From today Navarathiri festival starts today. Navarathiri means 9 nights ( don’t ask me why it is called 9 night and not 9 morning.I really don’t know the reason. Any one knows the answer please let us know).
Everyone knows what this festival is for?
This is a festival to worship the Mother Goddess for 9 nights.
Actually there are 5 types of Navarathiri celebrated in a year
- Vasanta Navaratri: Celebrated in Mar-Apr
- Gupta Navaratri: Celebrated in June–July
- Sharana Navaratri: Celebrated in Sep-Oct
- Poushya Navaratri: Celebrated in Dec-Jan
- Magha Navaratri: Celebrated in Jan-Feb
Of all the 5, the 3rd one is the Maha Navarathi and hence the famous one and celebrated by all.
Hindu religion follows the stars for most of the festivals and for this festival they follow the lunar calender.Even though it is called Navarathiri, this festival is celebrated for 10 days. Each day is devoted for one Goddess.
Day 2 – SRI BALA TRIPURA SUNDARI DEVI
Day 3 – SRI ANNAPURNA DEVI
Day 4 – SRI GAYATRI DEVI
Day 6 – SRI SARASWATI DEVI
Day 7 – SRI MAHA LAKSHMI DEVI
Day 8 – SRI DURGA DEVI
Day 9 – SRI MAHISHASURA MARDHINI DEVI
Day 10 – SRI RAJA RAJESWARI DEVI
In Hindu mythology there are 3 Goddess, one for Power, one for wealth and one for Wisdom. The 9 days are for these 3 Goddesses.
What is done during this festival?
The seed-sprouting ceremony, tool blessing, beginning of learning and Vijayadashami are observed over most of India. Regional variations abound, from South India to Nepal.
South India: Here the Goddess is worshipped in three forms. During the first three nights, Durga is revered, then Lakshmi on the fourth, fifth and sixth nights, and finally Sarasvati until the ninth night.
Durga (meaning “invincible” in Sanskrit) is the epitome of strength, courage and ferocity. Her devotees approach Her–sometimes with difficult penances–for those qualities and for the protection She bestows.
A more gentle worship is observed for Lakshmi. Also called also Annapurna, “Giver of food,” Lakshmi is the Goddess of abundance, wealth and comfort. She is the ever-giving mother, worshiped for well being and prosperity. A traditional way of invoking Her is chanting the Samputita Sri Suktam. In Her honor, food is prepared and offered to neighbors and all who visit, thus strengthening community ties. On the full-moon night following Navaratri, it is believed Lakshmi Herself visits each home and replenishes family wealth. In Saivite areas, Parvati is worshiped on these days instead of Lakshmi, with an emphasis on the motherly aspect of the Goddess. Otherwise, the devotional practices are similar.
The last three days of Navaratri exalt Sarasvati, the form of Shakti personifying wisdom, arts and beauty. Her name literally means “flowing one,” a reference to thoughts, words, music and the Sarasvati River. The evenings of Her worship are marked with melodic bhajans. The musicians select challenging pieces and play their best in order to earn the Goddess’ blessings for the coming year.
Mystically, Sarasvati is believed to be the keeper of the powerful Gayatri Mantra, which is chanted during the festival to invoke Her supreme blessings. Devotees meditate for days on this mantra alone, as it is considered the door to divine wisdom.