The word Navratri means nine nights. To break it in simpler terms for you it means Nava as nine and Ratri as night.
It is a well-known fact that night time is the time for you to rest and rejuvenate. It is during the night time that you turn inwards through your sleep and feel refreshed and rested in the morning. Similarly Navratri or the nine nights of this festival are the time of the year when you get a chance to experience deep rest. This means that you get rest from all kinds of uncertainties, problems surrounding you and negative emotions. It also has been suggested to help in enhancing your creativity and deep relaxation.
And for this there are certain rituals that are practiced during this period to help you provide this deep rest. Indians during the nine days of Navratri perform various activities such as fasting, meditating and praying to the God. Besides this individuals also refrain from indulging in negative objects during this period in order to achieve deep rest.
Why we celebrate Navratri
These days mark as the most auspicious days in the Hindu calendar. In fact Navratri is among one few festivals in India which is celebrated across the country with amazing enthusiasm and festivity. This also called as Maha Navratri a festival that occurs in the month of Ashwin. While it is true that this festival occurs at least four times in a year, the Sharada Navratri that happens during the month of September or October is generally the most celebrated one. This nine-day festival which begins from 29 September 2019 is generally dedicated to Goddess Durga and all her nine avatars. Each day is celebrated as we pray to the 9 avatars of Durga.
The festival is celebrated in order to welcome and celebrate Maa Durga’s win over the Demon Mahishasura. The festival also re-presents victory and peace and Dharma over evil.
Rituals of Navratri
Here is the significance of the nine days of Navratri that you must know about.
The first day of Navratri is when Indians celebrate and worship Goddess Shailputri. Considered as avatar of Maa Durga she represents the collective power of Brahma Vishnu and Mahesh. She is also worshipped as the consort of Shiva.
The next day of Navratri is celebrated by Indians as they worship Goddess Brahmacharini. She is considered as the second avatar of Maa Durga and is known as a symbolic deity who represents happiness prosperity and grace. Indians believe that she is the way to achieve moksha.
On the third day of Navratri, Indians worship Goddess Chandraghanta. Considered as an epitome of beauty and grace she is worshipped for bringing peace and prosperity in the lives of humans. Also goddess Chandraghanta is considered as a symbol of bravery.
The fourth day of Navratri is when we worship Goddess Kushmunda. Also an avatar of Maa Durga she is known as the creator of this entire universe. There is a common saying about her that it is her laughter which created the entire universe.
Next day five of Navratri is when goddess Skand Mata is worshipped. Her son Kartikeya was chosen by the gods in order to fight the evil and demons. She represents vulnerability of a mother who will do everything in order to protect her child.
On the day sixth of Navratri we celebrate Goddess Katyayani who is also known as an avatar of Maa Durga. She represents true courage.
The seventh day of Navratri is when we worship Goddess Kalratri. She is known for her dark complexion and her fearless posture. In fact she is considered as one of the most fears forms of Maa Durga. The goddess re-presents peace and prayer.
Goddess Maha Gauri is worshipped on the eight day of Navratri. This avatar of Maa Durga is known for her intelligence & calm.
The last day that is the ninth day of Navratri is when Indians worship goddess Siddhidatri. She is known for her supernatural healing powers and re-presents a happy state of mind.
This sacred and joyous festival of India has a very strong spiritual message for its observers. It teaches us to celebrate good over evil and to protect mankind from all negativities in our life. Navratri is about purifying the mind and cultivating positive values and abiding by them.
During Navratri the dance of joy or Rasa is also in acted. This dance is a symbol of happiness and joy and is known to help in calming our mind and bringing peace to our inner self.
This festival generally concludes with the celebration of Dussehra and as per a popular believe Dussehra is celebrated in order to press the victory of Maa Durga.
This is one festival in India that is celebrated across the country in different states. While the way of celebration may vary depending upon the cultures or traditions of a particular state, the main objective is to help improve ourselves and calm ourselves.
These nine avatars of Maa Durga are worshipped as it is believed that they help in lifting divine spirit and help us overcomes our obstacles and problems. They also help us from being liberated from unwanted qualities and fill our lives with freedom and purity.
All these nine avatars of Maa Durga are mentioned in Devi Kavacha. This is a Hindu religious text that describes the importance of celebrating Navratri.
We hope we helped you understand this beautiful, pure & sacred festival in much depth.