NAVRATRI – A NINE DAYS’ SPIRITUAL WONDER

NAVRATRI – A NINE DAYS’ SPIRITUAL WONDER

Nav means lasting for days nine

Ratri stands for night

Navratri is the festival so very well-known

Wherein the devotees so much devoted

Of all hues celebrate this event, so very sacred

Held twice in a calendar year

First, it is in the March – April, as Chaitra Navratri

As is being celebrated from 6th April 1920 onwards

Thence October – November as the Shradha Navratri

This festival has Durga Maa connect

The embodiment of power ‘Shakti’  

Who exterminates  the demons so ferocious

Demons that slay the hapless (Sadhus) hermits

Even while performing their sacred Yajunas

They defiled the sacredness of Yajna fires

By throwing besmirching agents

Like meat and filth of all kinds.

Goddess Durga in her red attires

Mounted on the lion so vicious

With all the weapons of destruction

In her possession

Which could do countless damage to the challenger

Legends abound about Navratri

Demon king Maheshasura worshiped Lord Shiva

The penance was so very severest

That Lord Shiv Shanvu who could be pleased

With the  sincerest Bhakti of the Bhakta

With simplest items like vel patra etc

Was constrained to grant him a boon of invincibility

That nobody, not even the Gods could exterminate him

Thence thereafter he starts killing innocents without fear of anyone

Then this demon with his prowess so huge

Conquered the Seven Lokas

Including the renowned throne of Indra

The king of Heaven (Svarga) & Gods (Devas)

Termed as the Good of Heavens

Responsible for war, storms and rains.

Then there was confabulation between the Trinity

Along with others Gods too in the company

To defeat and kill this demon turned killer and usurper

Created Maa Shakti

The Mother with a boundless energy

The Durga, the Warrior Goddess  

Bestowing her with boundless power

The war between Maheshasur and Mother Divine

Which lasted for Nine Days

On day 9th  she killed this evil demon.

Navratri symbolizes the victory of good over wickedness

On day ninth which is termed as Mahanavami

Nine young girls are worshipped

Personifying and signifying Nine Forms of Durga Goddess

These venerated young girls’ feet are ritually washed

With fresh water and given clothes and food

Navratri too is linked with fertility of land

On these days, the fold observe the fitness of the earth

By testing seed germination in the earthen pots

Devotees observe the fast for nine with rigidity

Keeping oneself chaste in thoughts and actions

During these days considered most holy

Which keep their mind and body full of purity.

There is another legend attached

King Daksha – the kind of Himalayan Kingdom

Was blessed with a daughter named Uma

A most beautiful one

With all the traits of a princess she possessed

She worshiped Lord Shiva most reverently

So that He may accept her in marriage so willingly

Having pleased Lord Shiva

She married Uma

But against the wishes of King Dhaksha.

One day King Dhaksha held a grant Yagna

With no invitation to Lord Shiva

Uma wanted to join the Yagna

And all accompanying celebrations

While Lord Shiva had his own reservations

She came to attend the Yagna

Being attended by Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu

The Lords of Creation and Evolution

Besides all the deities were in the list of invitation

King Dhaksha did not like her daughter’s presence

She felt slighted at the treatment

Meted out to her in presence of all deities

In utter anger so severest

 She jumps into Agni Kund (Fire grate) and thus got perished

A plausible reason why we call her Sati also

Lord Mahadeva (As Virbadhara) punished

King Dhaksha for this injustice meted out.

ON REBIRTH (As Parvati) she marries Lord Shiva again

She comes to her parents’ house to stay for NINE DAYS

That is why we celebrate these Nine Days as Navratri.

Legend also it that Lord Rama

Worshiped Goddess Durega’s Nine Forms

For Nine Days with deep reverence

On day 10th Lord Rama could kill demon king Ravana

This way, 10th day is celebrated as Vijaydashami.

First three days are dedicated to Goddess Durga

In the form of child, young girl and mature woman

Representing three forms of womanhood

Symbolizing victory of evil over falsehood

Next three are dedicated to Goddess of Wealth and Prosperity

Her name is Goddess Lakshimi

Last three days are commemorated in the name of Goddess Saraswati

The Goddess of knowledge and wisdom which we acquire thru Bhakti

She is in dress, white snowy

Mounted on a white swan

The Navratri is a sign of purity in all its manifestation

Let these Nine Days be observed with great admiration

For gaining blessings from Goddess Durga

Let this Nine Days wonder

Be for us the game-changer

And engenders peace and prosperity

And enough Wellness for all and sundry

This is the most sincerest prayer to Thee

My Mother Divine.

MEANING OF NAVRATRI

The word NAVRATRI is composed of two syllabuses; NAVwhich means NINE and RATRI mean NIGHTS. Meditation/prayers and fasting are observed by devout during these nine days. A lighter refreshment of milk made products besides fruits, if taken at all, to keep light and pure in body and mind thus helping an individual to keep the body and mind pure. This also provides the devotees’ freedom from adulteration and contamination both in body and mind besides purifying still more the eternal soul along with keeping it taint-free.

Navratri is one of the most sacred festivals that the devout celebrate. It is not merely celebrated by observing some particular rituals but the devotees live a spiritually oriented life in all manifestations. The purpose is to follow the way of life which puts more stress on the subjective experience of sacred dimension. We undertake those karmic deeds during Navratri which transform some of the debit-karmic-deeds to credit-karmic-deeds which helps in personal growth and development individually and also collectively who celebrate it with religious fervor and enthusiasm. Moral and ethical values when followed sincerely could be imbibed as permanent habits to be followed in future too thus Navratri could prove to be a life-changer.

A lighter refreshment consisting of milk made product, fruits, and nuts, keeps the body light and the digestive system gets improved thus there is a spread of fragrance of Satoguna and alleviation of Tamoguna and Rajoguna traits. Freedom from contaminated thoughts purifies our mind. Thus observance of fast or vrat (also means resolve) continuously for nine days brings about the stability of our mind and helps in enhancement of our concentration. Besides these, we exercise maximum restraints in our thoughts and deeds and behave in a dignified manner by remaining within confines of decency. All these facilitate generation of the feeling of love and affection for others, enhances peace and tranquility, a feeling of compassion for others and above all a Godly feeling.

OBSERVANCE OF FASTS

The devotees observe strict fasts during the duration of Narratri. All these traits enhance the credibility of an individual devotee who observes the fasts and also offers sincere prayers during these  days with utmost devotion. The fasts help us to purify our mind, provides lightness to our body provides us an opportunity to devotees for prayers to Goddess Durga Maa – an embodiment of SHAKTI or reservoir of energy.

MENTION OF GODDESS DURGA

Mention of Goddess Durga has been found in Vedas and Puranas. Durg was a ferocious demon and Durga, the invincible warrior who killed Durg with her immense prowess. She is the warrior Goddess since she fought evil and forces which spread death and destruction. She works for demolishing demonic forces who want to establish their writ and establish the reign of terror and mayhem amongst the society besides spreading prosperity and goodwill in general masses. She defeats mythical buffalo demon – Meheshasura who had obtained a boon of invincibility from Lord Maheshwara. She is Goddess Parvati, also termed as Durga Saptashati – the consort of Lord Shiva. With her prowess, she proved herself to be unbeatable with limitless mystical powers.

Besides observing fasts, devotees organize congregations in the form of fairs and also enact programs and cultural functions in the form of group dances and devotional songs in praise of Goddess Durga and beseech her blessings and she being such a benevolent Mother comes to their succor.

NINE DAYS WONDER – THE NAVRATRI

First Day. On the first day, Mata Durga is termed as Shailputri – the daughter of Himalaya and the consort of Lord Shiva.

Second Day. Mata Durga on the second day is called as Brahmacharini which represents worship. She is the embodiment of huge reserve of power – Shakti.

Third Day. On the third day, the Goddess is venerated as Chandraghanta. She is the embodiment of power and beauty.

Fourth Day. On the fourth day, Maan Durga is worshipped in the form of Kushmanda – the creator of the whole universe by the power of her laughter.

Fifth Day. Here on this day, Skandha – the main warrior of Gods’ army.

Sixth Day. On the sixth day, Mataji takes the form of Katyayani with three eyes and four hands – all powerful and with immense grace.

Seventh Day. On this day, Maan Durga takes the form of Kalratri – she is shown as black as dark night with four hands and makes the evil doers fearless.

Eighth Day. On the eighth day, the Mata Durga takes the form of Maha Gauri – with beauty besides having calmness and exhibits immense wisdom.

Ninth Day. On a ninth day, Maan Durga is worshipped as Siddidatri – with all the eight siddhis. In this form, she is worshiped by all.

LESSONS FROM NAVRATRI

Different festivals provide the devotees different lessons while the underlying message of all these festivals is to enlighten us humans to follow a path which helps us to have connectivity with Higher Self/Higher Intelligence, by following a spiritual oriented path through meditation, contemplation and prayers. The main purpose of celebration and observance of certain modes of behavior in such festivals is to keep ourselves chaste with our mind focused on God. The purpose is to focus on the special prayers and chants is to seek connectivity with God and dispel the thought of anxiety or disillusionment that pervades in our system. As there is purity of thoughts and actions during these festivals, there is every possibility for transformation and help in unfolding of spiritual life naturally.  

PURPOSE OF NAVRATRI CELEBRATION

The main purpose of celebrating the religious festivals is to seek balance in our life at the altar of God while observing all immutable laws of nature and aspire for transformation and enlightenment – journeying from one festival to another one helps the devotees to learn social etiquettes, social adaptability and finally God’s connectivity.

Different states celebrate Navratri differently but the spirit of all the celebrations is similar in nature. For example, famous ‘garva dance’ is organized in the state of Gujarat and devotional songs and dance competitions are organized in West Bengal besides prayers in the specially erected and decorated pandals is a usual phone. People visit the famous temples of Vaishno Devi in Katra (in Jammu province) besides all the temples of Goddess Durga in its different forms/manifestations attract devotees in these nine days.

The main driving force of the Navratri is to purify our thoughts and deeds thereof. In these nine days devout observe strict fasts; remain chaste and desist from telling lies. Wish that people always behave like this all the days!

The first three days are celebrated on the name of Durga Mata – Goddess with immense power. For next three days she is worshipped as spiritual wealth – Mata Lakshmi.

Subsequently, for next three days, she is Goddess of wisdom – the Goddess Saraswati. It bestows spiritual enlightenment besides showering an individual with all-around success.

It is useful for our benefit to know the importance of each day.

Benefits of Navratri

JAI MATA JI DI
  • Strict observance of fasts keep our digestive system in order and helps maintain our body healthy.
  • Fasts help in purifying our mind because we pray Goddess continuously for nine days/nights. It also enhances our focus on the subject we contemplate for completion.
  • Purification of body and mind means spiritually directed conscious mind thus a shift from negativity to positivity
  • Congregations in melas and group processions help the people to people contacts thus animosity, if any, gets obliterated and a feeling of fellow feeling and cooperation sprouts. Contact with each other enhances our outreach in the society.
  • Group dances and spiritual song competitions enhance competitive spirits in the youth and also help them direct their latent energies to productive use.
  • Devotees, in their zeal to show earnest desire to have total connectivity with Goddess Durgaji, offer singular devotion to Her during these auspicious days, reap the harvest of getting their problems solved and get ETERNAL PEACE  in their lives as a reward of this worship.

My earnest prayer to Durga Maa, the Mother Divine, a powerhouse of immense power (Shakti), to grant all the humankind peace and prosperity, thereby,  a feeling of cooperation and brotherhood.

Published by

Harbans

https://emulateme.wordpress.com/about/

13 thoughts on “NAVRATRI – A NINE DAYS’ SPIRITUAL WONDER”

  1. Tomorrow is the start of NAVRATRI (A NINE DAYS’ WONDER) and we would be observing fasts. These Navratri days are considered as sacred ones. On these days, DURGA – the embodiment of SHAKTI is worshiped and the BHAKTAS of all hues get the graces of Goddess DURGA,

    May these NINE DAYS’ WONDER help us grace us PEACE & PROSPERITY.

    WITH WARM REGARDS

    HARBANS

    1. PANKAJI; Thanks

      I have been immensely blessed by my MOTHER DIVINE sir.

      Her grace flows when I work at even 68+.

      WITH REGARDS

      HARBANS

  2. What a beautiful and informative write up. Loved it. Durga Mata ki Jai! Feel blessed to read it now – as we wait for tomorrow to start celebrations. Jai Maa! 🙂

  3. Navratri ki Shubhkaamnayein!
    May Goddess Durga bless you always 🙂
    An amazing write up on Navrati, thanks for sharing. I really loved the way you explained the legend and importance behind every day.

    1. NAVRATRI KI SHUBH KAMANAYEIN TO YOU AS WELL.

      Shruti ji thanks a lot for appraising the write-up and offering your invaluable comments.

      JAI MATA JI KI

    1. Derrick sir, your comments are always a whiff of sweet air for me. Wish you best of health and wellness. Warm regards.

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