was earmarked as a period of time which is 9 days and 9 nights.

From such practices, it comes out clear to us that, in the traditional Indian thought, while there was a definite calendar with days, hours, minutes and finer divisions of time, equal importance was also given to transitory periods – transition from day to night, from month to month, from season to season and so on.

Change in Season, Change in life pattern

When seasons change, life pattern also changes. The body which is a part of Nature, changes with changing surroundings, change in seasons. There is a change in diet pattern, sleep, metabolism etc. with the change in season. In a society closely in tune with Nature, it also affects occupations, work undertaken, dressing and overall behavior. Navaratri is such a transition from one season to another and is a celebration of this change.

Whenever there is a change, one can either resist it or accept it. With resistance comes hardships.  With acceptance comes mellowness. Celebrating is one way of yielding to and accepting a change wholeheartedly. And where there is wholehearted acceptance, contentment will follow and so will happiness.

Navaratri is the expression of such a celebration where we recognize there is going to be a change, understand the change that is to follow and accept it willingly.

Alignment of Energies

There is a saying in the Samskrt language, “Yatha Pinde thatha Brahmande” – “As in Microcosm, so in Macrocosm”. This phrase brings forth the relationship between our body, the body of earth and body of cosmos.

The gross world, the Macrocosm, is filled with varieties of astral bodies such as the earth, sun, planets, comets, stars, nebulae and galaxies. All these bodies are in continual motion, which brings about continuous change not only in the huge cosmos but all the way in every tiny living and non living being all the way on earth.

As these bodies keep moving and causing change in the cosmos, they keep aligning and realigning amongst themselves. These alignments bring in an interplay amongst the forces of Nature.

All these alignments have their effects on each of the bodies in space including the body that is us.

The Trinity of Energies


Our mind too, the Microcosm, is constantly under the interplay, alignment of 3 subtle forces or energies.

  •  Ichcha Shakti – desire or will to act and manifest
  • Kriya Shakti – potential to act and manifest
  • Gnana Shakti – knowledge power for the manifestation

An alignment of these energies denotes the culmination of their interplay, leading to a balanced state of mind and individual. This knowledge, Gnana Shakti, should lead us, the people, civilizations and human race as a whole, to use our potential and faculties, i.e. Kriya Shakti, for aligning our subconscious desire and will, Ichcha Shakti to be in sync with the Cosmos.

It is these 3 energies in the form of the three Goddesses, Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswathi, that the Indians from time immemorial have been invoking and realigning themselves with, during the seasonal transition festival called Navaratri.


D.K. Hari and D. K. Hema Hari are authors, research collators and founders of Bharath Gyan

They may be contacted through and email: