Navratri | Importance and Rituals

Navratri is the major Hindu festival. The Navratri word is derived from a Sanskrit word that means 'nine nights.' During these nine days, the people worship nine forms of Devi. In one year, Navratri arrives four times, in the month of Ashwin, Ashada, Chaitra, and Magha. On the nine nights of Navratri, the people idolise three goddesses - Mahakali, Mahalaxmi, or Maha Saraswati.

Navratri is an important festival that people celebrate with joy and enthusiasm by playing Garba and Dandia. These nine days have been categorised into three categories: the first three days are known as Tamas.

The middle three days of Navratri are known as Rajas, and the last three days of Navratri are known as Sattva. These are the three qualities that are present in everything.

Derived from a Sanskrit word

Goddesses - Mahakali, Mahalaxmi, or Maha Saraswati.

People celebrate with joy and enthusiasm by playing Garba and Dandia

The history behind celebrating Navratri

The most popular legend is the story of the buffalo-headed demon king Mahishasur. Who impressed the lord Shiva and took a boon that He would be invincible to any man. After getting the boon from lord Shiva, he started killing people without any reason and even drove the deities out of 'Swarglok.' Then all the Deities visited lord Shiva and were pleased to protect the people.

Thus, the Tridev 'Brahma Vishnu and Shiva Invested their power into energy which took the form of goddess Durga to win over the Mahishasur. As a present, other deities give her distinctive weapons like swords, axes, etc. After seeing the beauty of the goddess Durga, he approached Devi Durga for marriage.

Navratri is the major Hindu festival

Importance of each day

Navratri is associated with the major conflict between the goddess Durga and Mahishasur to celebrate the success of good over evil. During these nine days, the people worship nine avatars of the goddess Durga. Every single day is related to an avatar of the Durga.

Shailaputri :- On the first day, the devotees worshipped Shailaputri, the daughter of the mountain or an avatar of Parvati. On Puranas, she is riding a bull, and from her right hand, she is holding a Trishul, and from her left hand, she holds a lotus.

Brahmcharini :- Brahmcharini is another avatar of Parvati. In this Avatar, Parvati became a yogini, her unmarried self. In this Avatar, she is walking barefoot and holding Kamandal and Japmala.

Chandraghanta :- Chandraghanta is the incarnation of Parvati. The name emanated from the burnt half-moon because, after marrying Shiva, Parvati decorated her forehead with it.

Kushmanda :- On the fourth day of Navratri, the people worshipped the Avatar of Kushmanda. This day is related to the endowment of vegetation on the planet. She has eight arms and sits on a Tiger.

Skandmata :- on the fifth day, the people worship Skandmata, the mother of Kartikeya or Skand. According to Puran, Skandmata holds her kid on a lion with four arms.

Katyayani :-Katyayani is an Avatar of goddess Durga and was born to sage Katyayani. The people have known her as the warrior goddess; it is the most aggressive form of the goddess. In this form, Devi fits on a lion and has four hands. Katyayni is the avatar of Devi Lakshmi, Saraswati, and Parvati..

Kaalratri :- Kalratri is the fiercest Avatar of the goddess Durga. Parvati took this Avatar to kill demons. In this Avatar, the goddess is in tiger skin and a red dress with great anger in her fiery eyes, and the colour tone of her skin is black.

Mahagauri :- On the eighth day of Navratri, the devotees celebrate the Avatar of Mata Parvati as mahagauri. This day is also very important because it is the birthday of Mahisasur Mardini Rupa of Chandi.

Siddhidatri :- On the last day of the Navratri, people worship Siddhidatri. The goddess Siddhidatri sits on a Lotus with four arms. On this last day, in everyone's house, Kanya Pujan happens. And those devotees who keep fasting break their fast on that day.

How to celebrate Navratri

Navratri is a festival of joy and enthusiasm. Navratri is a festival showing women's empowerment. So, these days, devotees create a big Pandal and place the idol of the goddess Durga. And in Pandal, the people did the Garba and Dandiya by wearing a specific traditional dress.

And to impress goddess Durga, the people keep fasting for nine days. Every day the people sing Mata Bhajan and Aarti. And on the last day, all the devotees did Kanya bhojan and prayed for their Wealth and wisdom.

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Frequently Asked Questions
What are the different categories of Navratri, and what do they represent?
The nine days of Navratri are categorized into three groups: Tamas, Rajas, and Sattva. The first three days represent Tamas, which is associated with destructive energy, the middle three days represent Rajas, which is associated with passion and activity, and the last three days represent Sattva, which is associated with purity and spirituality.
How many times a year does Navratri occur, and when does it take place?
Navratri occurs four times a year, in the months of Ashwin, Ashada, Chaitra, and Magha. The most significant Navratri, also known as Sharad Navratri, takes place in the month of Ashwin (September/October).
Who are the nine avatars of the goddess Durga worshipped during Navratri?
The nine avatars of the goddess Durga worshipped during Navratri are Shailaputri, Brahmacharini, Chandraghanta, Kushmanda, Skandamata, Katyayani, Kalratri, Mahagauri, and Siddhidatri. Each day of Navratri is dedicated to one of these avatars, and devotees offer prayers and perform rituals to honor them.
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