Navratri – Nine-Day Festival Of Goddess Durga In October 2018 –
Importance Of Navratri.
Navratri (September – October) is the nine-day Hindu festival dedicated to Mother Goddess Durga and her numerous forms in Hindu religion. Navratri 2018 dates are from October 10 to October 18, 2018, in India as per Hindu Calendar. The festival is of great importance as it is the most significant festival dedicated to Mother Goddess in Hinduism.
The nine-day festival of Navratri in Hinduism celebrates the victory of good over evil – Dharma overcomes Adharma with the blessing of Goddess Durga.
The nine-day festival begins on the first day of the bright half of Ashwin or Ashwayuja (September-October) as per traditional Hindu lunar calendar.
Navratri E_Puja – 2018
Day 1 – 10 October – Ghatasthapana – Shailputri Puja
Day 2 – 11 October – Brahmacharini Devi Puja
Day 3 – 12 October –Chitraganda Devi Puja
Day 4 – 13 October –Kushmanda Devi Puja
Day 5 – 14 October – Skanda Mata Puja
Day 6 – 15 October – Katyayani Devi Puja
Day 7 – 16 October – Kalaratri Devi Puja
Day 8 – 17 October – Mahashtami – Mahagauri Devi Puja
Day 9 – 18 October – Maha Navami – Siddhidatri Devi Puja
Significance of Navratri
Mother Goddess Shakti who appears in various forms to save and protect her children are worshipped on the nine days. There is no end to her forms. Whenever her children are in difficulty she takes a form to annihilate the evil and protect her children like a caring mother. She is the all providing mother who nourishes and feeds her children. Life on earth exists due to her blessing.
Symbolically the first three days of Navratri are an opportunity to overcome inertia (Tamas), the next three days are dedicated to overcoming passion (Rajas) and the next three days are for keeping the mind eternally focused on purity (Sattva).
The nine days are an opportunity to reboot. Make positive changes to life with blessings of Maa Durga.
Navratri – Importance and Spiritual Significance
Every Hindu festival has a spiritual message for the sadhaka. This nine-day festival celebrates the triumph of good over evil. In fact the theme of the entire Vedas is reflected in the Navaratri festival: first remove all negativities; then purify the mind and cultivate positive virtues; and finally gain spiritual knowledge and transcend all limitations.
Nava means nine and ratri means night. During these nine nights the Mother Goddess is worshipped in her variously manifested forms as Durga, Laxmi and Saraswati.
On the first three nights Durga is invoked for her strength and ferocity which are required to cut out from the mind its strong rooted, deep-seated negative tendencies.
Goddess Laxmi is (then) worshipped on the next three nights. She is invited to bring in her wealth of noble values to nourish and purify the cleansed mind.
Finally Goddess Saraswati is invoked on the last three nights to bestow the Higher Knowledge of the Self possible only after cleansing and purification have taken place.
With the dawn of spiritual wisdom the little ego is destroyed. This destruction is commemorated on the 10th night with the burning of an effigy. This 10th day is called Vijayadashmi (Vijaya-victory,dashmi-ten); or Vidhyarambha (Vidhya-wisdom, knowledge, rambha-joy) Victory Day or the Joy of Enlightenment respectively.
At Navaratri time the Rasa (dance of joy) of Shree Krishna and the Gopis is also performed. As the mind becomes purer, calmer quieter, a greater understanding of the nature of the Inner Self is revealed, giving rise to joy and happiness which is expressed in this dance of Realization.
Why is the Navaratri Festival celebrated at night? The spiritual message of night-time worship is that “you have lived long enough in the sleepy realm of tamas, it is time to get up now.
Navratri Traditional E-Puja
House should be cleaned properly.
The person performing puja should take bath early in the morning.
Sankalp or decision should be made to have a peaceful nine days.
No alcohol, smoking, paan, and sexual intercourse during the nine days.
The first puja is performed to Ganesha.
Next puja should be offered to Matrika, Lokpal, Navagraha, and Varuna.
Mother Goddess is offered the usual sixteen step puja (Shodashopachara Puja)
Puja should be offered to Mahalakshmi, Mahasaraswati, and Mahakali.
Chant a Mother Goddess Mantra daily.
You can find more about the puja and how to observed here – How to do Navratri Puja?
Begins with Ghatasthapana
Wheat or Jowar is sowed in a clay flat pot on the first day of Navratri. Water is sprinkled and it is covered with Mango leaves. The first shoots will appear on the third day. It then grows quickly symbolically representing fertility, hope, and progress. It is also a sign of good health and wealth.
Nine Goddess Worshipped
Navdurga or nine forms of Goddess Durga are worshipped on the nine days of Navratri. The nine forms are Shailputri, Brahmacharini, Chandraghanta, Kushmanda, Skandamata, Katyayani, Kalaratri, Mahagauri and Siddhidatri.
Scripture Read During Navratri
Durga Saptasati is the scripture read during the nine days of Navratri. There are 700 slokas and it was composed by Lord Brahma, Rishi Vasishta and Rish Vishwamitra. Saptasati indicates the 700 slokas.
On eight or ninth day of the festival, people perform Kanya Pujan. Young girls less than the age of nine is invited and given food and clothes.
You can chant any mantra dedicated to Mother Goddess. Here are three mantras chanting of which are considered highly helpful and meritorious.
- सर्वमङ्गलमाङ्गल्येशिवे सर्वार्थसाधिके ।
शरण्ये त्र्यम्बके गौरि नारायणि नमोऽस्तु ते ॥
- शङ्खचक्रगदाशङ्र्गगृहीत परमायुधे।
प्रसीद वैष्णवीरूपे नारायणि नमोऽस्तुते।।
- देवि प्रपन्नाॢतहरे प्रसीद प्रसीद मातर्जगतोऽखिलस्य।
प्रसीद विश्वेश्वरि पाहि विश्वं त्वमीश्वरी देवि चराचरस्य।।