Why do we celebrate Navratri?
Every month after new moon days are counted, the ninth day is called Naumi (Nine). It signifies the feminine nature of the divine. These auspicious 9 days are significantly meant to praise the goddess of virtues. Nine days in 12 months, they are dedicated to different Devi’s. Navratri is dedicated to Devi Sharda, Goddess of learning which is most important for all of us. In the month of October in which out of 28 days and 32-36 hours (means around 1½ day is considered is meant to be a neutral time when the full moon is there). So 27 days are calculated in a certain way which also significant to the solar system also. 1/3 of this month is called feminine. During these 9 days, if one worships the goddesses with a pure heart and good intention, it is said to fulfill every wishes and desire. Navratri festival is celebrated twice a year, though the one that is celebrated in September or October is well-known and celebrated with extreme passion and dedication. Some Hindus believe that every night one form of Goddess is worshipped while some believe that three forms of Goddess are worshipped and they are the trinity of God. The celebration varies from one state to another although the dedication and devotion remain the same all over India.
Particularly the tradition which had strong roots in worshipping goddesses came from Kashmir. 7 centuries before, Kashmir was a very strong Devi oriented culture where powerful things were done. Navratri, which initiates on the first day of lunar month “Ashvayujam” and which ends on 10th day that is ‘Dashami’ of the lunar month.
Vijaya which is in Sanskrit means ‘Victory’.
Navratri indicates ‘victory of good over evil’. There are two victories which signify this festival.
These two auspicious victories are celebrated on the tenth day of Navratri. Navratri, it also signifies ‘Women strength’. Navratri is celebrated in many different ways in many different states of India.
Each goddess has a different form and a particular significance. Nava Durga is worshipped with religious dedication during Navratri, as it is believed that it lifts the divine strength in us and fills us with improved happiness.
“Shail” signifies mountains, “Putri” means daughter. Also known as Hemavati, Sati Bhavani, and Parvati, the daughter of the King of the Mountains Himavan, which is called ‘Shailputri“. The first of all amongst the nine Durga’s and she is worshipped on the first day of Navratri, the divine nights of nine goddesses. The power of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, she is known to ride a bull and she carries a trident along with lotus in her both hands.
Brahamcharini is worshipped on the 2nd day of Navratri and she is meant to be the second form(roop) of Mother Goddess. Bharmacharini is meant to be the one who practices seriousness. She enlightens us in the glorious personification of Durga with enormous powers and graceful divine. Brahma, who is meant to observe self-punishment (tapa) and conduct of good things. Brahma means Tapa, the idol of her is simply full of divine grace and beauty. On the very left hand, she has a “Kumbha” which is water pot, and on the other hand, the right-hand holds a rose. She is meant to personify love and loyalty. Bhramcharini signifies an abundance of knowledge and wisdom. ‘Rudraksha’ beads are her most established ornaments.
The third face of Goddess Durga is ‘Chandraghanta‘, who is meant to be worshipped on the third day of Navratri. She signifies peace, harmony, and prosperity in life. She has a ‘Chandra’ or half-moon on her forehead in the shape of a bell which is the reason why she is called ‘Chandraghanta‘. She has a color of gold and possession of ten hands along with 3 eyes. Of which eight of her hand's displays weapons and the remaining two are in the mudras of gesture of benefit giving and preventing harm
She is meant to be the fourth form of the mother goddess. She is worshipped on the fourth day of Navratri. She also has possession of eight arms and holding weapons and a mala (rosary). She rides the tiger and gracefully signifies the solar aura. ‘Ku-shm-anda’ means, as ‘Ku‘signifies a little, ‘ushma‘signifies warmth; ‘anda‘signifies the cosmic egg. According to this, she is meant to be the creator of the universe. The universe, which was no more than a space full of darkness, until her light, spreads in all directions same like the rays of the sun.
She is meant to be the fifth aspect of the Mother Durga. She is known as ‘Skanda Mata‘, the mother of Lord Kartikeya. He was chosen one by gods as their commander in chief in the war against the evil. She is worshipped on the fifth day of Navratri. She comes along with the Lord Skanda in his newborn form. She rides a lion holds her only son Skanda in her lap. She possesses three eyes along with four hands out of which two hands she holds lotuses and the other two hands signify defending and giving way mudras. As by the saying, by the blessing of Skandmata, the fool can also become a sea of knowledge.
She is meant to be the sixth form of Mother Durga and is known as ‘Katyayani’. She is worshiped on the six-day of Navratri. The reason why she is called by this name is that there was a great sage called Kata, who had a son whose name was Katya. Kata was very famous in the family of saints. He had undergone long sternness and self-punishment which made him receive the grace of the Mother Goddess. He always wished to have a daughter in the form of a goddess. As a blessing to his wish and request, Katyayani was born to Kata as an avatar of Durga.
She is meant to be the seventh form of Mother Durga. She is worshipped on the seventh day of Navratri. A dark complexion, disheveled hair and a fearlessness posture made her look breath-taking. She possesses three eyes which shine bright and dreadful flames originating from her breath. Black or blue skin with ample hair and four hands, two of them holding an ax and a torch, while the remaining two are in the significant mudras of “generous” and “shielding“. Her left upper hand is holding a thorn-like weapon which is made of iron; also there is a dragger she is holding in the lower left hand. She rides a faithful donkey and meant to be the destroyer of darkness and ignorance.
MahaGauri is meant for when power is unfailing and instantly fruitful. She is praised on the eighth day of Navratri. If she is worshipped with a pure heart it is meant that all mistakes of the past, present, and future are nullified. Devotees get purified in all aspects of life. MahaGauri signifies intelligence, peaceful and calm. Due to her long period of seriousness in the forests of the Himalayas, she has developed a dark complexion. When Lord Shiva cleaned her with the holy water of the Ganga, her body retrieved its beauty which named her as MahaGauri, which mean exceptionally white. She is holding a thorn-like weapon in her left upper hand which is made of iron and there is also a dragger which she is holding in her lower left hand. Her color is as white as the moon. She possesses four arms and the fairest skin tone of all the Durga Shaktis. Most of the time, she is dressed in a white (or green sari). She holds a drum and a trident and depicted to ride a bull.
Siddhidatri is meant to be the ninth form of Goddess. She is being worshipped on the ninth day of Navratri. It consists of eight Siddhis which are Anima, Mahima, Garima, Laghima, Prapti, Prakamya, Iishitva and Vashitva. Siddhidatri consists of supernatural healing powers and is depicted to possess four arms and is always in a blissful enchanting pose. She rides on the lion. She blesses all sorts of gods, saints, yogis, tantric and all devotees as an expression of the Mother Goddess. It is said in “Devipuran” that the Supreme God Shiv received all types of Siddhis by worshipping Maha Shakti. With her appreciation, the half body of Shiv has become of Goddess and his name “Ardhanarishvar” has become famous.
Navratri Celebration and Fasting
People pray to Goddess Durga to destroy the evil during Navratri. They ask help and strength from the Goddess to fight against the evil and protect the Hindu dharma. In West Bengal, men and women celebrate Navratri festival as Durga Pooja and worship huge idols of Goddess Durga
(Updated Date & Time :- 2019-09-27 17:04:35 )
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