1st Navratri to Diwali a one-month long spiritual Yagna: Amavasya to Amavasya

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One day someone asked me why do Muslims and Hindus fight with each other when they worship each other’s Gods. Hindus worship ALI in DIWALI and Muslims worship RAMA in RAMAZAN.

Diwali and Ramadan both have one thing in common and that is one month of spiritual Yagna.

In the Hindu spiritual Yagna, the process starts from first day of Navratri on Amavasya and ends on Diwali, again on Amavasya. The first 10 days involve intense spiritual practice and the rest 20 days entail receiving its benefits.

The first nine days, called Navratri are devoted to a process of purification and detoxification of mind, body and soul. During this period, a person is required to lead a Satwik spiritual life devoting first three days to activities, which reduce negativity in the mind and the body. For the next three days he is required to engage himself in positive behavior and activities and in the last three days he is supposed to read and learn about spiritual positive things in life.

Respectively, these three phases of purification are symbolized as worshiping the Goddesses Kali, Laxmi and Saraswati. The spiritual purification process involves eating only Satwik food, one which is offered to God, and following the principles of Satwik lifestyle, which include Satwik Ahaar, Satwik Vichar, Satwik Vyavahaar and Satwik Achaar. There is a custom of worshiping wheat and barley grass during this period. These are detoxifying when consumed in the form of juices. The Satwik fast observed during this period helps in cleansing the internal body.

Once the nine-day purification process is complete, on the 10th day, one gets the first benefits as symbolized by Vijaydashmi as one conquers Tamas (Kumbhakaran), Rajas (Meghnad) and Ego (Ravana). The victory over the Ego entails the ruling of Satwa (Vibhishan) and reunion of Mind (Lakshamana), Body (Sita) and Soul (Rama).

As per the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, one is likely to get benefits over a period of time when one attains an ego-free mind.

The first benefit is seen on the fourth day after Vijaydashmi, on Sharad Purnima, a day known for health benefits. People on this day gather in the night and eat kheer rich in moon rays.

Again after four days on the day of karvachauth one gets benefit of the longevity of the spouse which gives safety to the family. On this day all married women fast and prey for their husbands.

Four days later on “hoi ashtami” one prays for the longevity of their children. This ensures old age protection for the family.

Four days later again on “dhanteras” one gets the benefit of wealth. On this day, people worship silver items. On this day no dealings are done and people spend only to invest in silver and gold items for future needs of the family.

By this time the person, who has indulged in the process of purification, learns the true purpose of his or her existence. The inner ignorance and darkness goes away and one gets the true meaning of wealth and that is inner happiness. This day is called Diwali where on the day of amavasya (darkness) one gets internal light (Diwali).

Diwali, therefore, is a one-month long spiritual Yagna with nine days of purification and 21 days of acquiring spiritual benefits out of it.

Ramadan similarly involves a deep intense purification process of mind, body and soul. Among Christians, the similar spiritual purification process is celebrated as Easter.