[Advaita-l] Significance of Navaratri
anandhudli at hotmail.com
Thu Sep 25 12:21:10 CDT 2003
According to the Dharma-sindhu, a standard dharma-shAstra text by kAshInAtha
the word navarAtra (navarAtri) is the name for the karma that is done from
pratipada to the mahAnavamI :
navarAtra-shabdaH Ashvina-shukla-pratipadamArabhya mahAnavamIparyantaM
nAmadheyam.h | (section on devInavarAtra, first parichchheda)
The dharma-sindhu also states that the pradhAna-karma or main karma here is
tatra karmaNi pUjaiva pradhAnam.h upavAsAdikaM stotrajapAdikaM chAN^gam |
In the (navarAtra) karma, pUja is the main act, others such as fasting,
and japa are supplementary acts (to the pUjA).
And who is eligible to do the pUjA ?
atra karmaNi brAhmaNAdichaturvarNasya mlechchhAdeshcha-adhikAraH |
To do this karma, brAhmaNas, kShatriyas, vaishyas, shUdras, and even
mlechchas are eligible.
However, there are restrictions on the *way* the pUjA is to be done.
brAhmaNas must do the sAttvikI pUjA only, never using meat and wine. This is
to the dictum "naivedyaishcha nirAmiShaiH" (with naivedya containing no
"dattva brAhmaNasu brAhmaNyAdeva hIyate" (offering wine as naivedya a
his brAhmaNattva), and "madyamapeyamadeyam.h" (a brAhmaNa must not drink
wine, nor offer
kshatriyas and vaishyas may use meat and wine in the pUjA but only when they
as a kAmya karma. This kind of rAjasika karma cannot be done as a nitya
karma by them.
shUdras are eligibile to do even the tAmasika karma, ie. using meat and
wine, and without
mantras and japa. They can also do the sAttvikI pUjA through a brAhmaNa.
What is noteworthy is that the dharma-sindhu states that mlechchhas
(barbarians) can only do
a mental pUjA since they are not eligible to even get the pUjA done through
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