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Goddess Ratri In Rig Veda – Goddess Of Night

Goddess Ratri holds a significant place in Vedas, particularly in the Rig Veda, one of the oldest sacred texts. As the benevolent goddess presiding over the night, she plays a vital role in the cosmic balance alongside her sister Ushas, who represents the dawn. In the Rig Veda, Ratri is revered and celebrated through hymns, with one notable instance being the Ratri Sukta (10.127.1-8), a dedicated hymn that extols her divine attributes.

According to the descriptions in the Rig Veda, Goddess Ratri is envisioned wearing black robes adorned with glittering stars, symbolizing the beauty and mystique of the night sky. This imagery captures the essence of her dominion over the night, highlighting the celestial elements associated with darkness.

One of the key aspects of Goddess Ratri's worship is her role in providing rest and happiness. The night, under her benevolent rule, becomes a time for rejuvenation, a period of respite from the activities of the day. This perspective emphasizes the cyclical nature of time, where day and night complement each other in the eternal dance of creation and rest.

Moreover, Goddess Ratri is invoked for protection against the threats posed by darkness. This includes safeguarding against potential dangers such as robbers, reptiles, wild animals, and malevolent spirits. The act of invoking her serves as a spiritual defense against the unseen forces that may lurk in the shadows, reinforcing the idea that the goddess brings not only tranquility but also protection to those who seek her divine presence.

In essence, the worship of Goddess Ratri in the Rig Veda reflects a deep understanding and reverence for the natural cycles of day and night, and the recognition of the divine forces that govern these cosmic rhythms. Her role goes beyond a mere personification of night; she embodies the cosmic order and the harmonious balance between light and darkness in the intricate tapestry of Hindu religion.