Navaratri- The auspicious Hindu festival

Navratri- The auspicious Hindu festival

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Navratri is one of the most auspicious and famous Hindu religious festivals. It is dedicated to Nine incarnations of Goddess Durga. That is why this festival spans nine nights and hence called Navratri. This festival is a celebration of the Goddess Shakti over Evil. Navratri is also spelled as Navaratri.

Navratri

Navratri comes twice in a year.  The first Navratri comes in the month of March or April and called ‘Chaitra Navratri’. Second Navratri comes in the month of September or October and called ‘Sharad Navratri’.

History and legends 

According to Indian mythology, there are many interesting legends behind the celebration of Navratri. 

According to one legend, there was a demon Mahishasura. He was a great devotee of Lord Shiva and by worshipping him, he got the power to be immortal. Because of this he soon started killing innocent people. So, Lord Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva gave their powers to create Shakti called Durga. The battle between Goddess Durga and Mahishasura continuous until nine days. This nine days battle is symbolic of nine days of Navratri. On the tenth day, Maa Durga beheaded the demon. This history is related to ‘Chaitra Navratri’

According to the second legend, Lord Rama worshipped all the nine Devi for nine days to gain all her powers to kill Ravana.  On the tenth day, Ravana was killed by Lord Rama which refers to Vijay Dashmi or Dussehra. This history is related to ‘Sharad Navratri’

Nine Avatar ( Nine forms of Maa Durga) 

Nine days of Navratri is dedicated to nine Different incarnations of Goddess Durga.

Day 1: Shailaputri

Shailaputri is a manifestation of Goddess Parvati which represents the collective powers of Brahma,  Vishnu, and Mahesh.  She symbolizes the nature of purity. So, the red colour is worn on this day. 

Day 2: Brahmacharini

Brahmacharini is the second aspect of Goddess Durga. She symbolizes calm and blissful nature.  People worship her to attain Moksh. The royal blue colour is worn on this day. 

Day 3: Chandraghanta

Chandraghanta is the third form of Goddess Durga. The name Chandraghanta means ‘one who has a half-moon shaped like a bell’. Her third eye is always opened and ready for war against demons.  So, she is a symbol of bravery. So, the colour worn on this day is yellow.

Day 4: Kushmunda

Kushmunda is the fourth incarnation of Goddess Durga.  The word Kush means a little ‘warmth’ and Munda means ‘cosmic egg’. She is the Goddess to improve health, life, and happiness. It is stated that she has created the whole world and its greenery. So the green colour is worn on this day. 

Day 5: Skand Mata

She is the fifth form of Goddess Durga.  The word Skand means war god ‘Kartikeya’ and Mata is for mother. She is a symbol of the powerful vulnerability of the mother. A mother can change into a thunderstorm whenever any harm comes to her child.  Hence the grey colour is worn on this day. 

Day 6: Katyayani

Katyayani is the sixth form of Goddess Durga. She is a Goddess with ten hands. She was worshipped by Sita and Rukmini for a good husband. Katyayani was very brave and courageous. So, colour worn on this day is orange

Day 7: Kalratri

Kalratri is the seventh avatar of Goddess Durga. According to Hindu Mythology, She is the most powerful among the nine avatars.  She is also known as ‘Maa Kaali’. People seek her blessings to eliminate troubles from their lives.  She destroys all demons,  ghosts and negative energies and spread peace. So, the white colour is worn on this day. 

Day 8: Maha Gauri

She is the eighth incarnation of Goddess Durga. The word Maha means ‘extreme’ and Gauri means ‘white’. Devotees worship Goddess Maha Gauri to attain loyalty in relationships and life long bonds. She symbolizes intelligence and peace. So, the colour of this day to wear is pink

Day 9: Siddhidatri

Goddess Siddhidatri is the ninth form of Goddess Durga. She is the giver of all Siddhis (perfection) and ready to grant happiness to her devotees.  She has blessed all the gods, goddesses and worshippers with bliss as pure as sky. So, sky blue colour is the colour of this day. 

How It Is Celebrated

Navratri festival celebration

Devotees of mother Goddess observe a fast for nine days.  During the fast, one has to abstain from normal food and can only eat fruits, milk, tea, coffee, potatoes, etc. Most people use rock salt or sendha salt instead of normal salt these days.

Navratri pooja begins with prayers offered to the Goddess Durga. People keep pooja thali (plate) in front of the Goddess and a lamp with pure ghee which keeps burning for nine days. During this, one must always stay at home to check the lamp is burning. People perform prayers in the morning and evening daily. They prepare dry black Channa, halwa, and puri on the last day of Navratri People invite seven to nine girls to their houses to worship Maa Durga. The devotees show their love for Maa Durga by serving little girls at their best. People believe the little girl’s visit to the home to be the visit of Maa Durga itself. They give blessings to the devotee’s family. The devotees then break their fast. 

Nine incarnations of Goddess Durga

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why is Navratri celebrated?

A: To honour Goddess Durga who is the symbol of power and purity. This festival spans nine nights and thus known as Navratri. This festival is a symbol of Goddess Shakti over Evil.

Q: What are the 9 avatars of Durga?

A: The nine avatars of Goddess Durga are Shailaputri, Brahmacharini, Chandraghanta, Kushmanda, Skandamata, Kaalratri, Katyayani, Mahagauri, and Siddhidhatri.

Q: Date of Navratri 2020.

A: Navratri comes twice in a year. Chaitra Navratri and Sharad Navratri. Chaitra Navratri would start from March 25, 2020 and would end on April 2, 2020. Sharad Navratri will begin on October 17, 2020 and ends on October 25, 2020.

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JAI MATA DI!!!

Read Also: Diwali Festival In India

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