Navratri – 9 Nights

Significance of Navratri – The 9 Nights

Navaratri represents the celebration of the Goddess Amba, (the Supreme Power).

Navaratri or Navadurga Parva happens to be the most auspicious and unique period of devotional sadhanas and worship of Shakti (the sublime, ultimate, absolute creative energy) of the Divine conceptualized as the Mother Goddess – Durga, whose worship dates back to prehistoric times before the dawn of the Vedic age.

Navratri is dedicated to nine forms of Goddess Durga, hence each night of Navratri is dedicated to each incarnation / form of Goddess Durga.

Navratri means 9 days and these 9 days starting from the first day to the ninth day of the bright half (Shukla Paksha) of the Hindu months of Chaitra and Ashwin, have a ruling deity for each day depicting nine different forms of Goddess Durga or vital energy inhabiting in the metaphorical fort with nine doors signifying the human body.

The nine forms of Goddess Durga are known as:

  • Shailputri,
  • Brahmcharini,
  • Chandraghanta,
  • Kushmanda,
  • Skandmata,
  • Katyaini,
  • Kaalratri,
  • Mahagauri,
  • Siddhatri.

They are also related with nine herbs or with nine things associated with fasts, which are used in Navratra – Kuttu (Shailaan), milk-curd, chaulai (chandraghanta), petha (kushmanda), shyamak chawal (skandmata), green vegetable (katyaini), black pepper and tulsi (kaalratri), sabudana (mahagauri), amla (siddhiratri). These are nine natural eatables used while fasting, which are found in jungles.

The 1st day of Navratri

This day is dedicated to the first incarnation of Goddess Durga. – Mata Shailputri.

Maa Shailputri is the first incarnation of Durga Devi. ‘Shailputri’ is a name that has originated from Sanskrit, meaning the daughter of mountain. It is believed that Goddess Shailputri was born as Lord Himalaya’s child. Hence, her name.

All you need to do is to worship Goddess Shailputri, the first day of this Navratri. Shailputri Mata is depicted to ride on a Vrisha (bull). She holds a Trishul (trident) in her right hand, which symbolizes to protect nature from impending dangers and a lotus flower in her left hand.

Muladhara Chakra is connected with Shailputri Mata; Muladhara Chakra represents the journey of a person from his/her birth to their spiritual awakening. It is said that until and unless this Chakra is energized, an individual doesn’t have the power to perform a worthwhile task in life. Hence, Goddess Shailputri is worshiped by devotees for such a spiritual awakening.

वंदे वाद्द्रिछतलाभाय चंद्रार्धकृतशेखराम |
वृषारूढां शूलधरां शैलपुत्री यशस्विनीम्‌ |

The 2nd day of Navratri

This day is dedicated to the second incarnation of Goddess Durga – Brahmacharini, who is an epitome of love, loyalty, courage, peace, knowledge & wisdom. Worshiping her will help you overcome all unexpected torments / worries in life.

She blesses her devotees with the energy which helps them to survive and gain control over situations like sorrows, unfavorable incidents and sufferings. Her blessings help her devotees to remain calm and follow the right path of life.

Her name, Brahmacharini, signifies ‘Brahma’ which means hard penance which she undertook to impress Lord Mahadev. She is known as the Goddess who performs hard penance (Tapa). The beads of Rudraksha are her ornaments. Her left hand carries a Kamandal (water utensil) in her right carries a rosary. Maa Brahmacharini bestows her devotees with true happiness by blessing them with a boon of achieving victory in every phase of life.

दधाना कर पद्माभ्याम अक्षमाला कमण्डलू।
देवी प्रसीदतु मई ब्रह्मचारिण्यनुत्तमा।।

The 3rd day of Navratri

The third day of Navratri is dedicated to Devi Chandraghanta, who is the married avatar of Goddess Parvati. The name Chandraghanta comes after her marriage with Shiva, as she started wearing the crescent Moon over her head. Chandraghanta is a Sanskrit term. Chandra means Moon and Ghanta means bell. Hence, Chandraghanta is the Goddess who wears crescent Moon like a bell over her forehead.

Goddess Chandraghanta rules the planet Venus and rides on a tigress. She has ten hands. In her four right-side hands, she holds trident, Gada (blunt mace), sword, and Kamandal (stoup). The fifth right hand stays in Varada Mudra. In her left-side four hands, she carries lotus, arrow, bow, and rosary. The fifth hand stays in Abhaya Mudra.

Goddess Chandraghanta is the form of Parvati who is ready for the war. As per the beliefs, it is said that when bell-like Moon at her forehead rings, it scares the negativities around and the ambience gets positive.

पिण्डज प्रवरारुढ़ा चण्डकोपास्त्र कैर्युता |
प्रसादं तनुते मह्यं चंद्र घंष्टेति विश्रुता ||

या देवी सर्वभू‍तेषु माँ चंद्रघंटा रूपेण संस्थिता।
नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमो नम:।।

The 4th day of Navratri

The 4th day is dedicated to the creator of this universe, Goddess Kushmanda. This is the day to bid farewell to all problems and usher in a beautiful and prosperous future.

Goddess Kushmanda is the creator of this universe and the source of energy for this universe. With her charming smile and pleasant golden colored appearance, the Goddess created this universe in the form of an egg.

She rides a lion and possesses eight hands and is thus referred to as ‘Ashtabhuja’. Goddess Kushmanda provides energy to each and every soul, and also blesses her devotees with a successful and prosperous life. If you are facing any problem in life or are going through a bad phase, worship Goddess Kushmanda on this pious day and see how the Goddess will change your life for good.

या देवी सर्वभू‍तेषु माँ कूष्माण्डा रूपेण संस्थिता।
नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमो नम:।।

The 5th Day of Navratri

The fifth day of Navratri, is dedicated to Skandmata. Goddess Skandmata has four arms. With first right arm, she is keeping her child (Kartikeya). First left arm is raised upwards in the position of granting boons to the devotees. The second arm of both sides holds the lotus flower.
On this day even Goddess Upang Lalita is worshiped hence the day is also known as Lalita Panchami. Goddess Lalita is also renowned as Shodashi as well as Tripura Sundari and she is one of the ‘Ten Maha Vidyas’.

Goddess Skandmata is the daughter of Himalayas and wife of Lord Shiva. She is known from the names of Maa Parvati, Maa Gauri and Maheshwari. She got her name Skandamata from her child that is sitting on her lap in an infant (Skanda) form. She loves her child so much that she loves to be called Skandmata. Lord Kartikeya is sitting on her lap in infant form. Maa Skandmata is full of love and endearment. She treat her devotees as her children. She cares for them, forgive all their sins and fill their life with pleasures and happiness.

सिंहासनगता नित्यं पद्माश्रितकरद्वया।
शुभदास्तु सदा देवी स्कन्दमाता यशस्विनी॥

या देवी सर्वभू‍तेषु माँ स्कंदमाता रूपेण संस्थिता।
नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमो नम:

The 6th Day of Navratri

This day is dedicated to Goddess Katyayani – Maa Durga incarnates herself in the form of Goddess Katyayani on this day.

Goddess Katyayani is depicted as having three eyes and four hands. She holds a sword in her upper left hand, while a lotus flower is seen placed in her lower left hand. Her right side half shows a calmer positioning; her upper right hand and lower right hand are in protecting and allowing gestures, respectively. Goddess Katyayani was born to Sage Katyayan, after he voluntarily held a penance to beget Maa Durga as his daughter. Hence, she is known as Goddess Katyayani. The sixth day of Navratri is also considered to be very important and appropriate for observing spiritual practices by the Sadhaks.

चंद्र हासोज्ज वलकरा शार्दू लवर वाहना |
कात्यायनी शुभं दद्या देवी दानव घातिनि ||

The 7th day of Navratri

The seventh day is dedicated to Goddess Kalratri which is the seventh incarnation of Goddess Durga.

Goddess Kalratri eradicates fear and blesses her devotees with boon of achieving remarkable power, name, and fame. If worshiped with pure heart and soul, Goddess Kalratri removes all the hurdles from the life of her devotees and bless them with eternal happiness. She is considered as the most furious form of Goddess Durga. Goddess Kalratri is also known as ‘Kali Maa’ – Goddess Kali.

Goddess Kalratri has an extremely dreadful appearance with dark complexion. All the negativity gets washed away only by the view of her appearance. She has big red eyes and scattered long black hair. She has four hands, out of which, she has a sabre (Kripan) in her upper left hand and an iron thorn in her lower left hand. Her upper right hand remains in Var Mudra and lower right hand in Abhay Mudra. She rides a donkey and is believed to remove every kind of fear and destroy evils and negative powers from the universe.

या देवी सर्वभूतेषु माँ कालरात्रि रूपेण संस्थिता।
नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमो नमः।।

Seventh day of Navratri is also very important for Tantriks, they perform special Pujas to attain Siddhis. They worship Goddess Kali in the midnight with all their Tantrik rituals.

The 8th and the 9th Day of Navratri

These days are also known as Mahashtami and Mahanavami, and are dedicated to Goddess Mahagauri and Goddess Siddhidatri respectively.

Goddess Shailputri was very beautiful and she was so fair that her whiteness was compared to conch, Moon, and white flower Kunda. She also wears white clothes and hence the given name “Shwetambardhara”.

Goddess Mahagauri is worshiped on the eighth day i.e. Ashtami. Planet Rahu is governed by Goddess Mahagauri. She rides a bull and is also called Vrisharudha. She has four hands. One right hand holds trident and the other hand holds Abhaya Mudra. She holds Damaru in one left hand and second left hand holds Varada Mudra.

या देवी सर्वभू‍तेषु माँ महागौरी रूपेण संस्थिता।
नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमो नम:।।

Goddess Siddhidatri is the visual form of Adi-Parashakti and Rudra had worshiped Adi-Parashakti for the creation of universe. As she didn’t have any form, she emerged from the left half of Shiva (Rudra) as Goddess Siddhidatri. Since then, Lord Shiva is also known as Ardh-Narishwara. She is the Supreme Goddess, who holds all the power of this creation.

Goddess Siddhidatri is worshiped on the ninth day. Planet Ketu is governed by Goddess Siddhidatri. Her appearance is very royal and she sits on a beautiful lotus and she rides on a lion. She has four arms. One right arm holds Gada, other one holds Chakra; one left hand carries lotus and other one is adorned with conch.

Worshiping the Supreme Goddesses can adorn you with all the grace of this universe; you will own all the powers and be spiritually enlightened. Lord Shiva also got all his Siddhis from her. She is not only worshipped by humans, but also by all the creatures of this universe; Devas, Gandharvas, Asuras, Yakshas, or Siddha.

या देवी सर्वभू‍तेषु माँ सिद्धिदात्री रूपेण संस्थिता।
नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमो नम:।।

Sandhi Puja is performed on this day as it is said that Goddess Durga takes a powerful and terrible form of Kali or Chamundi on the cusp of eighth and ninth day. This form of Maa Durga was worshipped by Lord Rama to win the battle against Ravana.

सर्वमंगलमागल्ये शिवे सर्वार्थसाधिके। शरण्ये त्र्यम्बके गौरि नारायणि नमोस्तु ते॥
कुंकुमेन समालब्धे चन्दनेन विलेपिते। बिल्वपत्रकृतामाले दुर्गेअहं शरणं गत:

 

With grace and peace,

Dr. Vickram Aadityaa (Vicky)

ipv-linkedin

 

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