Navratri and Psychology: Understanding its benefits through Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
Navratri or nine nights of Divine Feminine (Devi) is celebrated all throughout Bharat (India). But how does Navaratri or Devi help us to level up in our lives? Let us find out together.
Before we begin, it is imperative to understand that what actually is a deity and how is it different from stereotypical notion of God that we have around the world? Sanatan Dharma which is loosely neared as Hinduism is not a belief system where you have to conclude something as true without exploration and experimentation. The mystics or Siddhas who are keen explorers of the phenomenon of life found that the world is a video game and we are merely here to simply play it with the best of our abilities. But the space or we say, the creation or nature or the existence, whatever you want to term it as, is feminine and has its own intelligence. When this existence or the space, or the nature manifests into a personalised image, especially human like so that we can relate to it, we call her Devi or the Divine Feminine. Now, since for the sake of study, the existence is dissected into variouss aspects like biology, chemistry, physics, ecology, etc, similarly, similarly different aspects of existence can manifest into different forms and personalities so that it becomes easier to transact with them by the mystics (sages and seers) to study the non physical aspects of life and these personalised forms are called as deities or Gods and Goddesses in the Indian mysticism and the technology to manifest a non personalised aspect of the universe into a personalised relatable form which transacts with you like any other human being does, is called consecration (Pran Pratishtha).
Now lets dive into Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs, shall we?
Maslow's hierarchy of needs is a theory in psychology that describes the fundamental needs that every human being requires in order to live a fulfilling life. It was developed by American psychologist Abraham Maslow in 1943 and is based on the idea that human beings have innate needs that must be satisfied in order for them to reach their full potential.
Maslow's hierarchy of needs is often depicted as a pyramid with five levels, each representing a different category of needs. The lowest level represents basic physiological needs like food, water, shelter, sleep, and other bodily needs. These needs are considered the most fundamental as they must be satisfied before a person can focus on any other need.
Once physiological needs are met, the next level of the hierarchy is safety needs. These include things like security, stability, and protection from danger. Safety needs can be satisfied by having a stable job, a safe home environment, and a sense of financial security.
The third level of Maslow's hierarchy is belonging and love needs. This category encompasses social needs, such as the need for friendship, intimacy, and love. People have a need to feel accepted and valued by others, and this need is satisfied through social connections.
The fourth level of the hierarchy is esteem needs. This category includes the need for self-respect and the respect of others. Esteem needs can be satisfied through achievements, recognition, and status. People also have a need for self-esteem, which can be satisfied by a sense of competence and mastery.
The final level of Maslow's hierarchy is self-actualization needs. This category represents the need for personal growth and fulfillment. Self-actualization needs are satisfied by pursuing personal goals, creativity, and achieving one's full potential.
Now finally, the relationship between Navratri and Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.
Navratri comes during the first nine days of the lunar calendar when the moon is in its waxing phase. It happens every month, however, there are four such phases when the effects are more pronounced than the others. One of those is starting from March 22nd which is one week away from today. It is called as Chaitra Navratri or the navratri that falls on the solar month of Chaitra in the Hindu calendar.
Now during these 9 nights, which are feminine in nature, you can invoke various aspects of Devi and take their support to fullfill all the innate needs that are described in the Maslow’s Hierarchy. How? Let’s understand. The first three days of Navratri are considered Tamasic in nature, tamas means inertia, inactivity and one of the three gunas (qualities) that make the tapestry of our subjective reality. There are certain aspects in the universe which are in inertia, even when you are binge watching Netflix and eating potato chips or being lazy to exercise, it is applicable to state that your body and mind are in the state of Tamas or inertia. So, if the inertial aspect of the universe is made to manifest into a personalised form of a Goddess, we call her Mahakali. Now if you can get access to her, the first two levels viz. Physiological and Safety needs will be fulfilled with her grace. How?
The universe will support you by making connections, situations and building skill in you so that you can effortlessly fulfill those needs. It has been tested by many that how accessing the grace of Mahakali, made them fearless about their physiological and safety needs. Whether you are facing trouble from enemies or you want to make your survival assured, Mahakali is the way. She is Kali, time, if time is in your favour, well, I don’t need to explain further.
Now, the next three days, the inertial nature of the planet moves into dynamic activity (Rajas) which is the second nature of Devi which we refer to as Mahalakshmi. Lakshya means goal and Lakshmi means the energy who helps you to achieve your goals. Hence, invoking the grace of Mahalakshmi will help you to fullfill the next two level of needs, viz, the love and belongingness needs and the esteem needs. Everything that comes under it, you will have, such is her grace. Because she is Mahalakshmi,i, the goal of all goals, the desire of every desire, if she stands by you, there is nothing that is out of your reach and I mean, literally.
The last three days of Navratri are transcendental (satvic) in nature which is the third nature of Devi. In this aspect, we refer to her as Mahasaraswati. She is more focused towards transcendence from the physical nature of life and exploring the non physical aspects as well as uncovering all the potential competencies that lay dormant in us. Exploration into the mystical field, perception, knowing the secrets of the universe as well as the fundamental nature of our life can only be possible with her assistance. She aids not only in self actualisation, but self realisation as well which is called enlightenment, nirvana, moksha, liberation etc.
It is so much frustrating to progress in life when there is no assistance, you have to do everything on your own but if the universe becomes your living companion, guide and protector in a way that you can transact with her personally, it makes life into a play and Navaratri is that possibility which can make that fantasy into a living reality.
Love and Joy
Shri Matre Namah