Navratri is a 9 day festival celebrated by Indians two times a year. And tenth day is the celebration of victory over the evil achieved.
The Goddess Durga is the combination of trinity. Lakshmi, Saraswati and Parvati.
Goddess Lakshmi is the goddess of wealth. Goddess Saraswati is the goddess of knowledge. And, Goddess Parvati is the goddess of fertility, love and devotion.
Why is it nine days for NAVRATRI?
There are many reasons to celebrate Navratri, but we will discuss two most common reasons.
The first reason is: the Goddess Durga fought with the demon Mahishasur for nine days and killed him on the tenth day. Mahishasur was a very fierceful buffalo demon, personification of ego and evil. He performed a tough penance, and got a boon that he could not be killed by any male. (He took female for granted, thinking females can never be so powerful to kill him). So, the Goddess Shakti took the form of a beautiful lady as Durga. And, told Mahishasur that She would marry him if he could defeat her in a battle.
The battle continued for 9 days and the tenth day, she defeated him. Thus, the dashmi is celebrated as the day of victory.
The second reason is, the Lord Rama fasted and prayed to Goddess Durga for 9 days for blessings before killing Ravana, the demon. On the tenth day, which is also celebrated as Dusshera, Lord Rama killed the demon.
How should we pray to Goddess Durga on the nine days of Navratri?
During Navratri, each day has a special significance, and one form of the Goddess is worshipped everyday.
1. Shailaputri: She is the primal energy of the trident Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. She was born as daughter to Himalayas.
2. Brahmacharini: She signifies penance and austerity leading to happiness and moksha.
3. Chandraghanta: Represented as 10-armed mother riding a lion, she is the slayer of evil forces.
4. Kushmanda: She is the creator of the universe.
5. Skandamata: She is the mother of Skanda, or Karthikeya, the chief warrior of Gods.
6. Katyayani: She is a fierce form of Durga, the daughter of sage Katyayan.
7. Kaalratri: As death of time, she reflects the other side of life – death. She is the most terrible and ruthless form of Durga.
8. Maha Gauri: She represents calmness and grants wisdom to her devotees.
9. Siddhidatri: The fulfiller of all the wishes and giver of boons.
Celebration of Navratri
Navratri festival not only signifies the victory over evil, but it also means the warmth of love of a mother. During the nine days people not only do fasting, but also celebrate the festival with Maa Durga’s beautiful devotional songs and dances. Women take a central stage in this festival and it is a celebration of feminine qualities such as dance, music and decoration.
I believe people of India should start respecting women and should not misunderstand their powers. They are not only our mothers, but also our sisters, our wives, our friends and our daughters.
Celebrate the festival of Navratri with great joy, colors, lights, dances, decorations and LOTS AND LOTS OF LOVE !!
Let us Spread the love and disown our ego this Navratri !!
Wishing you and your family a very Happy Navratri !!