The time to welcome Navratri, the festival of divine power, is here!
Traditionally, the festival is celebrated for 9 nights and the 10th day is celebrated as Vijayadashmi.
It is observed for different reasons and celebrated differently in various parts of India. In the eastern and north eastern states of India, Durga Puja is synonymous with Navaratri, wherein goddess Durga battles and emerges victorious over the buffalo demon to help restore dharma. In the northern and western states, the festival is synonymous with “Ram Leela” that celebrates the victory of Rama over the demon king Ravana. In southern states, the victory of different goddesses is celebrated. In all cases, the common theme is the victory of good over evil. Traditionally, these stories were enacted through different dance forms. Today, one of the most famous dance forms is garba, which originated in Gujarat. Although over the years, the dance form evolved but the spirits stayed the same. Garba is performed with great enthusiasm all over India.
Every day one goddess is worshipped on these 9 days.
Day 1 – Pratipada – Ma Shailaputri – the daughter of mountain Himalaya, popularly known as Parvati, is worshipped on the first day for resembling collective power of Bramha, Vishnu and Mahesh.
Day 2 – Dwitiya – Ma Bhramhacharini – “Brahma” means tapa or penance and “Charini” means the ardent female follower. She is one of the avatars of goddess Durga. She blesses her devotees with happiness, peace, prosperity and grace.
Day 3 – Tritiya – Ma Chandraghanta – She represents beauty and grace and is worshiped for her bravery and strength. She bestows peace, tranquility and prosperity in life.
Day 4 – Chaturdhi – Ma Kushmanda – Avatar of Adi Shakti also known as the smiling goddess. “Ku” means little, “Ushma” means warmth or energy and “Anda” means egg which resembles the shape of the earth. She is worshipped as she is considered as the creator of the Universe.
Day 5 – Panchami – Ma Skandamata – The fifth avatar of the goddess, “Skanda” is another name for Kartikeya, son of Parvati, and “Mata” means mother. Kartikeya was the commander-in-chief of the Gods’ army in the war against the demons.
Day 6 – Shasthi – Ma Katyayani – She has four hands. One has a long sword, second has a lotus, third is to bless and the fourth one is to protect. She is worshipped for her immense courage.
Day 7- Saptami – Ma Kaalratri – She is commonly known as Kaali. “Kaal” means time and also death. She is the fiercest form of Ma Durga.
Day 8 – Astami – Ma Mahagauri – “Maha” means extreme and “Gauri” means White. She is worshipped to make human relations stronger.
Day 9 – Ma Siddhidarti – She is the possessor of 26 different wishes, “Siddhis” which she grants to her worshippers.
These nine nights of worship are of great importance. Devotees worship this divine power in order to have all-round success in life. The days denote the awakening of Divinity — the power that does not negate anything and nurtures the good qualities in us. This divine power does not last only for these 9 days but is something that we can carry with us for a lifetime…