What is Navratri Festival? Why Navratri Festival is celebrated? When Navratri Festival is celebrated? How Navratri Festival is celebrated? What you can do to celebrate Navratri Festival at your Home? What is Navratri Puja Vidhi? How to worship Nav Durga during Navratri at your home. Navratri Festival Photos. Navratri Festival Videos.
Navratri festival is festival of worship of Mother Goddess or Shakti. Navratri word is composed of two words Nava and Ratri. In Sanskrit language Nava means Nine and Ratri means Nights. Therefore Navaratri festival is a festival of nine nights. There are 5 Navratris according to Hindu Calendar, but only two Navratris out of those 5 Navratris are celebrated as festival. One Navratri Festival is in Ashwin month, from 1st day of waxing moon to 9th day of waxing moon and the other Navratri Festival is in Chaitra month, from 1st day of waxing moon to 9th day of waxing moon according to Hindu Calendar.
The reason of celebrating Navratri festival is that Mother Goddess Parvati went to her father's house for nine days in Ashwin month. On the occasion of her arrival, parents of Goddess Parvati announced celebration in their kingdom. The other reason is the boon of Mother Goddess to these nine days. Lord Brahma and Lord Ram also worshipped Mother Goddess during 9 days of Navratri to kill Ravana and succeed.
Significance of why Navratri festival is celebrated is found in Hindu granth (epic) Durga Saptshati and Devi Puran. According to both Durga Saptshati and Devi Puran, Mother Goddess herself said that devotees must worship her during Navratri. Who worship her for nine days of Navratri, become free from all bondages, get love in her lotus feet, she removes all obstacles of devotee's life and give all prosperity.
According to one story, Goddess Parvati went to her father's house to stay there for few days. On this occasion, to express love to her, King Himachal the father of Parvatiji announced celebration of her welcome as a festival. She started her journey on 1st day of full moon of Ashwin month, and she stayed at father's house for 3 days, i.e. 7th, 8th and 9th day of full moon of Ashwin month. And then she returned back. That's why last three days of Navratri are most important days for her worship.
According to Devi Puran, during the battle of Lord Ram and Demon King Ravana, Lord Brahma as a Guru of Lord Ram awakened the Mother Goddess during her time of sleeping. It was 8th day of waning moon of Ashwin month. Goddess Durga wake up and stated the procedure of her worship during Navratri. She said that a devotee should awake her on 8th day (or ninth day with combination of Ardra Nakshatra) of waning moon of Ashwin month. He has to perform all general worship daily. When Navratri starts from 1st day of waxing moon of Ashwin month, then he should do special worship for nine days, i.e. upto 9th day of waxing moon of Ashwin month. A devotee who perform this special worship during nine days of Navratri, and celebrated it as a festival, he becomes free from all bondages and gets all prosperity. In Navratri, Lord Ram worshipped her and successfully killed the Demon King Ravana on 10th day.
Navratri Festival celebration is described by Goddess Durga in Durga Saptashati Granth. After killing Demon Kings Shumbh and Nishumbh, all deities praised Goddess Durga. Goddess Durga pleased and asked Deities to get a boon. Deities said, "O Mother Goddess! Please always remove our all obstacles and enemies like this to establish peace everywhere." Mother Goddess gave them this boon and said about her worship during Navratri Festival. She said that, a devotee must do her annual worship during Navratri, i.e. from 1st day of waxing moon of Ashwin month to 9th day of waxing moon of Ashwin month. By doing so, She please as much as she please with worship for continuous one year, perfectly following methodology of her worship. By Celebrating Navratri Festival, she is so pleased that she removes all obstacles in life, protects everywhere, all enemies give up their enmity, a devotee doesn't has to suffer separation of his/her loved ones, gets all kinds of prosperity and finally goes to her adobe after leaving body.
One more scientific reason behind Navratri Festival is that it the new harvesting season. So farmers pray Earth as Mother Goddess to give good crop for the whole year.
Navratri and Navratri Festival, these are two different things. According to Hindu Calendar, Navratri comes 5 times in a year, while two out of those five Navratris are celebrated as festivals, which comes in Ashwin month and Chaitra month. Five Navratris are as follows :
1. Chaitra Navratri : Chaitra Navratri comes in Chaitra month according to Hindu Calendar. This Navratri is also known as Vasanti Navratri because of the season Vasant (Spring, in month March-April). Chaitra Navratri is celebrated from 1st day of waxing moon to 9th day of waxing moon of Chaitra Month. This Navratri is celebrated as Navratri Festival. On it's 9th day, birthday of Lord Ram is celebrated. This Navratri is also known as Bodhan Navratri, because Goddess is awakened at this time.
2. Ashadi Gupta (Secret) Navratri : Ashadi Navratri is Gupta or Secret Navratri in which saadhak (devotee) perform very special rituals to attain some siddhi. Generally, this Navratri is not for all common people. Ashadi Navratri starts from 1st day of waxing moon of Ashad month and ends on 9th day of waxing moon of Ashad month (June-July month).
3. Shardiya Navratri : Shardiya Navratri is celebrated as annual festival. Shrdiya Navratri comes in Ashwin month, Sharad Ritu (Autumn season). This Navratri starts from 1st day of waxing moon of Ashwin month and ends on 9th day of waxing moon of Ashwin Month. It is also known as Shayan Navratri, because this the time of sleeping of Mother Goddess.
4. Paush Navratri : Paush navratri is also known as Shakambhari Navratri, dedicated to Goddess Shakambhari. This Navratri starts from 8th day of waxing moon of Paush month and ends on 15th day of waxing moon (poornima) of Paush month.
5. Magha Gupta Navratri : Magha Navratri is Gupta Navratri. This Navratri starts from 1st day of waxing moon of Magha month and ends on 9th day of waxing moon of Magha month. Similar to Ahsadi Navratri it is for all. Sadhak do special worship to attain Siddhis.
Celebration of Navratri festival is started with Ghat Sthapna, means installing Kalash of Sacred Water. On Navratri, all Durga (forms of Durga) temples are decorated beautifully with flowers, petals, leaves etc and kalash is installed near idol of Goddess Durga. Idols of Goddess Durga are decorated with beautiful ornaments, flowers etc. Special Aartis and other devotional songs with love and devotion are sung by groups of devotees. On Navratri, all people at their home, worship Goddess Durga. All people start the Navratri festival with Ghat Sthapna at thier homes. Then devotees offers flowers, lamp, sweets, sacred water etc. to please Goddess Durga. Devotees keep fast during Navratri. They eat only one time for nine days. In navratri, the menu is also special for nine days. During Navratri, devotees give up all kind of food, and eat only things made with flour of Kutu, Rajgiri or Singhada. Poori, Pakodi of flour of Kutu, Rajgiri or Singhada and vagetable of Potato is speciality of Navratri Festival. This kind of food is known as "Saagaar". Many devotees doesn't eat at all for nine days, they only drink water.
In Navratri, devotee worship nine form of Goddess for nine days. These nine Goddesses according to Durga Saptshati are as follows :
Also, Goddess Mahakali is worshipped for first three days, Goddess Mahalakshmi is worshipped for second three days and Goddess Mahasaraswati is worshipped for last three days of Navratri Festival. There is a custom of reciting Durga Saptshati during these nine days of Navratri in Ashwin month and reciting Ramcharitmanas in Chaitra month.
On the 8th day, priests in temples as well as devotees (for their home) invites nine girls of age group 5-12 for food on 9th day. These nine girls are considered as nine forms of Goddess Durga. Priests, Devotees feed them on 9th day and completes their fast. The special menu of the 9th day is Poori, Halwa and Chana, because mother Goddess very fond of these things. After feeding them, they offer some gifts to them and see off. On the 10th day, the Kalash of Sacred Water is picked up and devotees see off Mother Goddess.
During nine days of Navratri many devotional programs are arranged at various places by people or groups. Garba and Dandiya dance programs at nights are very common nowadays. In Garba and Dandiya dance program all devotees (males and females) wears very colorful and sparkling traditional dresses and dance with full devotion on the devotional songs of Goddess Durga. Similarly, Jagran programs are also arranged on all nine nights. During Jagran of Maa Durga, devotional songs of Maa Durga are sung whole night.
You can celebrate Navratri festival at your home with your family. On first day, do Ghat Sthapna at your home. Get the holy book Durga Saptashati and recite it's chapters daily for nine days. On 9th day invite 1 to 9 little girls (preferably 5-12 years old) for lunch because these are considered as Mother Goddess. Feed them and give some gifts.
List of famous Durga temples in India:
1. Kalika Devi temple, Kolkata, India.
2. Jwalamukhi Devi Temple, Himachal Pradesh, India.
3. Kamakhya Devi Temple, Assam, India
4. Vaishno Devi Temple, Jammu, India
6. Kanyakumari Temple, Kanyakumari, India
7. Kanakdurga Temple, Tamil Nadu, India
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This article on Navratri festival may help you to understand Navratri festival in depth. It will also help to break some myths about Durga Puja and Navratri Puja. This article will also help the devotees of Mother Goddess Durga to know the actual significance of Navratri and Navratri festival.