Gupt Navratri – Sadhana of the Tantrika: 12th – 21st February 2021
Gupta Navratri falls in the month of Magha (the eleventh month of the year, corresponding to January/February in the Gregorian calendar), every year. This year the auspicious festival is going to be observed from the 12th to 21st February 2021. This festival is mainly, observed by Tantriks and Sadhus to please Goddess Durga and to seek Her blessings so that they can attain spiritual mastery (siddhi) in the realm of the tantras.
During this festival, tantriks, and tantrikas all over the world worship goddess Durga for 9 nights. According to Hindu mythology, it is believed that one should observe this festival in secrecy (gupt) to achieve all the blessings from the tantric Goddess.
SIGNIFICANCE OF GUPT NAVARATRI
With Goddess Durga as the primary deity of worship, the Gupt Navaratri is not for the ordinary people for it is a festival or ritual primarily concerned with the disciples related to the field of sadhana and tantras. During these days, nine forms of goddesses are worshipped. As in the most known Navratri celebrated all over the world, where 9 forms of goddess Durga are worshipped, similarly in Gupt Navratri, nine forms of goddess Durga are also worshipped and the seeker asks for blessings and power by performing the pooja and rituals.
Performing the Shakti puja of the goddesses during this Gupt Navaratri relieves the worshipper from all the problems related to finance, black arts, inability to marry, etc., and gives the sadhak (spiritual disciple), the blessing of victory. The austerity pertaining to the Gupt Navaratri rituals are deep and intense, compelling the sadhak to dwell in silence and deep meditation, retreating from the normal bustle of living, while embracing the power of observation, witnessing life as it is.
Gupt Navratri also comes twice a year, first in the Ashada month (known as Aadi in South India during the months of June/July), and then in the Magh month.
During these Navaratri, the sadhak worships to enhance the power of sadhana and tantras – the whole ritual is steered to enhancing the understanding and mechanics of the esoteric aspects of spirituality, tantra, and the wisdom of the Self.
The process of the rituals these days are the same as the common Navratri, celebrated just before Diwali, except that, 10 forms of goddess Durga is worshipped in this festival.
Prayer rituals are conducted for 9 mornings and evenings where sadhana (spiritual practice) is done secretly, (a solo journey with the Goddess), while invoking the 10 various Devis during this time. Fasting of words, food, water, and daily doings is observed, almost to the post of dismissal of existence during these 9 days and nights.
Chanting of the Durga Saptashati (Durga Path) is recited for 9 days. On the day of Ashtami (8th day), or Navami (9th day), the fasting and sadhana are considered completed only after worshipping young girls (Kumari puja).
RITUALS OF GUPT NAVARATRI SADHANA
● In Gupt Navratri, a Kalash (brass water pot) is put in front of the Goddess at an auspicious time, in which barley is kept for growing.
● On one side of this, a Kalash is kept with water in it. Raw coconut is kept over it. After Kalash Sthapana (invocation and installation), an Akhand Jyot (a ghee lamp), is ignited in front of goddess Bhagwati.
● After that, Ganesha puja is performed. Then the puja of Lord Varun (God of the Oceans), and Lord Vishnu is performed. After that puja of Lord Shiva, sun, moon, and all the nine planets is done.
●After worshipping all the above-mentioned gods, goddess Bhagwati is worshipped.
Prayer of the 10 mahavidyas (great wisdom goddess) is given importance in Gupt Navratri. According to the tantras, there are 10 mahavidyas which originate from the aggressive and subtle forms of goddess Mahakali. These 10 mahavidyas are considered as the 10 forms of goddess Durga. Every mahavidya is capable of solving all the problems of the worshipper’s life, by liberating the worshipper from past negative karmas, old curses, and obstacles that remove the worshipper’s potential of living a magnificent life.
These 10 mahavidyas are considered useful and important in tantra sadhna. Below is a brief of the 10 wisdom Goddess.
- GODDESS KALI: This is considered as one of the main mahavidyas as Maa Kali is worshipped by tantriks for extreme powers of magic and Universal wisdom.
- GODDESS TARA: Worshipping goddess Tara is considered as authoritarian for the tantriks, who writes the laws of liberation for everyone.
- GODDESS LALITA: By worshipping Maa Lalita, the worshipper receives salvation and liberation from the cycle of samsara (the cycle of life and death).
- GODDESS BHUVANESWARI: Considered to be the Mother of the creation of world, She is also known as Adi Parashakti or Parvati, i.e. one of the earliest forms of Shakti in the form of Triyambak (3 eyes).
- GODDESS TRIPURA BHAIRAVI: Creation and destruction are two essential aspects of the universe. Bhairavi embodies the principle of destruction. She represents transformation that comes with destruction, which is not necessarily negative. She is also evident in self-destructive habits, such as eating tamasic food associated with ignorance and lust. She is present in wasted semen which weakens males. Anger, jealousy, and selfish emotions strengthen Bhairavi’s presence in the world.
- GODDESS CHINNAMASTA: Also known as Maa Chintapoorni, She relieves the worshipper of all his/her problems by compelling Her devotees to think without mind, that in the mindless state, there is great power of Being-ness.
- GODDESS DHOOMAVATI: By worshipping Maa Dhoomavati, the sadhak (disciple) gets all the results she/he asks for. The personification of Goddess Dhoomavati is very frightening, which She has adopted to destroy the enemies and to appease the sadhak to trust the process, no matter how horrifying the sequence of events may be.
- GODDESS BAGALAMUKHI: Considered to be the owner of suppression, worshipping Goddess Bagalamukhi aids with diminishing black magic and negative forces, freeing the obstacles for the sadhak in the path of the Goddess.
- GODDESS MATANGI: The tantric Saraswati, She is the proprietor of voice and sound, who has the power of the entire universe while bestowing Her devotees with tantric wisdom and occult powers.
- GODDESS KAMALA: Known as the symbol of happiness and the Goddess of wealth, She offers boons to those who want material pleasures and financial abundance.
The journey to the Goddess is no easy one for it requires discipline and the commitment on being steadfast in the journey. Yet, as the Universal Mother, She expects nothing from us, but to open our hearts to ourselves, so that we can find ourselves in the journey towards Her. She compells and provokes us while at the same time awakens us to our own potential to who we are, here and now. We simply need to allow…
May the Maa bless you with all that you need in this lifetime.
Happy Gupt Navaratri to all of you in the path of the Devi!
SUJATA NANDY WORLD GURUKUL