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Unveiling The Mythology And Significance Behind The Navratri

by Ishan Kailani on June 17, 2023

Unveiling The Mythology And Significance Behind The Navratri

Navratri, meaning "nine nights," is one of India and Nepal's most important Hindu celebrations. It occurs in the autumn season, often around September or October. Navratri is devoted to the worship of Goddess Durga Mata Murti and her nine manifestations, known together as Navadurga. The event is celebrated with tremendous zeal and devotion, which is extremely important in Hindu mythology and culture.

Mythology behind Navratri

The origins of Navratri may be traced back to ancient times when the demon ruler, Mahishasura, threatened the planet. Mahishasura was a great demon that conquered the gods and drove them from heaven, according to Hindu mythology. The gods summoned the great Goddess Durga, created from their combined forces, to combat Mahishasura.

Durga and Mahishasura fought for nine nights and 10 days before Durga defeated and killed the demon on the tenth day. This day is known as Vijayadashami or Dussehra, commemorating the triumph of virtue over evil. Navratri is celebrated nine nights before Dussehra, during which worshippers worship the nine forms of Goddess Durga and seek her blessings for wealth and happiness.

Significance of Navratri

Navratri is extremely important in Hindu mythology and culture. It commemorates the triumph of good over evil and symbolizes justice over wickedness. The celebration commemorates transitioning from the hot and humid monsoon to the cold and beautiful autumn season.

Navratri is observed in a variety of ways throughout India. It is celebrated with tremendous zeal and grandeur throughout northern India, with people dressed in traditional garb and participating in cultural activities and processions. Navratri is celebrated as Durga Puja in the eastern half of India, particularly in West Bengal, and is one of the region's most important festivals. Navratri is celebrated in western India, particularly in Gujarat and Maharashtra, with colorful group dances such as Garba and Dandiya.

The Nine Forms of Goddess Durga

Each day of Navratri is dedicated to worshipping one of the nine manifestations of Goddess Durga, known collectively as Navadurga. These brass Durga idol forms reflect many facets of the great Goddess and are worshipped to obtain her blessings and protection.

The nine forms of Durga are:

  • Shailputri:She is the initial form of Durga and is worshipped on Navratri's first day. She is shown as a girl riding a bull, symbolizing nature's might.
  • Brahmacharini:She is Durga's second form and is worshipped on the second day of Navratri. She is shown as a young lady clutching a rosary and a water jug, indicating spiritual understanding and knowledge.
  • Chandraghanta:She is the third form of Durga and is worshipped on the third day of Navratri. She is depicted as a ten-armed goddess riding a tiger, representing bravery and courage.
  • Kushmanda:She is the fourth form of Durga and is worshipped on Navratri's fourth day. She is shown as a dazzling goddess with eight arms, symbolizing the power of creation. 
  • Skandamata:She is Durga's fifth form and is worshipped on the fifth day of Navratri. She is shown as a four-armed goddess carrying her young son Skanda, symbolizing maternity and care. 
  • Katyayani:She is Durga's sixth form and is worshipped on the sixth day of Navratri. She is represented as a four-armed warrior goddess riding a lion, signifying boldness and courage.
  • Kalaratri:Kalaratri is Durga's seventh form and is worshipped on the seventh day of Navratri. She is shown as a dark and terrifying goddess, wearing a necklace of skulls, symbolizing the ability to kill evil.
  • Mahagauri:She is Durga's eighth form and is worshipped on the eighth day of Navratri. She is shown as a lovely goddess with four arms symbolizing purity and tranquillity.
  • Siddhidatri:She is Durga's ninth form and is worshipped on the ninth day of Navratri. She is shown as a goddess with four arms, symbolizing supernatural abilities and favors.

Celebrating Navratri

Navratri is a celebration of worship, dedication, and joy. People decorate their homes with colorful lights and flowers during this occasion, and unique cuisines and desserts are prepared. They also dress traditionally and take part in cultural events and processions. During Navratri, many people in India fast, either completely refraining from meals or consuming just particular items.

Garba and Dandiya, two colorful and frenetic dance styles originating in Gujarat, are the most famous Navratri customs. Women in a circular shape do the Garba, but Dandiya is performed by both men and women using sticks. These dances, set to traditional music, are a wonderful way to enjoy the holiday.

Significance of Worshipping Maa Durga Statue during Navratri 

Worshiping a Maa Durga statue during Navratri is deeply rooted in Hindu mythology and tradition. It is thought that by praying to the great Goddess and seeking her blessings, one might achieve spiritual enlightenment and overcome problems in life. During Navratri, the nine forms of Durga worshipped signify distinct facets of the divine and empower devotees with the fortitude and bravery to overcome adversities. Worshiping a Maa Durga statue is a symbol of devotion and thanks to the Almighty, and it is thought that doing so can bring about inner peace and harmony.

Navratri is a Hindu holiday celebrating the triumph of virtue over evil and representing the changing seasons. It is a period of devotion, worship, and celebration, and it is extremely important in Hindu mythology and culture. On Navratri, the nine forms of Durga Mata statue are worshipped, each reflecting a distinct facet of the ultimate Goddess. The festival is celebrated in many ways around India, but it is always a time for people to get together and rejoice in the divine's bounty.

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