Navratri: Worshiping the nine different forms of Goddess Durga is considered to be very auspicious in Hindu mythology.
Navratri 2019: A festival devoted to worship of Maa Durga and cherish the victory of good over evil is set to begin this Sunday. Navratri is full of excitement, joy and colour for people around the country. This year Navratri is being celebrated between September 29 to October 7. It is a time when family and friends come together and celebrate this auspicious festival. In the 9 day-long festival, every day according to the Hindu calendar is dedicated to the 9 different forms or avatars of Goddess Durga. Worshipping the nine different forms of Goddess Durga is considered to be very auspicious in Hindu traditions. The festival has its own significance in different regions across the country.
The festival is celebrated to cherish the victory of Goddess Durga over the Mahishasura. As per the legends associated with Navratri, it is believed that during this period a fierce battle took place between Goddess Durga and Mahishasura. The buffalo-demon ‘Mahishasura’, had been granted immortality by Lord Brahma as a gift for his dedicated austerity. With the gift of immortality, he had been told that only a woman could defeat and kill him. Immersed in the pride of being immortal, the demon attacked Trilok (Heaven, Earth and Hell). The gods tried to stop him but were unable to defeat him, as he had the boon of immortality which had been granted to him by Lord Brahma.
According to some texts, the trinity intervened at that point. Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva together using divine powers collected the feminine energy in the universe and it took the form of Goddess Durga, who finally defeated and killed Mahishasura. Goddess Durga fought with the demon for as many as 15 days, during which the demon kept changing his form. In order to create confusion for Goddess Durga, Mahishasura would change shape and take various forms. Finally, as he turned into a buffalo, Goddess Durga pierced her Trishul through him and killed him. It is a Hindu belief that the Mahishasura was killed by Goddess Durga, bringing peace to the Trilok and hence everyone celebrated Navratris.
Each day of the 9-day long Navratri festival has its own significance. Navratri means nine nights in Sanskrit. The term ‘nava’ meaning ‘nine’ and ‘ratri’ meaning ‘night’. During these nine days of Navratri, a different form of Goddess Durga is worshipped each day.
Here are the 9 forms of Goddess Durga, worshipped during the Navratri:
- Day 1- Goddess Shailputri
- Day 2- Goddess Brahmacharini
- Day 3- Goddess Chandraghanta
- Day 4- Goddess Kushmanda
- Day 5- Goddess Skandamata
- Day 6- Goddess Katyayani
- Day 7- Goddess Kaalratri
- Day 8- Goddess Mahagauri
- Day 9- Goddess Siddhidatri
In many parts of the Northern and Western regions of India, Ram Leela is held with Navratri. The Ram Leela is a 10-day long ceremony, in which a retelling of the Ramayana is done. Ram Leela ends on Dussehra marking the victory of Lord Ram on demon king Ravana, and people set fire to the effigies of Ravana to signify the victory.