Navratri can be separated into two parts, Nav and Ratri, which means Nine Nights. Navratri is considered as an auspicious festival in India. Which is celebrated every year in the autumn. According to the Hindu calendar, Navratri is celebrated in the month of Ashwin, which begins from Ashwin – Shukla Prathma and ends on Ashwin Shukla Navmi.
WHY WE CELEBRATE NAVRATRI
Navratri (festival) is the celebration of the victory of Good over Evil. In the Eastern and the Northeastern region of India. The Nine days festival is observed to celebrate the victory of Goddess Durga over Demon Mahishasura to restore Dharma on the Earth. In Northern and Western States. The Nine days festival is observed to celebrate the victory of Rama over Ravana.
In Southern states, these Nine days is observed to celebrate the victory of Saraswati, Rama over Evils. Every region of India has its own Methodologies and reasons to celebrate these nine days. But the common thing is the battle and victory of Good over Evil.
During these nine days, devotees worship Nine Avatars of Maa- Durga. Maa Durga is the wife of Lord Shankara. She has taken Nine Avatars (Shailaputri, Brahmaputra,
Chandraghanta, Kushmanda, Sakand Mata, Katyayani, kalaratri, Mahagauri and Siddhiratri.
HOW TO CELEBRATE NAVRATRI
Devotees of Goddess Durga follows a various set of ritual for the nine days of Navratri.
The Rituals starts by observing a strict fast for nine days. People visit temples to offer prayers to the mother deities. Worshippers also install the Idols of Goddess inside the home. Temples, before the celebration of Navratri, the house is cleaned for welcoming a Goddess in the home. While fasting only Satvik- food is allowed and consumption of Non- vegetarian food, onion, garlic should be strictly avoided. Devotees spend their days by worshipping Goddess and chanting their mantras. The fast is broken on the Ninth day after the Hawan.
DAYS OF NAVRATRI
On The FIRST DAY, Shailaputri Devi is worshipped. Shailapturi is the first form of Nava- Durga and is also known to be the earthy essence. She took birth as the daughter of Lord Himalaya that is because she named after Shaila Putri. It is believed that she controls the Moon. Therefore devotees worshipping Maa Shaila Putri to keep them away from all the bad effects of the Moon. On this day devotees wear red clothes and offer prayer, cow ghee to Maa
Shailputri on the other hand belief is that we have to detox our soul also by leaves our anger from this day.
The SECOND DAY is dedicated to the Brahmacharini Devi for which blue color clothes are worn. It is believed that Maa Brhamcharini did Tapasya for about 5000 years. Goddess Brahamcharini represents the unmarried form of Navdurga which signifies the lady’s toughest penance and hard austerity. People worship Maa Brahamcharini as she signifies love, wisdom, and knowledge. From this day we have to detox our soul by stop judging people.
On the THIRD DAY, Chandra Ghanta Devi is worshipped. Maa Chandra Devi is known for the destruction of vicious, evil powers, negative energies, and all sins. Thus people worship her, to get rid of all the negativities. People offer Milk & kheer by worshipping. From this day we have to detox our soul by leaving all the grudges.
On the FOURTH DAY Maa Kushmanda is worshipped and yellow color clothes are worn. Maa kushmanda signifies warmth and energy. People believe that worshipping Maa Kushmanda helps them to improve their health and also to be granted wealth and power. From this day we have to detox our soul by forgiving myself and everyone.
On the FIFTH DAY Sakanda Maa is worshipped which demands to wearing of grey color Clothes. Sakanda Mata signifies as a ‘’War God’’. People worship Sakanda Mata to achieve powers, prosperity and emancipation. From this day we have to detox our soul by accepting myself and everyone as they are.
On the SIXTH DAY Maa Katyayani Devi is worshipped where orange color is worn by devotees. Maa Katyayani is also considered as a warrior goddess. Many people believe that Sita & Rukmani also used to worship her for getting a good husband. Following which, people worship her to improve their marital life and keep them away from all the difficulties. From this day we have to start love myself and everyone unconditionally.
On the SEVENTH DAY Maa Kalaratri is worshipped where pink clothes are worn. Maa Kalaratri in considered as a form of Maa Durga who is the destructor of all evil spirits. People worship her to protect them from all the evil spirits. From this day we have to detox our soul by leave the feeling of Jealousy and guilt.
On the EIGHTH DAY, Maa Mahagauri is worshipped and devotees is believe that if they worship Maa Mahagauri on this day, she fulfills all the wants and desires of her adorers. From this day we will leave all the fears.
On the NINTH DAY, Maa Siddhiratri is worshipped. She is the Original form of Maa Parvati. Maa Siddhiratri is immediately pleased with her devotees. Siddhiratri sits on the Lotus and rides on the Lion. “Siddhi” represents Supernatural powers and “Dhatri” means Offerer. From
this day we will offer gratitude for all the things I have and which I will get.
There are many other rituals, beliefs which were followed by the people depending on the region they stay in. So, it is celebrated by different cultures in different methods.
There is abundance in the universe for all and we will always tap the same and create what I want through Unconditional love, Sadhna, Nishkam Sewa, Faith, Swammans.