As the nine nights represent the nine planets, we will be having a planetary celebration of Navaratri with an account of one of the planets for each of the nine nights. The first planet is The Sun. The colour for the first day of Navaratri is ORANGE, so we shall scribe in Orange for this first day’s observance of Navaratri.
As part of Navaratri celebrations, people worship different forms of divinity. You should develop sacred feelings and experience divinity. What is the inner meaning of Navaratri celebrations? These nine nights represent nine planets. Each planet has its own significance. However, these planets are not outside, they are within. If your feelings are impure and unsacred, the result also will be the same. You are responsible for the good and bad you think and experience.
The Sun, self-effulgent, radiating light and heat along a perennial, eternal path of righteousness, reflecting the eternal order of the Universe. The Sun is a fragment of the Central Sun of all Universes, and thus, radiates the life-force of all to all, without fear or favour. The Sun God grants refuge to all who seek refuge.
There are numerous galaxies, containing thousands of Suns and solar systems. The Sun that we have for our solar system is one of the many Suns though there has to be one final Sun who is eternal and carries out the functions of the Sun for all the manifest worlds and universes. Our Sun, Surya, as representative of the eternal Sun is no different from that eternal Sun itself. The eternal sun at the macro-cosmic level is the same as the Sol, the Surya within our solar system. The fire, the light within our bodies is but a spark of the eternal sun within, called Suryanarayana, the Sun that dwells within all.
The Divine Mothers are known as the Nava Durga (9 Names of Durga). Each of the days honours an aspect of Divine Mother and step by step the aspirant. On the first day, we honour Durga as Sailaputra – Daughter of the Himalayas.
Sailaputra was born to Himavat the King of Himalaya. Putri means daughter and Shail from shaila means mountain. Sailaputra means the daughter of the mountain. She is also known as Sati Bhavani, Parvati or Hemavati. In her previous birth, she was a daughter of Daksha.
She is also known as Parvati and Hemavati. Her vahana is the bull, hence she is also known as Vrisharudha. Because of Her importance amongst the other Goddesses, She is worshipped on the very first day of Navaratri. Just like Goddess Satieven Sailaputra got married to Lord Shiva. She is always shown with two hands, the right hand holds a Trishul and the left hand holds a lotus flower.
Humans are both masculine and feminine in their inner nature. All have X and Y chromosomes; it is the final pairing of chromosomes that determines our gender. Depth psychologists teach that in the male, the soul is the feminine principle, and in the female, the soul is the masculine principle. The psychologists tell us to honour these principles within in order that we have a balanced self-respect. Sai Baba spoke above about the planets these planets are not outside, they are within; the Sun is called Sol, just as the Soul within is the self effulgent inner sun within us.
The outer Sun also is a Mother principle within us all. Just as the cow is Go-Matha and all that comes to us from the cow – the milk provides ghee which has many uses; the urine is antiseptic and can be used for washing and purifying; the cow-pats have many uses including fuel for cooking. So also, the Sun as Mother gives us nurturance with warmth and heat; it creates new life in nature with sunlight, and it gives essential light energy to us all, within and without, for the Sun is Suryanarayana, the inner Sun within us all.
We may pray for the feminine energy of the Sun like so:
Om Bhaskaraya Vidmahe
Maha Divyakaraya Dheemahe
Tanno Surya Prachodayat.
Significance of Navaratri
Prakriti (Nature) is made up of the three qualities, Sattva, Rajas and Tamas. Saraswati represents the Sattwa Guna. Lakshmi represents the Rajo Guna and Parvati represents the Tamo Guna. As Prakriti (Nature) is made up of these three qualities (Sattwa, Rajas and Tamas), to get control over Nature, man has been offering worship to Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati. These are not goddesses but deified symbols of the three qualities. (Sri Sathya Sai Baba, 27 September 1992)