According to traditions, all her 9 forms have emerged out of the three major forms of the Goddess – Mahakali, Mahasaraswati and Mahalakshmi.
Navratri 2013 has begun and today is Day 5 of the nine-day festival. Pilgrims have begun thronging the Maa Vaishno Devi shrine in Jammu and Kashmir during these nine days to offer their prayers to Mata Vaishno Devi. The Bhawan of Mata Vaishno Devi is decorated with fruits and flowers during these nine days and devotees who visit the holy shrine also participate in huge numbers in the morning and evening Mata ki Aarti there. The path from Katra to the Bhawan is full of chants of ‘Jai Mata Di’ and bhajans by Narendra Chanchal, late Gulshan Kumar and Anuradha Paudwal are heard playing at shops on the way to the Bhawan.
Several devotees visit the shrine of Vaishno Devi specifically on Ashtami and Navami. They perform Kanya pujan at the Bhawan with the halwa, puri, and chane as prasad. They also distribute gifts to the kanjaks, who are worshipped as the nine forms of Goddess Durga. Those who are not able to visit the Vaishno Devi temple this Navratri can watch the morning and evening aarti online on youtube.
What is Navratri?
The 9 days of Navratri are about worshipping the 9 forms of Durga Maa known as Navdurga on each day.
Each of her manifestations:
9. Siddhidhatri is worshipped on each of the nine nights of Navaratri.
According to traditions, all her 9 forms have emerged out of the three major forms of the Goddess – Mahakali, Mahasaraswati and Mahalakshmi. Each represents the energies of the holy triumvirate of Brahma, Rudra, and Vishnu. Maa Durga is known by 108 names and some among them are Adi Parashakti, Devi, Parvati, Bhavani, Amba, and Yogmaya.
While several people observe seven or eight days of fast. In Gujarat, people celebrate by gathering in large numbers and performing their traditional dance of Dandiya and Garba. Many devotees also organize Jaagran or Jagrata or Mata ki chauki during Navratri as it is considered auspicious.
The Kanya pujan is performed by devotees of Maa Durga either on the eighth Navratra known as Ashtami or ninth Navratra known as Navami.
There are also different colors associated with the nine days of the Navratri festival. Devotees wear a different color based on its significance on each day of Navratri.