Navratri is one of our favorite festivals of all time. We all are very fond of these nine days of the year as kids. Do you ever wonder what the term “Navratri” means?
Navratri is derived from two terms, “Nav” and “Ratri”, which means nine nights. It is believed that these nights are magical, and a person feels relaxed, unbothered and creative.
Prayer, meditation, fasting and other spiritual activities are performed during these nine days to attain a deep feeling of relaxation. In this blog, we will discuss further details about Navratri and its significance. Let’s keep reading!
Important Features of Navratri
Day one of the festival, Mahalaya, begins with remembering Goddess Durga. People believe that Goddess Durga battled with demonic Mahishasura and later defeated him. To celebrate her victory over the Mahishasura’s defeat, we worship and honor the Goddess Durga on this day.
On the sixth day, people welcome the goddess into their homes and pandals. It marks the end of Pitri-Paksha, or we can say shradh. The celebrations continue for the next couple of days, on the 10th. During these days, people get together, feast on bhog and offer food to the needy hop across pandals – to celebrate and honor the good in everybody.
In North India, the nine-day festival celebrates the victory of Lord Ram over the king of Lanka. Ramlila is the mythological tale of Lord Rama according to the ancient Hindu epic Ramayana. People enact it on stage in various places across the country for nine days.
On the final day, Ram “killed” Ravana. To celebrate it, we burn the dummy of Ravana and his brothers Meghnad and Kumbhakaran. On the tenth day, the idol of goddess Durga is drenched in water and the dummy of Ravana is burnt.
Nine Days of Navratri
To understand the importance of Navratri, we will discuss the significance of each day.
- First Day: Shailaputri
On day one of Navratri, we worship Devi Shaila Putri. Shaila means extraordinary or rising towards height. On the first, we worship Devi Shailputri to attain a high peak of consciousness.
- Second Day: Brahamcharini
Brahmacharini is the second day of Navratri. This day is sacred to meditate and seen as an opportunity to explore our inner divinity. Brahmacharini is derived from two words, Brahma means divine consciousness, and achar implies behavior. Brahmacharya is the behavior of divine consciousness.
- Third Day: Chandraghanta
On the third day, Devi chandraghanta is the presiding Devi. “Ghanta” is a bell which always produces one kind of sound. It signifies that our mind is established at one point, called the Divine, our subtle life force energy gets consolidated, leading towards peace and harmony.
It signifies withdrawing from all vagaries of the mind, with a single focus on Mother Divine. Chandra means moon, and the moon represents our mind. It is a belief that our mind is restless and keeps moving from one thought to another.
- Fourth Day: Kushmanda
On the fourth day, we worship Devi kushmanda. Kushmanda means a kaddu or a pumpkin. Ku means tiny or small, ushma means energy, and anda refers to an egg. This entire cosmos arose from the cosmic egg. It(Hiranyagarbha) is a manifestation from the infinitesimal point of the Devi.
A pumpkin represents prana, as it has incomparable absorbing and radiating prana. It is one of the most vital life force vegetables. On the fourth day, we worship Devi Kushmanda, who showers and blesses us with divine energy.
- Fifth Day: Skandamata
Skandamata means Mother of Skanda. She represents motherly affection (vatsalya) and fondness. Worshiping this form of Devi brings abundant wisdom, power, wealth, prosperity and liberation.
- Sixth Day: Katyayani
On the sixth day, Devi manifests as Katyayani. It is a form that Mother Divine assumed to annihilate the demonic forces in the universe. She was born from the anger of the gods. She is the one who slays Mahishasura.
As per our scriptures, anger that supports dharma (righteousness) is acceptable. Devi Katyayani represents the divine principle and form of the Mother Divine behind natural calamities and disasters. She is the anger that arises in creation to restore balance. we invoke Devi Katyayani on the sixth day to end all our inner foes that are an obstacle to spiritual evolution.
- Seventh Day: Kalaratri
On the seventh day, we invoke Devi Kalaratri. Mother Nature has two extremes. One is devastating and terrifying. The other is serene and beautiful. Kalaratri is a fierce form of Devi; she represents the pitch night.
The night reflects an aspect of Mother Divine. It is the night that brings solace, rest and comfort to our souls. It is the only at night that we get a glimpse of infinity in the skies at night. Devi Kalaratri is that unlimited dark energy that houses manifold universes.
- Eighth Day: Mahagauri
Mahagauri represents the serene and beautiful aspect of Mother Nature. She is that energy that pushes our lives forward and liberates and discharges us. Devi Mahagauri is beautiful and gives momentum and freedom in the life of its devotee. People worship Devi Mahagauri on the eighth day of Navratri.
- Ninth Day: Siddhidarti
On the ninth day, we worship Devi Siddhidatri. Siddhi means perfection or complete understanding. Devi Siddhidatri brings perfection to the life of its devotee. She makes the impossible thing possible. She takes us beyond the ever-reasoning and logical mind to explore the realm beyond time and space.
Why Is Navratri Celebrated?
As we all know, there is always a reason behind some action. There is a reason behind this festival too. Navratri is a festival which signifies the triumph of good over evil. We must never forget that no matter how intense the evil is. The good will always win, and we must always stand with the good.
We celebrate Navratri in different patterns throughout the country. Knowing the facts and reason behind the celebration is vital for your kid. In the end, we all know that in the fight between evil and good. Good wins and evil loses the battle. It doesn’t matter, if it’s between Ram and Ravan or between Devi and the Mahishasura.