Navratri (which means nine nights in Sanskrit) is one of the most prominent festivals of Hindus and is celebrated across the country for nine nights and ten days. The festival Navratri is dedicated to the worship of the nine forms of goddess Durga (also known as Navdurga). She is the goddess of power and it is believed that her devotion brings purity and prosperity. Navratri is celebrated with joy and happiness for its religious, cultural and social significance.
Generally, there are five kinds of Navratri in a year depending upon the season and Hindu calendar, but Sharad Navratri and Chaitra Navratri holds the most significance. The tenth day of Sharad Navratri is celebrated as Vijayadashmi, which is famous for the victory of the divine Shakti over the demons. This festival of nine nights inspires the humankind to be relieved from negativism and dormant of ignorance by sanctifying the inner mind.
Navratri happens to be the most spiritual period of time devoted to holy sadhanas and worshiping the ultimate Shakti, Goddess Durga. Navratri begins on the first day of the bright fortnight of the lunar month of Ashwin. It is celebrated in various ways throughout the country. People gather in groups to perform Garba and Dandiya dance in Gujarat. In West Bengal, it is the biggest festival of the year and is celebrated as Durga Puja. In the north, it is celebrated by fasting for all nine days and worshiping the different forms of goddess Durga. In Tamil Nadu, people place idols on steps and special Puja is performed on the ninth day for Goddess Saraswati.
These festivals symbolize the unity in diversity in India. Same festival is celebrated all over the India in different forms. These festivals have opened up the doors for joy and positive energy by connecting people together in friendship and love by rejuvenating the lost relationships.
Nine Goddess Names of Navratri
During these nine nights and ten days, the three forms of goddess Durga are worshipped. They are Durga, Laxmi and Saraswati. Navratri Nine Goddess Names according days are
The festival of navratri begins on the first day of ashwin month on the brightest fortnight. The first three days of navratri are celebrated for the strength and ferocity of Goddess Durga. It is believed that all the noble virtues and knowledge can be gained when the inner evil of the mind is destroyed. We usually spend our time doing things which are worthless for our life. All the energy and time we wasted in meaningless things could have been utilized in things which are beneficial for the inner peace. The first three days of navratri is actually devoted to the divine power to assist us in destroying our evil tendencies.
The next three days are devoted to goddess Laxmi. These days are celebrated for the knowledge and self realization. But for this, we first have to set our minds. Our primary goals on these three days are to get the blessings from the goddess so that it can assist us in purifying our mind. The wealth we attain from worshipping goddess Laxmi is only the material wealth. But this material wealth must be utilized in a proper way. Without self discipline, love, kindness, sincerity, and respect, it can be turned into a disaster.
The final three days are devoted to Goddess Saraswati. The goal of achieving victory over the mind can only be possible with proper knowledge and understanding. Goddess Saraswati is considered the highest knowledge of the self. It’s been said by Lord Krishna in the Bhagwat Geeta that the knowledge of the self is the knowledge. If you don’t have the knowledge of yourself than any other knowledge in the world is worthless. This self knowledge is represented by goddess Saraswati.
Spiritual Message of Navratri
Navratri is a very important festival for Hindus. It is a sacred and joyous festival of Indians. Navratri is famous for its religious and social importance. Almost all the Hindu festivals have a spiritual message for its observers. Navratri has a spiritual message too which is for the mankind to wake up from the slumber of ignorance. It teaches us to remove all the negativity and cultivating positive thoughts by purifying our minds.
These festivals help in many ways to achieve salvation which is the ultimate goal of human life. Navratri alone can help human being to gain necessary spiritual knowledge to get free from all the earthly limitations. All the incarnations of Goddess Durga are worshipped during these nine days. This is the reason that this festival signifies power, wealth, knowledge and prosperity.