What is Navaratri:
Navaratri is the festival which is commemorated for 9 days in the autumn season every year. This festival can be celebrated in many ways across India. Intellectually there are four periodic navratri festivals. The post-monsoon autumn festival is repeated which is called Sharada Navaratri. This festival is mostly seen in respect and honour of the heavenly feminine goddess Devi (Durga). This is the festival celebrated in the bright half of the hindu calendar in the month ashwin, which typically falls in the gregorian months of September and october.
In the eastern and northeastern states of India, durga pooja will be conducted in navratri season where goddess Durga conflicts and emerges and wins victory over a buffalo demon which helps to restore Dharma. In the northern and western states this festival is also known as Ram Leela and Dussehra is celebrated for the battle and victory of Lord Rama over the demon Ravana. In the southern states the victory of different goddesses of Rama or Saraswathi are also celebrated. In all the cases, the common theme is the battle and victory of good over evil based on a regionally famous epic or legend such as the Ramayana or the Devi mahatmya.
In some regions Dussehra is collected into Navratri, and the entire 10-day celebration is known by that name. Whether throughout the festival or as the 10th day, Dussehra is a time to celebrate the triumphs of good over evil, such as Durga’s victory over Mahishasura. In some parts of India, Dussehra is associated with the victory of the god Rama over the demon-king Ravana.
In North India the Ram Lila is the highlight of the festival. On successive nights different episodes of the epic poem the Ramayana are dramatized by young actors elaborately costumed and masked; the pageant is always climaxed by the burning of huge effigies of the demons. Athletic tournaments and hunting expeditions are often organized. Some celebrate by erecting bonfires and burning effigies of Ravana, sometimes by stuffing them with fireworks. In many regions Dussehra is considered an auspicious time to begin educational or artistic pursuits, especially for children.
Festivity comprises worshipping nine goddesses in nine days, stage decorations, recital of the legend, enacting of the story, and chanting of the scriptures of Hinduism. The nine days are also a major crop season cultural event, such as competitive design and staging of Pandals, a family visit to these pandals and the public celebration of classical and folk dances of Hindu culture. Hindu devotees celebrate Navratri by fasting. But, fasting is not the correct way to please Maa Durga during Navratri or Shraddha Navratri.
Holy Bhagavad Geetha has also denied fasting. It is clearly mentioned in Holy Bhagavad Gita Adhyay 6 shloka 16 that this Yog Sadhna is not successful for those who sleep too much or don’t sleep, nor for those who eat too much or don’t eat,i.e., fasting. That’s the reason we did not get the true fruits of Worship. On the final day, called the Viajayadasami, the statues are either immersed in a water body such as river and ocean, or alternatively the statue symbolising evil is burnt with fireworks marking evil’s destruction. The festival also starts the preparation for one of the most important and widely celebrated holidays, Diwali, the festival of lights, which is celebrated twenty days after the Vijayadashami.
The pre-eminent story included with Navratri is the conflict that took place between goddess Durga and the demon Mahishasura, who represents egotism. All the nine days of the festival are dedicated to each distinct avatar of the goddess; and each of these days has a significant colour attached to it, which devotees are expected to wear while taking part in the festivities.The nine avatars of Durga and the colours of each avatar:
Navratri 9 Devi Names
Day 1: SHAILPUTRI:
She is the embodiment of the collective power of Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh. It is in this form that the goddess was worshipped as the consort of Shiva. The colour of the first day is red–it depicts action and vigour.
Day 2: BRAHMACHARINI:
The one who practices devout austerity. She is blissful and endows happiness, peace, prosperity and grace upon all devotees who worship her. Filled with bliss and happiness, she is the way to emancipation or moksha. The colour of the second day is royal blue, since it’s synonymous with a calm-yet-powerful energy.
Day 3: CHANDRAGHANTA:
She represents beauty and grace and is worshipped on the third day for peace, tranquillity and prosperity in life. She is the apostle of bravery and possesses great strength. The colour of the day is yellow.
Day 4: KUSHMUNDA:
She is considered the creator of the universe. It is believed that Kushmunda created the universe through a bout of laughter and made it verdant with vegetation. Hence, the colour of the day is green.
Day 5: SKAND MATA:
She is the mother of Skanda, or Karthikeya, who was chosen by the gods as their commander-in-chief in the war against the demons. She is accompanied by Skanda in his infant form. The colour of the day is grey, as it indicates the vulnerability of a mother who can turn into a storm cloud when the need arises to protect her child.
Durga. Dressed in orange, she exhibits immense courage. Hence, the colour of the day is orange.
Day 7: KALRATRI:
She has a dark complexion, dishevelled hair and a fearless posture. She has three eyes that shine bright, with flames emanating from her breath. She is black like the goddess Kali. She is the most fierce form of goddess Durga, and she is dressed in white, a colour that represents peace and prayer. Thus, the colour of the day is white.
Day 8: MAHA GAURI:
Maha Gauri is intelligent, peaceful and calm. It is said that due to her long austerities in the deep forests of the Himalayas, her colour transformed from white to back. However, later, when Shiva cleaned her with the waters of the Ganga, her body regained its beauty and she came to be known as Maha Gauri, which means extremely white. The colour of the day is pink, denoting hope and a fresh start.
Day 9: SIDDHIDATRI:
She has supernatural healing powers. She has four arms and is always in a happy state of mind. She blesses all gods, saints, yogis, tantriks and all devotees as a manifestation of the mother goddess. The goddess is shown to be in a blissful state, just like the sky on a clear day. Thus, the colour of the day is sky blue, representing wonderment about the beauty of nature.
Navaratri Ammavari Names Special:-
- Sri Swarna Kavachalankrutha Devi
- Sri Bala Tripura Sundari Devi
- Sri Annapoorna Devi
- Sri Gayatri Devi
- Sri Lalitha Tripura Sundari Devi
- Sri Mahalakshmi Devi
- Sri Saraswati Devi
- Sri Durga Devi
- Sri Mahishasura Mardhani Devi
- Sri Rajarajeswari Devi