There are certain times in our life when we experience divine intervention. That painting of Michelangelo of God and Adam touching fingers comes to life. We feel suddenly that things are much bigger than we thought…
Years ago when I was a graduate student in Santa Barbara I decided to take a drive to meet my Guru in San Jose. Mind you, the night before I’d vowed not to go. Gone were the days were I could sit quietly with my teacher. He’d suddenly become popular and I found myself consigned to the back row longing for the “old days.”
But the following morning, I resolved instead to make the trip up the coast. It was a beautiful day and I thought I’d go via Big Sur and partake in that particular splendor, which I did. After enjoying a sweet picnic overlooking the grand Pacific ocean, I swung my car onto the freeway heading north toward Silicon Valley—just as evening traffic hit.
And then I realized I didn’t even know where the evening venue would take place. I didn’t have an address or phone number. And I was bumper to bumper in five lanes of traffic not knowing at all where I was going.
Just as the panic started to set in, I noticed a car ahead of me that seemed to have a flyer on its dashboard. As I pulled up closer, I noticed a figure of an bearded Indian man in a white robe etched on it. And I noticed the driver looked Indian also.
“Perhaps I’ll follow them. Maybe they’re Indian and they know of an Indian grocery store where I might find out where my teacher will be holding his program,” I considered.
It turns out my teacher was in that car. And I was surrounded by my fellow devotees who were all scrambling to catch up with him.
So I started following. And soon we turned off the highway near Santa Cruz and bumped along a side road through a beautiful redwood forest. Finally the caravan stopped at a place marked, “The Mystery Spot.”
I raced from my car and stood in front of my teacher, amazed. How did that happen that we could meet on the road? He was staying in San Francisco. Why was he driving south to north?
I discovered that when he woke up that morning he decided he wanted to visit the famed “Mystery Spot” and headed south in the afternoon. En route, he missed the exit and had to then turn around driving instead north.
At that same instance, we “collided” on the freeway. There was no other explanation except divine intervention.
This is the astrological significance of Navarātri, the 9 Nights of the Goddess. There are certain moments in the yearly cycle when Divine and human can touch. When the energy is right for your prayers to be answered. And when you as a microcosm of the universe can experience a spiritual ascension that’s also taking place in the universe as a whole.
Navaratri begins on the first day of the new Moon in the Vedic month of Chaitra. Chaitra means “belonging to the Chitra constellation” which is where the Moon is full this month. Chitra is the domain of the goddess Māyā whose energy “descends” at this time, connecting earth with heaven, connecting the macrocosm with the microcosm, the universal nervous system with your nervous system.
Māyā comes from the Sanskrit verbal root, mā, which means “to measure.” Māyā is the way we measure our world. It’s what we value and what we discard. It’s how we evaluate success and failure. It’s how we define “me” and “you.”
Māyā is duality, which is illusory. All our measurements, evaluations and definitions are based on subjectivity. In truth, there’s only one consciousness, one reality, one truth.
Durgā is another name for Māyā, meaning “She who removes suffering.” During the 9 nights of Navaratri, we invoke 9 forms of Durgā to help us gain a new basis of measurement. Each night presents an opportunity to remove the ignorance that’s keeping you from seeing your connection to the Divine.
It’s a perfect time to engage in spiritual practices that help you align with these potent, enlightening energies coming to you from the planets and stars, which exist within you.
Connect body, mind and spirit with the Vedic arts of Sanskrit and Jyotisha,
and transform your yoga practice, teaching & life path.