Navratri holds special importance in Hinduism. Nine forms of Mother Durga are worshipped during the 9 days of Navratri and it is believed that Mother Durga fulfills all the wishes of her devotees. ‘Nav’ means ‘nine’, and ‘Ratri’ means ‘night’.
Therefore, Navratri is a festival of nine nights. Though Navratri falls four times a year, two of them are of special importance. These are the two Navratri dates: Chaitra Navratri falling in the month of Chaitra and the second in the month of Bhadrapada, the Shardiya Navratri starting from the Pratipada date of Shukla Paksha.
Sharadiya Navratri begins on the first day of Shukla paksha of Ashwin month while Chaitra Navratri is celebrated in the first month of the Hindu calendar. This year, Sharadiya Navratri will begin on October 7 till October 15.
Why is Shardiya Navratri Celebrated?
The legend related to Navratri talks about the extraordinary fight that occurred between the evil demon Mahishasura and Goddess Durga. Mahishasura was cursed by Lord Brahma under one condition that the incredible Mahishasura could be crushed simply by a lady. Furnished with the gift of everlasting status and certainty, Mahishasura assaulted the Trilok- – earth, paradise, and hellfire. Since just a lady could overcome him, even the Gods didn’t have a potential for success against him. The stressed Gods petitioned Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu, and Lord Shiva to assist them with overcoming their most exceedingly terrible adversary.
looking at the vulnerable Gods, Lord Vishu took the choice to make a lady to overcome Mahishasura since according to Lord Brahma’s shelter, none except a lady can overcome the evil presence. Lord Shiva, who is otherwise called the divine force of annihilation, is the most powerful God. In this way, everybody moved towards him for help. Then, at that point, Lord Shiva and Lord Brahma set up the entirety of their forces in the lady Lord Vishnu had made to crush Mahishasura. It is accepted that Goddess Durga is a resurrection of Goddess Parvati, who is the spouse of Lord Shiva. Shakti—one more symbol of Goddess Parvati—is the goddess of force that goes through the universe.
After the three incredible Gods—Brahma, Vishnu, and Mahesh (Shiva)— made Goddess Durga, she battled with Mahishasura for 15 long days. It was a battle that shook the Trilok—earth, paradise, and damnation. During the battle, the smart Mahishasura continued to change his forms for his rival Goddess Durga. At last, when the devil appeared as a bison, the Goddess Durga pierced his chest with her ‘Trishul’ (a forked weapon) killing him right away.
Nine Forms of Durga
- Day 1: SHAILPUTRI: She is the personification of the mutual power of Brahma, Vishnu, and Mahesh. It is in this form that the goddess was worshipped as the ensemble of Shiva. The color of this day is red–it highlights action and vigor.
- Day 2: BRAHMCHARINI: The one who adopts sincere sombreness. She is heavenly and bestows happiness, peace, prosperity, and grace upon all pilgrims who worship her. Filled with ecstasy and contentment, she is the key to deliverance or moksha. The color of this day is royal blue since it’s identical to peaceful yet mighty energy.
- Day 3: CHANDRAGHANTA: She depicts beauty and elegance and is adored on the third day for harmony, serenity, and prosperity in life. She is a believer in courage and owns great power. The color of this day is yellow.
- Day 4: KUSHMUNDA: She is called the creator of the world. It is said that Kushmunda crafted the world through a spell of happiness and made it fertile with vegetation. The color of this day is green.
- Day 5: SKAND MATA: The mother of Skanda, she was selected by the gods to participate in a fight against the devils. She is escorted by Skanda in his child form. The color of this day is grey, as it depicts the strength of a mother who becomes a storm cloud when it comes to protecting her child.
- Day 6: KATYAYANI: Katyayani was born to a sage, Kata, as an incarnation of Durga. Dressed in orange, she displays great courage. The color of this day is orange.
- Day 7: KALRATRI: She is dark-complexioned, has messy hair, and has a bold posture. She has three bright, shiny eyes with flames coming out of her breath. She looks like the goddess Kali- all black. She is the most ferocious form of goddess Durga, and she adorns the color white, a color that depicts peace and prayer. The color of this day is white.
- Day 8: MAHA GAURI: Maha Gauri is mindful, passive, and quiet. It is believed that because of her long involvement in the forests of the Himalayas, her color changed from white to black. And when Shiva washed her with the holy water of Ganga, her body reclaimed her original color and came to be known as Maha Gauri, meaning extremely white. The color of this day is pink, signifying hope and a new start.
- Day 9: SIDDHIDATRI: She has mystical curative powers, has four arms, and is always happy. She sanctifies all gods, saints, yogis, tantriks, and all pilgrims as an incarnation of the mother goddess. The goddess is picturized in a heavenly state, just like the sky on a clear day. The color of this day is sky blue, depicting amazement of the beauty of nature.
Things to do on Navratri
Satvik food should be eaten during Navratri. Garlic, onion, meat, and wine should not be consumed during this period.
If you have installed Kalash in the house, you have burnt the unbroken light, don’t leave the house empty.
Those who are fasting during Navratri should not cut beards, mustaches, hair, and nails for these nine days.
According to religious beliefs, Mother Durga comes to the earth during Navratri. You can recite Durga Chalisa or Durga Saptashati daily to please the mother during these nine days.
Mother Durga should not be worshipped wearing black clothes. You can wear red or yellow clothes.
You should not sleep during the day and follow celibacy.
Who Should Not Fast on Navratri?
Pregnant women should refrain from fasting for nine days of Navratri. Fasting during pregnancy can harm your health.
Even a person suffering from any disease should not fast. Such people are physically weak, and fasting can increase weakness in the body and increase the risk of getting sick.
Diabetics should not fast. If diabetics are fasting, make a diet chart. Diabetics should consume fruits containing less sugar and salt during Navratri.
Do not fast if a person is taking medicines or has undergone surgery. If you want to fast, be sure to consult your doctor first.
On Navratri, get up before sunrise and retire from the bath and wear clean clothes. Then clean the temple of the house. Lay a post to worship the mother, purify it first with Ganga Jal, and then spread a red cloth on it. Now put soil in a pot near the outpost and sow the tide. Install a picture of Mother Durga or an idol at the outpost. Then make a swastika first for the installation of the urn. Add water, Akshat, betel nut, Roli, and coins to the urn and then wrap a red Chunari on it. Then place a coconut on it. Later worship Mother Durga by lighting a ghee lamp.
Devotees fast with devotion and worship the mother throughout the 9 days of Navratri. Some people fast for the entire 9 days, while others fast only on the first and last days.
Shardiya Navratri 2021 dates
Vijayadashami (Dussehra) will be celebrated on October 15, which highlights the end of Navaratri. During Navaratri, people worship nine forms of Goddess Durga which include: Shailaputri, Brahmacharini, Chandraghanta, Kushmanda, Skanda Mata, Katyayani, Kalaratri, Mahagauri, and Siddhidatri.
- October 7- Pratipada tithi, Ghatasthapana and Shailputri Puja.
- October 8- Dwitiya tithi, Brahmacharini Puja.
- October 9- Tritiya and Chaturthi, Chandraghanta Puja, and Kushmanda Puja.
- October 10- Panchami tithi Skandamata Puja.
- October 11- for Sashti tithi Katyayani Puja.
- October 12- Saptami tithi, Kalaratri Puja
- October 13- Ashtami tithi, Maha Gauri Puja
- October 14- Navami tithi, Siddhidhatri Puja
- October 15- Dashami tithi, Navratri Parana/Durga Visarjan
Auspicious Occasion of Kalash Sthal. The auspicious mahurat will start from 06:17 am on Thursday, October 07 and last till 10:11 am. Abhijeet Mahurat will start from 11:46 pm and will continue till 12:32 pm. Establishing Kalash or ghat sans Kalash or ghat on this mahurat will be especially fruitful for devotees.
For the goddess devotees who fast during these nine days, the mahurat of Parana will be held on 15th October. Durga Visarjan will also be performed with great enthusiasm on the same day as per the Bengal system.
Navratri And Garba
Do you know how are Garba and Navratri related?
Playing Garba in modern times may have come in fashion, but playing Garba during Navratri has religious significance. It is believed that Mother Ambe killed Mahishasura. When Mahishasura was killed by her, people danced, and this dance is known as Garba. Devotees believe that Mother Ambe loves this dance and that is why there is a tradition of establishing her idol and performing Garba. It is believed that she becomes enlightened with it.
Traditionally Garba is done with a lamp around an earthen pot (Garbo), called ‘Garbha deep’. It is symbolic. Dancers move around this pottery or pitcher, moving around with their hands and feet, in circles. This gesture symbolizes the cycle of life, which moves from life to death towards rebirth. A clay pitcher or Garbo is a symbol of pregnancy.
It is believed that Amba Mata or Ambe Maa is a woman and protector of the world. She protects her children from the wrath of the outside world and stands up for her children like every mother. The inner light symbolizes the baby in the womb. It is the respect of every woman, especially mothers. Pregnancy is also life-giving, where the body is born and takes shape.
This year the Garba events have been banned in various states like Gujarat, Maharashtra, but Sheri Garbas or celebrating Navratri is being allowed in residential complexes with a limited crowd of fewer than 400 persons.
Though last year, the Navratri business saw a huge loss, this year it has gained traction with traditional dresses and Chaniya Cholis being sold at a decent rate. However, the Garba artists are facing a major loss in their business following a ban over Garba events.