The annual Navaratri festival will be celebrated at Satchidananda Ashram–Yogaville via Livestream on Oct 17. The San Francisco Integral Yoga Institute hosts a week-long virtual Navaratri celebration starting Oct. 17 and the Integral Yoga Institute of New York will also hold a virtual Navaratri satsang on Oct 17.

Navaratri (nine nights) is one of the major Hindu festivals. It symbolizes the triumph of good over evil. Navratri takes place at the beginning of October around harvest time and, as the name implies, this festival is celebrated for nine days. Navratri is also known as Durga Puja. During this 9-day festival the Hindu Goddesses Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati are worshipped as three different manifestations of Shakti, or cosmic energy.

Navaratri is a festival in which God is adored as Mother. It is said that Lord Shiva gave permission to Goddess Durga to see her mother for nine days in the year and this festival also remembers this visit. Families make an attempt to return home on these days, and leave on the tenth.

As the BBC noted: “Hinduism is the only religion in the world which has emphasised to such an extent the motherhood of God.” To celebrate a good harvest and to propitiate the nine planets, women also plant nine different kinds of food grain seeds in small containers during these nine days and then offer the young saplings to the goddess.

During Navaratri, some devotees of Durga observe a fast and prayers are offered for the protection of health and property. A period of introspection and purification, Navaratri is traditionally an auspicious time for starting new ventures.