The spiritual sojourn-Day 1

Today my day began before sunrise.

I had my bath and wore new clothes.

I meditated for some time.

My turbulent mind was at peace.

Today marks the beginning of the 9 day festival of Navratri, a festival in which Goddess Durga is worshipped for 9 days in her 9 avatars.

Navratri marks the beginning of a new season.

On the first day, Maa Shailputri is worshipped. She is the daughter of the king of mountains, the Himalaya. She is considered as the forever form of Mother Nature. She is also known as Goddess Parvati, the better half of Lord Shiva and mother of lord Ganesha and lord Kartikeya. She has a half moon on her forehead, a trident in her right hand and a lotus flower in her left hand. She rides on Nandi,the bull.

In her previous birth, it was said that Shailputri was Sati, daughter of King Daksha. Once Daksha performed a big Yagna without inviting Shiva. But Sati, wife of Shiva, came there with lord Shiva. Daksha insulted Shiva. Sati could not tolerate this and she burnt herself in the fire of Yagna. In another birth, she became the daughter of Himalaya and got married to Shiva as Hemavati.

Worshipping Maa Shailputri will evoke the spiritual relationship with Mother Nature. It helps a person to attain spiritual enlightenment.

Today is also the Gudi Padwa Day. It is considered an auspicious day and marks the advent of a New Year, celebrates the onset of spring and the reaping of Rabi crops.

I decorated the main gate of my house with flowers and a colourful rangoli. I made a special Gudi flag of yellow or red colour and garlanded it with flowers, mango and neem leaves. I topped it with an upturned copper vessel.

This signifies victory and achievement. Gudi is believed to ward off evil, invite prosperity and good luck into the house.
I also set up the Khetri in my temple.
For this mud is collected from a clean place and added to an earthen pot. Barley is cleaned and washed to remove any impurities and soaked for some time. The seeds are buried under a thin layer of mud in the pot. The holy red thread is tied around the pot.

The progress of ‘khetri’ or barley is of special significance. It is believed that the longer the barley grow in height, better it is for the family well being and prosperity.
The yellow color khetri is not considered good whereas green color khetri is considered auspicious.
Today is also the first day of my fast.
Onion, garlic, lentils and legumes are avoided.
It is time to go on a gluten free diet and subsist on buckwheat flour, barnyard millet flour, tapioca pearls and potatos and fruits.
It is not only 9 days of spiritual cleansing but also physical detox.
Day 1 goes in excitement.
I had a watermelon in breakfast
Tapioca pearls porridge was for lunch.
I am feeling quite energetic and cheerful and my creative juices seem to be flowing.
I am feeling quite relaxed and at peace.

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