There is a continuing tradition of honoring Devi, the divine feminine, on three special nights or Ratri in an year (Watch embedded Video below). In addition, very few modifications have been made to them over the centuries. The three nights celebrate different aspects of Devi as Maya. Firstly, the night of Moha Ratri (the night of Delusion principle) is the full moon night in spring (Lunar month of Phalgun). Secondly, Kala Ratri (the night of Time principle) falls, smack in the middle, of the bright fortnight at the beginning of fall (Lunar month of Ashwin). Thirdly, Maha Ratri (Great Night), is the new moon night at the end of fall (Lunar month of Karthik).
- Individual Ego exists because of the Maya or Moha of Devi. Maya is the power of delusion. A recognition Devi’s power to delude can wake up an individual to reality. Holi full moon is a reminder of the power of Delusion in cosmos. It is the Moha Ratri
- Kala Ratri is the utmost fearsome form of Devi. Time or Kala is a fundamental idea behind existence. Devi’s powers stretch beyond concepts in the human mind. Devi, as Kala Ratri guides spiritual aspirants beyond pedantry entanglements. The worship of Kala Ratri falls on the 7th day of the Navaratri festival.
- Maha Ratri celebration coincides with the festival of lights (Deepavali). Light dispels darkness all around. Maha Ratri form of the Devi dispels darkness in existence. A lamp is a representation of the power of knowledge in the universe.
Astronomy coincidences among the three Nights of Devi
Let us notice astronomical coincidences for the three nights. In summary, a lunar month is approximately 29 days long. Therefore, a lunar fortnights is 14-15 days long. In addition, the half point of a lunar fortnight falls between its 7th day and its 8th day. Kala Ratri is celebrated at the half way point in the bright fortnight of the lunar month of Ashwin. Let us note the location of the new moon at the beginning point of this fortnight. A full moon occurs around this location only in the month of Phalguna. The new moon of Ashwin month shifts across by 180 degrees to its position on Moha Ratri night. Such is the strange astronomy of the three nights of Devi.
There are three nights of Devi and her Maya. They are for Maha Ratri, Moha Ratri and Kala Ratri