Navratri, the nine nights that celebrate the Divine Feminine are a time of great festivity in India. At the Isha Yoga Center, several colorful and exuberant events will be taking place throughout these nine days, and on Vijayadashami, the day after Navratri.

On the second day of Navratri, Sadhguru explains about tamas – the nature of the first three days of Navratri. Accompanying the text is Sounds of Isha’s rendition of Adi Shankaracharya’s Soundarya Lahari, written in praise of Devi.

Soundarya Lahari

The Soundarya Lahari, composed by Adi Shankaracharya, is considered one of the most exquisite compositions in Sanskrit, which extols the beauty, power and grace of Devi. Soundarya Lahari literally means Wave of Beauty, and consists of two parts – Ananda Lahari or Wave of Bliss, which consists of the first 41 shlokas, and Soundarya Lahari, which consists of the remaining shlokas.

According to legend, the composition was bestowed to Adi Shankara by Devi, and was then destroyed by Nandi, leaving Adi Shankara to rewrite the divine gift again. Here is Sounds of Isha’s rendition of this powerful composition.

The Nature of Tamas

Sadhguru explains the quality of tamas, which is the nature of the first three days of Navratri.

Sadhguru: In yoga, all the qualities of the world have been identified as three basic gunas: tamas, rajas, and sattva. Tamas literally means inertia. Rajas means activity. Sattva is the breaking of boundaries. The first three days of Navratri are tamas, where the goddess is fierce, like Durga and Kali. Tamas is the nature of the Earth, and she is the one who gives birth. The gestation period that we spend in the womb is tamas. It is a state which is almost like hibernation, but we are growing. So tamas is the nature of the Earth and of your birth. You are sitting on the earth. You must just learn to simply be one with her. You are anyway a part of her. When she wishes she throws you out, when she wishes she sucks you back.

It is very important that you are constantly reminded of the nature of your body. Right now, you are a mound of earth prancing around. When the earth decides to suck you in, you just become a small mound.

In the ashram I always tell people, no matter what work you are doing, every day you must stick your fingers into the earth at least for an hour. Do something with the garden. This will build a natural bodily memory in you that you are mortal. Your body will know that it is not permanent. That realization in the body is extremely important for one to keep his focus on his spiritual pursuit. The more urgent the realization becomes, the stronger the spiritual sense becomes.

Sugandha Kalamegham – The Epitome of Classicism

Today’s Navratri concert will feature Carnatic vocalist Sugandha Kalamegham, an A-top grade artiste of All India Radio (AIR), who has appeared in national programs on AIR, Doordarshan, and other television channels. She has performed at numerous concerts in India and abroad, and was chosen as the best female vocalist of the year, thrice, by the Music Academy, Chennai.

Well known for the depth and range of her voice, Ms. Kalamegham studied under Sandhyavandhanam Srinivasa Rao and Sangeetha Kalanidhi TK Govinda Rao, and her rich experience is obvious in her rendition of swaras, which also epitomize her strict sruti alignment. She has recorded for music labels HMV and INRECO.

Ms. Kalamegham’s performance was typical of her adherence to sruti alignment. The depth and range of her voice along with her elaboration of ragas made her performance stand out, and was appreciated by the audience. Her rich experience was obvious in her rendition of swaras and epitomized her traditional classicism.

Join the webcast live at 5.30 PM IST (12 noon GMT) at http://isha.sadhguru.org/live/

Navratri Celebrations 2013 – Index