Navaratri special post
Nine nights of the Divine Mother. Some invoke Her in nine forms and names, some in three, some in four, some innumerable.
“The One whom we adore as the Mother is the divine Conscious Force that dominates all existence, one and yet so many-sided that to follow her movement is impossible even for the quickest mind and for the freest and most vast intelligence. The Mother is the consciousness and force of the Supreme and far above all she creates. But something of her ways can be seen and felt through her embodiments and the more seizable because more defined and limited temperament and action of the goddess forms in whom she consents to be manifest to her creatures.” (Sri Aurobindo)
Some try to feel Her presence through ritual, through music or dance; some in silence. Some go to ‘see’ Her in neighbourhood temples or pandals, some in faraway abodes of the Devi, and some in the quiet corners of their hearts.
The Mother is invoked on this space in the form of ‘Aditi’ flowers.
We invoke Her through nine representations of the white lotus flower (sacred lotus, East Indian lotus, Nelumbo nucifera ‘Alba’), to whom the Mother of Sri Aurobindo Ashram gave the spiritual significance: Aditi, the Divine Consciousness; Pure, immaculate, gloriously powerful.
“Aditi – The Mother. Aditi is the indivisible consciousness, force and Ananda of the Supreme; the Mother, its living dynamis, the supreme Love, Wisdom, Power.” (Sri Aurobindo)
The verses accompanying the photographs below are from Sri Aurobindo’s epic mantric poem, Savitri (Book III, Canto II, The Adoration of the Divine Mother).
All photographs were taken by Suhas Mehra, at Merveille, the afforestation project of Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education.
At the head she stands of birth and toil and fate,
In their slow round the cycles turn to her call;
Alone her hands can change Time’s dragon base.
Hers is the mystery the Night conceals;
The spirit’s alchemist energy is hers;
She is the golden bridge, the wonderful fire.
The luminous heart of the Unknown is she,
A power of silence in the depths of God;
She is the Force, the inevitable Word,
The magnet of our difficult ascent,
The Sun from which we kindle all our suns,
The Light that leans from the unrealised Vasts,
The joy that beckons from the impossible,
The Might of all that never yet came down.
All Nature dumbly calls to her alone
To heal with her feet the aching throb of life
And break the seals on the dim soul of man
And kindle her fire in the closed heart of things.
All here shall be one day her sweetness’ home,
All contraries prepare her harmony;
Towards her our knowledge climbs, our passion gropes;
In her miraculous rapture we shall dwell,
Her clasp shall turn to ecstasy our pain.
Our self shall be one self with all through her.
In her confirmed because transformed in her,
Our life shall find in its fulfilled response
Above, the boundless hushed beatitudes,
Below, the wonder of the embrace divine.