As the nine nights represent the nine planets, we will be focussing on Navaratri and the nine planets with an account of one or another the planets for nine nights. For the sixth night of Navaratri, we will take the planet Venus. The colour for the sixth day of Navaratri is green, so we scribe in GREEN for this sixth day observance of Navaratri. The Goddess is Devi Katyayani.
Today is the sixth day of the Navaratri celebrations which are held for nine nights. All festivals are meant to remind mankind that they should cultivate noble qualities by engaging themselves in activities beneficial to one’s own self and society. Sai Baba made this reference to Navaratri and the Nine Planets:
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.
Truth, goodness and beauty – these are the attributes of Divinity and true humanness – that is, human beings acting with integrity – vasudeva sarva midam – ever seeking divinity in all things. In Sankrit, Truth is Sathyam; Goodness is Sivam; Beauty is Sundaram.The planet Venus contains, releases and perpetually flashes forth different patterns of cosmic energy. Whether the ever-changing energies coming forth from Venus raises us up or pulls us down, is largely dependent on how we understand and take up, integrate and apply the energies of this planet. Venus is our sense of divine love, beauty and grace.
While Venus is taken to represent the passions, and following our happiness, there is a capacity in the influence of Venus to think and to make quite sharp decisions. Venus may access the intellect in what the famous depth psychologist Carl Jung calls the feeling function (in Jungian typology) which makes decisions on the basis of what is valued, what is felt to be important. So Venus has the ability to make the best, balanced and heart-felt decisions.
In the field of possessions, personal property, Venus gives wealth, houses, property and high status. There is nothing wrong with having wealth, it is not filthy lucre as some joke. It is a form of cosmic energy which we may use to create joy and beauty in our living, our homes, a spending of energy in property and vehicles which expresses proper use of wealth, one of the four goals of life. Excessive attachment and dissemination of ego to possessions (my status, my life is my possessions) is lower expression of this cosmic force. A home with beautiful gardens and flowers expresses the Venus energy in its highest essence.
Ma Katyayani is worshipped on the sixth day of Navaratri. She is one of the most worshipped forms of Durga and is considered a destroyer of evil. She has four hands and she wields a long sword and a lotus in two of them. She blesses with the third hand and protects with the fourth one.
According to ancient legends, she was born a daughter of Katyayana Rishi, born in the Katya lineage originating from Vishwamitra, thus called Katyayani, “daughter of Katyayana”. Elsewhere in texts like Kalika Purana, it is mentioned that it was Rishi Kaytyayana who first worshipped her, hence she came to known as Katyayani. In either case, she is a demonstration or apparition of the Durga and is worshipped on the sixth day of Navaratri festival.
As per Hindu mythology, Devi Katyayani showers her blessings on those marriageable girls who worship her with complete devotion. This devotion towards Devi Katyayani is part of an age old tradition that started from Gokul in Braja. It is believed that, centuries ago, Gopis in Gokul used to fast during the first month of winter to fulfil their wish of marrying Lord Krishna. Since then, the sixth day of Navaratri has been considered to be significant for those girls who have stepped into the age of marriage and, as such, it is devoted to the worship of Devi Katyayani.
Venus and the Feminine
The Planet Venus is also known in Vedic Astrology as Shukra, the celestial poet, son of Lord Bhrigu (var, Bhrgu), and is sometimes mistaken as the Indian version of Cupid (he is definitely NOT), an archetype of Valentine and true love and more recently, ruler of bedroom pleasures and little else. (The god of love in Vedic tradition is called Manmatha, not Shukra)
People think that Venus am all about sex. It is true that sex is one of the things in the portfolio of Venus, but it is one of the lesser things. Mostly Venus is about beauty, (artistic) truth and children (the end result of reproduction). Venus engages the love flowers, fruits, meadows, honeybees and sweet, refined things. Venus cultivates the sense of refinement; music, dance, laughter and fun are within my purview.
When your soul sings with delight, there is the drishti of Venus; when you celebrate life with colour, beautiful fragrances, wonderful cooking, there Venus is present with energy. Poetry, gardening of flowers, refined emotions, imagination, and renewal of life and spirit. These are the feminine gifts of Venus.
Significance of Navaratri
“Recognising one’s mother as the very embodiment of all divine forces, one must show reverence to her and treat her with love. This is the true message that the Navaratri festival gives us. The Supreme Shakti manifests herself in the form of Durga, Lakshmi, and Saraswati. Durga grants to us energy – physical, mental, and spiritual. Lakshmi bestows on us wealth of many kinds, not just money, but intellectual wealth, the wealth of character, and others. Even health is a kind of wealth. She grants untold riches to us. Saraswati bestows on us intelligence, the capacity for intellectual enquiry and the power of discrimination. The Navaratri festival is celebrated in order to proclaim to the world the power of these goddesses.
One’s own mother is a combination of all these divine beings. She provides us energy, wealth, and intelligence. She constantly desires our advancement in life. So, she represents all the three goddesses that we worship during the Navaratri festival. If the Pandavas were able to become so dear to Krishna and make their lives worthy by serving Him, it was not on account of their own merit or austerities. It was Kunti Devi’s love for them that brought to them such a great fortune. Even when they had to live in the forest or in the House of Wax, she always stayed with them and prayed for their welfare. The Pandavas also reciprocated her love, and that accounts for their final victory. Lakshmana, likewise, was able to dwell in the forest with his brother Rama, serving ceaselessly, only because of his mother Sumitra’s blessings”. Sai Baba, SS, 11/88. p. 290