Significance of Navratri : Chaitra Navratri 2018 from 18 March – 25 March 2018
All festival has an significance and reason or importance behind their celebration. Fun, entertainment and closeness are the value of the festivals, which helps us to be together for celebration.
Navratri, as the name nine nights of dedication and worship, is one of the main Hindu or Indian festivals. It is dedicated to the worship of Goddess Durga, Maa Shakti who is also the divinity of Power. Like all other festive celebration of India, Navratri also has a main significance and deep meaning attached to it. Each day of the nine-day festival are dedicated to the worship of different forms of Goddess Durga or Maa Shakti, which helps us to understand the importance of the occasion.
During the preparation of Navratri pooja, a clay pot is installed in a holy part or mandir of one’s home. A non-stop lamp is placed near the pot and it is kept lit for all nine days (Akand Jyot). The lighting pot signifies the universe. The constant lit lamp is the medium through which we worship to the primitive energy, Ādi-shakti, i.e. Shrī Durgā Dēvī. During Navaratri, the principle of Shrī Durgā Dēvī is more dynamic in the atmosphere.
The First Three Days of Navratri
The first three days of Navratri are dedicated to the worship of the Goddess Durga. This is the period, when her energy and power are worshipped. Each day is dedicated to a different appearance of Durga.
Kumari, which signifies the girl child, is worshipped on the first day of the festival. Parvati, who is the description of a young woman, is worshipped on the second day. The destructive aspects of Goddess Durga symbolize the commitment to acquire triumph over all the evil tendencies. Hence, on the third day of Navratri, Goddess Kali is worshipped, who represents the woman who has reached the stage of maturity. Mahâkâlî having a tâmasik (Tama predominant) temperament is undertaken on the first three days to reduce the Tama component in oneself.
Fourth to Sixth Days of Navratri
In the next three days to enhance the Sattva component in oneself, Mahâlakshmî having a Raja temperament.
When a person acquires victory over evil tendencies of ego, anger, lust and other animal instincts, he/she experiences emptiness. This void is filled with spiritual wealth. For the purpose, the person approaches Goddess Lakshmi, to acquire all the materialistic, spiritual wealth and prosperity. This is the reason why the fourth, fifth and sixth day of Navratri are dedicated to the worship of Lakshmi – the goddess of prosperity and peace.
Although the individual has acquired victory over evil tendencies and wealth, he is still deprived of true knowledge. Knowledge is required to live the life of a humane, even though he/she is prospered with power and wealth. Therefore, Goddess Saraswati is worshipped on the fifth day of Navratri. All the books and other literature materials are gathered in one place and a ‘diya’ is lit in front of the deity, to invoke the goddess and seek her blessings.
Seventh and Eighth Day of Navratri
On the last three days to intensify spiritual practice Mahâsarasvatî having a sâttvik temperament are worshipped.
The seventh day is dedicated to worshipping Saraswati, the goddess of art and knowledge. Prayers are offered with an aim to seek spiritual knowledge. A ‘yagna’ is performed on the eight day. This comprises of a sacrifice honoring goddess Durga as well as bids her farewell. The sacrifice or offering is made out of ghee, rice pudding known as kheer and sesame seeds.
Ninth Day of Navratri
The ninth day is the final day of Navratri celebrations. It is also known as ‘Ram Navami’. On the day, Kanya puja is performed to worship nine young girls. These nine girls symbolize one of the nine forms of goddess Durga. The feet of girls are washed to welcome the goddess and show respect to her. The girls are offered a set of new clothes as a gift from the devotees at the end of the puja..
For more you can watch this video on Navratri: