Thursday, 11 April 2013

The 9 Divine Nights-Navratri


Namaste!!
My previous post Mahadev turned out to be a very special post for me, in more than one ways.
The post was indeed very close to my heart and the super positive comments I received from people on social media and various forums was more than any of my previous blog posts. So, thanking all of you once again for all the praises and positive feedback.



All through our lives, we would have celebrated and even observed fasts on the nine continuous days of Navratri. In the year 2013, 10th of April marks the beginning of yet another version of Navratri celebrations all over the Indian sub-continent. We all know the notions and the implications of Navratri as such. Nine different Goddesses are worshipped each day of the entire cycle, the ninth day marking the completion of the festivities. Did any of us wonder the spiritual and scientific attributes of these nine days? With the onset of Navtari from this day, I decided to write something about the celebration of the nine days, not the semantics, but the radical part of it.

As per legends, the inception of Navratri celebrations was when Goddess Durga, defeated the demon Mahishasur in the very famous fight, which lasted for nine days. It is believed, each day Durga introduced a new dimension of her divinity, finally slaying the demon down on the ninth day. As per other legends, Narad was the first to observe fasts during the nine days of Navratri, to pray for the victory of Rama over Ravana in the epic war of Ramayana.

There is no mention of an exact time or date in history, or a mention of any king under whom, people started celebrating Navratri for the first time ever. But, it is believed that the soldiers used to take off for the nine days form their relative duties and used to worship the Goddesses for the nine days, before setting off for wars again.

Symbolically, each of the nine days is symbolic of victory over a sin. The nine days denote worship of nine attributes of Goddess which help one defeat nine evils of humans. Each of the night has a certain significance with respect to the evil and the Goddess one worships to defeat those evils.

First Day: The first day is dedicated to Shailputri, or the daughter of the Himalaya. She is also called Shakti, the companion of Shiva. She is worshiped on the first day of Navratri and is often shown riding a bull. She is known to destroy the evil of Ahankaar or ego.

Second Day: The second day is dedicated to Brahmcharini, who helps a person in Tapa or penance. She is known to destroy the evil of Kaam or lust.

Third Day: The third day is dedicated to Chandraghanta, the symbolic representation of beauty and bravery. Worshipping her helps one to fight the evil of Krodh or anger.

Fourth Day: This day is dedicated to Kushmanda, who is also called the creator of the entire universe. She is known to destroy the evil of Pashchatap or Guilt.

Fifth Day: Skand Mata is worshipped on the fifth day of Navratri. She is known to be the mother of chief of the army of Gods, also called Skanda or Kartikeya. She destroys the evils of Moh or attachment.

Sixth Day: This day is dedicated to Goddess Katyayani, with three eyes and four hands. She is known to destroy Irshya or Jealousy.

Seventh Day: The day is dedicated to Goddess Kaalratri, who, symbolically, is known to make her devotees fearless. Another avatar of Durga, she is known to destroy Bhay or fear.

Eighth Day: Dedicated to Goddess Maha Gauri, the symbol of calmness and eternal wisdom, as per legends, she is intelligent, wise and very patient. She destroys the evils of Jadta or Inertia.

Ninth Day: Sidhhiantri is the ninth form of Goddess Durga. She is the known to be the ninth form of Durga. She is known to destroy the evils of Lobh or Greed.

Scientifically, Navratri's onset was devised perfectly at a time, when it would be fulfilling certain other purpose. Navratri is celebrated at a time, when one of the seasons is giving way to another season. Due to the same reason, the mind and the body undergo certain considerable changes. It is, therefore, advisable to practice fast for a few days, to maintain the metabolism of the human body. Further, Navratri falls at a time, when the heat (or tama) inside the body reaches a level which could be harmful for urinary, digestive and respiratory system. Fasting during these days help the body clean itself, give rest to internal organs and even increases the lifespan of digestive systems.

Other than the above mentioned symbolism, Navratri, as such is manifestation of the intent of the Vedic or ancient men to impose upon everyone the superiority or the significations of feminine attributes. Various attributes and forms of women were respected and worshipped, the attributes and symbolisms blooming out of all forms of feminism around a person. It’s really unfortunate that people have knowingly or unknowingly forgotten the very intent for which these symbolisms were incepted. They would like to worship the face of Goddess in the temple, but not the ones around them.

With that I would like to bring my post to an end. I would love to know what you felt about it.

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Goodbye and Namaste!!

16 comments:

  1. //Navratri is celebrated at a time, when one of the seasons is giving way to another season. Due to the same reason, the mind and the body undergo certain considerable changes. It is, therefore, advisable to practice fast for a few days, to maintain the metabolism of the human body //

    Now I know the real reason for fasting…… Indeed pleasure to read all your blogs, not only enhance your knowledge but it reveals unknown facts also.

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    Replies
    1. Namaste Sandeep!
      Thanks a lot for the feedback. I hope to keep up the pace in my further blogs too

      Delete
  2. Remarkable explanation of the nine days fasting, that needs to be performed for good health, happiness and well being.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks a lot Suruchi for the appreciation!!

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  3. Replies
    1. Namaste!
      Thanks a lot for liking the post!

      Delete
  4. Replies
    1. Namaste Shekhar!
      Thanks a lot for liking the post!

      Delete
  5. Very nice explanation, in both religious and scientific aspect.
    Jai Mata dii :)

    Monali

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    Replies
    1. Namaste Monali!!!
      Thanks a lot for liking the post!!

      Delete
  6. nice read... More inclined towards culture than religion . Nice.

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  7. Nice information you provided for navratri festival! Very useful this coming navratri 2013. cheers to you and more power.

    - dahana

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    Replies
    1. Namaste
      Thanks a lot for the appreciation and I really loved your blog as well..
      Happy Navratri to you

      Delete