Navratri is a process of detoxifying the body, mind and soul; fasting is an integral part of the detoxification and purification process or the “spiritual yagna”.
Fasting does not simply mean “not eating” or missing a meal, it denotes controlling one’s desires. Non-fulfillment of desires is at the root cause of anger and unrest. Navratri is a time to let go of all desires.
The first three days of Navratri are devoted to pursuing activities that stimulate and create Rajsik thoughts in the mind and reduce the negativity in the mind and the body. The next three days are allocated to practicing positive behavior and activities (by practicing Yoga Sadhna as described in nine forms of Durga and in the last three days, one is supposed to read and learn about spiritual positive things in life.
These three phases of purification denote Goddesses Kali, Lakshmi and Saraswati, respectively and their worship.
The nine days of Navratri require a person to lead a satwik spiritual life, which means that one should eat only Satwik food (that which is offered to God) and follow the principles of Satwik lifestyle (Satwik Ahaar, Satwik Vichar, Satwik Vyavahaar and Satwik Achaar).
The first benefits of this purification process can be observed on the 10th day i.e. Dusshera or Vijaydashmi, when Ravana (Ego) Kumbhakaran (Tamas) and Meghnad (Rajas) are conquered. Victory over ego indicates that satwa (Vibhishan) takes over and the mind (Lakshamana), body (Sita) and soul (Rama) are one. This indicates an ego-free mind leading to inner happiness.
However, this process of purification or the spiritual yagna does not end on the day of Dusshera, it continues till Diwali. It starts from the first day of Navratri on Amavasya and ends on Diwali, again on Amavasya.
On this day of Dusshera, let us aim to kill our inner Ravana, Kumbhakaran and Meghnad and emerge victorious with a positive mind and be one with our true self or consciousness.
I wish you all a very happy Dusshera.