Posted by : SHASHIKANT M October 5, 2013

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The ganesh festival is just over and we all were waiting for navratri since then which is one of the important festival in India. It is one of the biggest festival celebrated in India. Navratri, the literal meaning is nine nights. Its a word derived from Sanskrit. These nine days and nights are celebrated by worshipping the manifestations of Goddess Durga. She is the divine power symbolizing the shakti. 

The navratri is celebrated in October but the exact dates are confirmed every year by lunar calender. Navratri has various stories behind its celebration. Once upon a time Asuras, the demos rose above the Suras, gods. They achieved more powers than gods and defeated them under the leadership of Devil Mashishasur who was a powerful Asur and created a chaos in the world. All gods were scared for the welfare of the world hence the ultimate powerful goddess, Maa Durga was born to defeat him. Their battle went on for the nine days and on the last day, 10th day Mahishasur was defeated and killed by her so the name is navaratri because battle went on for nine days. This is also called as a "Durgotsav". 

Navratri has bigger celebration in Maharashtra, Gujrat and Karnatka. Garba of Gujrat, Durga puja in West bengal, 'Ravan-dahan' in Karnatka, Ramlila in Notth India are the best picks of Navratri. 

It is believed that Maa Durga stays with us in these nine days blessing us happiness and prosperity. The forms of Durga are Shailiputri, Bramhacharini, Chandraghanta, Kushmanda, Skandamata, Katyayani, Kalratri, Mahagauri, Siddhidatri. These forms are also known as Navadurga.

According to different regions these nine forms are known as with different names. The various incarnations of Maa durga celebrated in this nine days are Durga, Bhadrakali, Amba, Annapurna devi, Bhairavi, Chandika/Chandi, Lalita, Bhavani, Mookambika. Every day has its own celebration in Navratri. In first three days, Maa kaali which is also known as Kaali destroy the evil in our homes and souls. In second three days goddess Laxmi gives us the spiritual health. Laxmii is the goddess of Wealth. In last three days the goddess Sarswati who is the goddess of wisdom is worshipped. We all seek for these three aspects.

Ghatasthapna is done on the very first day. A pot is installed in home and grains are sowed. A diya is lit throughout the nine days undisturbed. The pot is a symbol of universe and diya represents the shakti, the pure and divine power.
The last day, 10th day is known as Dusshera or Vijayadashmi which has its own mythological importance and beliefs. More about it in our next post. 
 
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These nine days the atmosphere in home is very zealous. Garba dance is performed which has turned into big time events these days. Specially girls start preparing for their costumes weeks before navratri. 

Navratri is the festival of Goddess Durga, we worship the divine power personified by feminine form. It gives us the message that the true, unimaginable and abundant form of shakti lies in the feminine form of god. If she can love and care for you unconditionally, work for you all the time and seem mild then she also has the tremendous spellbinding shakti to destroy you. If she can rise and create you she also has the supreme power to finish you fiercely. And while I am writing this I remember a role of mother in our lives. We worship the goddess these nine days wholeheartedly but we actually have been living with this one form of goddess since the day we are born. She brings us to the world, protects from all the possible evil things and loves us no matter what, she is our Mother, our goddess. 

Every home has a living goddess in it working for them, loving them, nurturing them silently without expecting. Do we worship them? Do we recognize their sacrifice? Do we say thank you? Do we say "we can live and win" because of you? 

Lets make a difference this year, lets remember the first living goddess we come across in our life, lets be thankful for them and worship them by giving respect they deserve and love that they dont even demand for. "Shatakoti Pranam" to these goddesses in our homes, thank you for being our Shakti.

Happy Navratri to all! 



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