Yoga and meditation practitioner since 2013. I love to explore about various things.
Significance of Navratri
Navratri is one of the most auspicious and biggest Hindu festivals celebrated all over India and even other parts of the World. It is a festival where for nine nights, the various forms of the Devi or the Divine cosmic energy, is worshipped in all her forms.
“Nava” means nine and “Ratri” means night. The literal meaning of “Ratri” is a time when one turns inwards when one rests and becomes rejuvenated. Navratri is a time where the sadhaks, the spiritual seekers, go deep within to rest, become rejuvenated, become refreshed and become free from all these afflictions, and start a year afresh.
Every year Navratri comes twice in a year, one comes in March - April, which is called Gupt (secret) Navratri, and the other comes in October - November, which is celebrated with enthusiasm and devotion towards Goddess Durga. People usually fast during these nine days to purify their bodies and mind.
Story behind Navratri
Navratri depicts the story of the great battle between the demon Mahisasur and Goddess Durga. Mahisasur was blessed with the immortality by the Lord Brahma, that neither the demons nor the gods can kill him under one condition that the only woman can kill him.
With this boom and the confidence, Mahisasur attacked the Trilok (earth, hell, heaven). As all the gods were helpless that they could do nothing to save the Trilok, they went to Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu, and Lord Brahma for help.
Looking at the helpless Gods, Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu, and Lord Brahma created a form of women as only a woman can kill the demon Mahisasur.
They put all their power together to create the Goddess Durga. It is believed that Goddess Durga is the reincarnation of the Goddess Parvati, who is the wife of Lord Shiva.
Goddess Durga fought with Mahisasur for the fifteen long days. Clever Mahisasur tried to disguise his identity to confuse his opponent, but on the fifteen-day when Mahisasur took the form of Buffalo, Goddess Durga killed him with her Trishul (trident).
After the nine days of the Navratri, on the tenth day, the Vijay Lakshmi (the victory over evil) is celebrated. Navratri also depicts to defeat the anger, ego, evilness which we have created inside ourselves and get victory over evilness.
Nine forms of Goddess Durga
- Shailaputri: Shailputri, the first of the nine forms of Goddess Durga is celebrated on the first day of Navratri. The literal meaning of 'Shailputri' means the daughter (putri) of the Mountains (Shaila).
- Brahmacharini: Bramhacharini, celebrated on the second day of the Navratri. She is considered as the unmarried form of the Goddess Parvati.
- Chandraghanta: 'Chandra' means and 'Ghanta' means hanging bell. This form is considered as the fierce form of the Goddess Parvati.
- Kushmanda: 'Ku' means little, 'Ushma' means heat, 'anda' means egg. Kushmanda, one who has created the whole universe as a little cosmic egg.
- Shandamata: 'Skanda' (the name of Lord Kartikeya/Murugan) and 'Mata' means Mother. Skandamata is another name of the Goddess Parvati.
- Katyayani: When the whole world was anxious about the atrocities of Mahisasur, Goddess Parvati took the quiet Violent form, which is considered as the warrior form of Goddess Parvati.
- Kalratri: 'Kal' means time/death and 'Ratri' means night, she is considered as the destroyer of darkness.
- Mahagauri: The eighth day of the Navratri is called 'Ashtami' which is considered as the most auspicious day in the nine days festival. 'Maha' means great/immense and 'Gauri' means white.
- Siddhidatri: 'Siddhi' means spiritual power and 'Datri' means giver, she is considered as the giver of the spiritual power and knowledge to her devotee.
RIYA DHANWANI (author) from NEEMUCH on October 14, 2020:
Jay Maa Durga! Yes.. We are eagerly waiting for her.
Anupam Mitu from MUMBAI on October 14, 2020:
Jay Maa Durge! She is arriving soon.