|avreh is the Apabramsha word for the Nava Varsha, which means the New year.Kashmiri Nava Varsha starts from the Chaitra Shukla Pratipada. Chaitra is the month, Shukla means the bright fortnight and Pratipada is the first Tithi. In Kashmiri diction, we say: Tsitra zoon PaChha Okdoh. Great were our ancestors, who gave us the Sapta Rishi Samvat, which will be 5089 year, according to our religious terminology for observing our fasts and festivals.Yajneopavits and Vivah Sanskars, to be celebrated according to the auspicious Muhurts, calculated for the current Kashmiri pandit Samwat .
Devi is invoked on the Navreh:
According to the Kula riti/family tradition,the Ishta Devi is being invoked on seeing the first ray of the Sun. The Ishta devis are Shri Raginya at Tulamula,Shri Sharika at Hari Parbat,Shri Jwala at Khrew,Shri Tripura Sundari at Devsar,Shri Bhadra Kali at Handwara,Shri Maha Kalion the bank of the Vitasta river ,Shri Bala Devi at Balahama,Shaila Putri at Sopore Apart from these Devis,the Nava Durga is being invoked,according to the Shakti tradition,which is Tantric in tradition,Yogic in spirit,and ritualistic in pattern.
About Nava Durga
The word Nava Durga means a synthsis of the Nine Devis,as visualized by Lord Brahma.
These are Life urges, for maintaining a rhythm between body, mind and Atma/self. The realization which was shared by Lord Brahma to the Devatas, wasestablished, retold and reconstructed on the basis of Bhogha and Yoga by Markandeya Rishi for the Dharma Santhapna, establishing the norms of Dharma to the Surath Raja-- the King and the Samadhi Vaishya-- the Merchant.
Hence the followers of the Sanatana Dharma have the most authentic sacred text of the Durga Sapta Shati. It is the primary source of the Shati Tradition. No doubt, the Ratri suktam, devi suktam find their source in the Rigveda, but they aremore philosophic in nature,where Ratri Devi, is but the Mahakali, and devi is the Mahalakshmi.
Markandeya Rishi gave the concepts of MahaKali,Maha Lakshmi and Maha Saraswati, to make the devotees understand what the Vedic Ratri Sukta and devi sukta means.Maha Lakshmi is none else but the Shri sharika Bhagawati of Kashmir. Maha Kali is in the form of Kunda/spring on the banks of the Vitasta. Mahalakshmi is the Chakreshwara Svayambhu shila/rock and Maha Saraswati is the Sharda Devi, now in POK.
How to invoke?
The popular tradition runs as:THAAL BARUN
On the Navreh Mawas night, one night prior to the Navareh, a Thali is filled with Shali-rice. It is decorated with flowers, a pen and inkpot, currency notes, golden bangles, candy, salt, curds, mirror, New Jantari, Kulcha/bread, walnuts, picture of the Ishta Devi and cooked rice. It is coverd with some Thali. On the day of Navreh, the yougest daughter of the family, or the youngest child brings this Thali, and shows it to Dad and Mom, grand Paa-- grandMa and all others. They see their faces on the mirror, touch the IshtaDevi and look at the new Jantari. In return, the elderly persons of the family pay some cash as a Navreh gift to the child/children.
Thent he walnuts are offered to the vitasta,or any stream, accpording to the place and situation.The devotees would generally offer their prayers at the Hari Parbat. The TAHRI is a must ,to be offered to the ishta Devi
Those who invoke the Anushtthans of the Nava Durga,they maintain the strict injunctions as provided in the Agama Shastras of Kashmir.The incocation is concluded with a Havan/Homa/Agamic Agni Hotra.
The Kashmiri Pandits would put on new clothes, as a Navreh Shagoon.People remain vegetarian for nine days, especially those who invoke the Nava Durga AnushThans. Now, it is generally celebrated as a community festival. Nava Durga is binding force,an integrating process of Shakti, as is seen the MahiShasura Mardini.
Those who are not conversant with the SaptaShati recitation,do recite the Bhawani sahsranamaand or Sri indraksahi stotram during thease nine days.
Sri Aurobindo writes:
I pass beyond Time and lifeon measureless wings,
Yet still am One with born and unborn things.
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