Durga puja is one of the grandest festivals of India and during this festival, one can feel the festive vibes everywhere. The annual celebration of Goddess Durga for the victory over a demon called Mahishasura– the buffalo demon. People celebrate this 9-day festival with great enthusiasm in almost every part of India. This year the nine-day festival started on October 17 and will continue till October 25. The word Navratri is derived from two Sanskrit words: “Nava means Nine” and “Ratri means Night”. It is also believed that worshipping Goddess Durga in Navratri can destroy sorrow, diseases, and negativity from people’s lives.
Navratri is celebrated in the honor of the divine Devi ‘Durga’ called Durga Maa. We dedicate nine days to worship nine forms of Goddess i.e., “Shailaputri, Brahmacharini, Chandraghanta, Kushmanda, Skandamata, Katyayani, Kaalratri, Mahagauri, and Siddhidhatri“.
Story Of Navratri
As our ancestors and the legends speak about the story behind the Navratri, they explain the result of the great battle between Goddess Durga and the powerful demon Mahishasura which shows the victory of truth, positivity over evils. Mahishasura was blessed with immortality and confidence by Lord Brahma with one condition that he could be only defeated by a woman. When Powerful Mahishasura attacked the Trilok (Earth, Heaven, and hell), the worried Gods started praying to Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu, and Lord Shiva to help them in defeating their worst enemy. To save Trilok, Tridev (Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu, and Lord Shiva) created a woman to defeat Mahishasura.
Also, it is believed that Goddess Durga is a re-incarnation of Adi Shakti. After the creation of Goddess Durga, the fight started between Divine Devi and Demon. Clever Mahishasura kept changing his form during the battle. But, Goddess Durga pierced his chest with her ‘Trishul’ (a weapon), when the demon took the form of a buffalo. This is the only reason why we worship nine Avatars of Maa Durga during Navratri.
Importance Of Navratri
Navratri is famous in the country for its religious and social importance. It signifies the victory of positivity over negativity.
Spreading happiness by the lightening of houses and temples due to the belief that Goddess Durga defeated the demon Mahishasura. Also, it is observed that people celebrate the victory of Rama over Ravana.
This time is used for gaining mental power, peace, and yogic powers. This period is used for fulfilling wishes due to a peaceful environment that yields auspicious results. We worship the Divine power to maintain our physical and mental balance. It is believed that, if we worship Goddess Durga by following rituals in the right way then we can easily destroy sorrow, diseases, and negativity from our life.
Navratri routines us in a good and balanced lifestyle, from morning to night. These nine-day worship helps us to get rid of the evils of our life and play a vital role in enhancing positivity around us. People believe that worshipping Goddess can destroy all the negativities of people’s lives.
How To Worship Goddess Durga In Navratri
Navratri begins with the puja of Goddess Durga’s Shailaputri avatar followed by all re-incarnations of Shakti. We celebrate Durga puja and worship nine Avatar of Adi Shakti by following the rituals in the right way. These days are full of energy and joy. Different Bhog (Delicious food prepared to dedicate God for blessings) are used to prepare by Indians to bring good fortune, happiness, and good health.
Here are some processes to worship Devi Durga for nine days.
On the first day, Goddess Durga’s Avatar Shailputri is worshiped. According to Hindu Mythology Goddess Shailputri is a re-incarnation of Goddess Parvati and worshipping her brings prosperity. Cow Ghee (Clarified Butter) is used as Bhog on this day.
The second day is dedicated to Goddess Brahmacharini. It is believed that worshipping this Avatar of Goddess Durga brings peace and prosperity. Sugar and Panchamrit used as Bhog on this day to impress Goddess Brahmacharini.
Goddess Chandraghanta brings peace and happiness. The half-moon on her forehead symbolizes her beauty and bravery! On the third day, people offer Kheer (Milk Pudding), Milk as Bhog to bring good health to the family.
Day 4th is for Goddess Kushmanda. It is believed that this avatar of Goddess Durga has the power to reside inside the Sun. Offering Red Flower and Malpua (Indian Dessert) in Bhog strengthen will power and intelligence.
Day 5th is for the mother of Skanda (Kartikeya), Goddess Skandamata. This avatar of Goddess symbolizes the strength of a mother. Offering Banana as Bhog on this day brings personal and professional growth.
The 6th day is dedicated to worship the Katyayani Avatar. It is believed that offering Honey as Bhog removes negativity.
The 7th day of Navratri is very important as this is dedicated to Goddess Kalaratri. People offer Bhog of Jaggery (Gur) on this day to bring positive vibes.
Bhog of Coconut for Goddess Mahagauri and worship with Night-Blooming Jasmine brings peace and intelligence on the 8th day of Navratri.
This day is dedicated to Goddess Sidhidatri, who possesses many siddhis, brings good health and prosperity. Offering Halwa, Poori, Kheer as a Bhog, and performing Kanya Puja on this day is the best way to impress and seek the blessings of Goddess Durga.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, this year people will, however, not get to celebrate Navratri Durga Puja as celebrated earlier. It is very important to maintain social distance these days. Navratri is a festival known for peace, prosperity, and respecting people’s sensitivity. This year brings a major change in the system of celebration due to COVID-19. Drive-in-pandals and e-passes came into existence to maintain social distance. Navratri gives so much strength to people with lots of blessings. Staying at home and worship Goddess Durga will help us to fight with the current scenario.