Navratra are celebrated in honour of Hindu goddess Maa Shakti Or Maa Durga.Etymologically it means Nine nights and the term holds its significance from the fact that the festival is celebrated for nine nights.
According to Hindu mythology, Brahma the creator gave a Boon(var) to a Demon Mahisasur(the buffalo rider) who then wrecked havoc on earth.Gradually he started attacking devtas .Finally he decided to kill King of devas Indra.At that time on Indra and other devas Plea The trinity (LORD Vishnu,Mahesh,,Brahma) released a part of their energy to combine and bring down a magnificient goddess to earth named Shakti or Durga. She had a fight with mahisasur for nine nights/days during which the demon changed his forms.On Ninth day she grabbed the demon under her foot and the brutal was killed. On the nine days of Navratra nine forms of Shakti are worshipped.
Maa Kaa Ratri
Maa har gauri
Celebration of Nine Days of Navratri : Navratri lasts for nine whole days. However, each day has a special significance and is celebrated separately. Along with the nine forms of Durga, obeisance is paid to the Trinity of goddesses as well.
1st to 3rd day of Navratri
The first three days are dedicated solely to the worship of the goddess Durga. During this period, her energy and power are worshipped. Each day is dedicated to a different manifestation of Durga. On the first day, Kumari is worshipped, which signifies the girl child. The second day is dedicated to Parvati, who is the embodiment of a young woman. On the third day, Kali is worshipped. This form represents the woman who has reached maturity. On the first day of Navratri, barley seeds are planted in a small bed of mud. This mud bed is kept in the pooja room. By the tenth day, each seed has sprouted into a shoot which is between three and five inches long. After the pooja performed on the tenth day, the shoots are plucked and given to the attendees. They are said to be a blessing from God.
4th to 6th day of Navratri
These three days are devoted to the worship of Lakshmi, the goddess of prosperity and peace. Although these days are dedicated to Lakshmi, the goddess Saraswati is invoked on the fifth day. This day is referred to as Lalita Panchami. On this day, all the books and other literature are gathered in one place. Then, a ‘diya’ or lamp is lit in front of them to call upon the goddess Saraswati.
7th to 8th day of Navratri
The seventh day is dedicated to worshipping Saraswati, the goddess of art and knowledge. Prayers are offered to her, seeking spiritual knowledge. The knowledge of the spiritual world is said to free us from our earthly bonds. This, in turn, will bring us closer to God. On the eight day, a ‘yagna’ is performed. This comprises of a sacrifice, which is offered to the sacred fire. The sacrifice honours the goddess Durga as well as bids her farewell. The sacrifice or offering is made out of clarified butter (ghee), rice pudding (kheer), and sesame seeds.
9th day of Navratri
The ninth day is the culmination of the entire Navratri celebrations. This day is referred to as ‘Mahanavami’. On this day, a Kanya pooja is performed. Nine young girls, who have not yet attained puberty, are worshipped during this pooja. Each one of them symbolises one of the nine forms of goddess Durga. Each girl’s feet are washed as a mark of respect for the goddess. At the end of the pooja, each girl is given a set of new clothes as a gift from the devotees.
Why Twice a Year?
Every year the beginning of summer and the beginning of winter are two very important junctures of climatic change and solar influence. These two junctions have been chosen as the sacred opportunities for the worship of the divine power because:
- We believe that it is the divine power that provides energy for the earth to move around the sun, causing the changes in the outer nature and that this divine power must be thanked for maintaining the correct balance of the universe.
- Due to the changes in the nature, the bodies and minds of people undergo a considerable change, and hence, we worship the divine power to bestow upon all of us enough potent powers to maintain our physical and mental balance.
Why Nine Nights & Days?
Navaratri is divided into sets of three days to adore different aspects of the supreme goddess. On the first three days, the Mother is invoked as powerful force called Durga in order to destroy all our impurities, vices and defects. The next three days, the Mother is adored as a giver of spiritual wealth, Lakshmi, who is considered to have the power of bestowing on her devotees the inexhaustible wealth. The final set of three days is spent in worshipping the mother as the goddess of wisdom, Saraswati. In order have all-round success in life, we need the blessings of all three aspects of the divine mother; hence, the worship for nine nights.
Why Do You Need the Power?
Thus, I suggest you join your parents in worshipping “Ma Durga” during the Navaratri. She will bestow on you wealth, auspiciousness, prosperity, knowledge, and other potent powers to cross every hurdle of life. Remember, everyone in this world worships power, i.e., Durga, because there is no one who does not love and long for power in some form or the other.