'Nava-ratri' is one of the most important Hindu festivals in the country. It is celebrated with immense zeal and enthusiasm all over the country. It is celebrated twice a year -once in Chaitra (March-April) and the other in Ashwin (September-October). Navartra literally means 'nine auspicious nights'. It is actually the worship of the Goddess of power in order to seek her protection from any possible kind of threat and calamities that may destroy the peaceful life of people on earth. As she is the goddess of power, she is believed to have the power of creation, preservation and destruction.
Nine Days Navaratri Celebrations
Navaratri is separated into sets of three days i.e. into three sets. These sets are made in order to adore different facets of the supreme goddess. On the initial three days, the Goddess is invoked as the supreme powerful force called Durga. Goddess Durga is meant to all our contaminations, evils and defects. On the next three days, she is worshipped as the mother of spiritual wealth, Goddess Lakshmi, She is the one who is considered to have the power of showering on her devotees with the blessings of never-ending wealth. In the final set of three days, the Goddess is worshipped as the goddess of wisdom, Saraswati. The one is responsible for spiritual enlightenment and overall success in life.
She is also worshipped under nine different names for the nine days in Navratri. Every day, she assumes a new character, a new look and a new duty. She is worshipped as Shailputri, Brahmacharini, Chandraghanta, Kushmanda, Skanda Mata, Katyayani, Kalratri, Maha Gauri and Siddhidatri. For the initial six the Pooja celebrations are limited to home. The celebrations acquire a festive form since the seventh day when the festivities of Navratri surround the atmosphere.
First Day Pooja
The first form of Goddess Durga is called Shailputri . She is considered the daughter of the Himalayas. She is a form of Shakti, the consort of Lord Shiva.
Second Day Pooja
The second form of Goddess Durga is known as 'Brahmacharini'. Her name is derivative of the word 'Brahma', which means 'Tapa' or penace. She is also a form of Uma or Parvati, a form of Mata Shakti.
Third Day Pooja
On the third day the goddess is worshipped as Chandraghanta. She is the symbolic representation of beauty and bravery.
Fourth Day Pooja
Kushmanda, is the form of the goddess which is worshipped on the fourth day. It is believed that Kushmanda is the creator of the entire Universe and she has created the entire Universe by her laugh.
Fifth Day Pooja
On the fifth day, the form of Goddess is called Skand Mata. She is actually called so because she is here represented as the mother of Skanda, the chief warrior of the Gods army.
Sixth Day Pooja
On the sixth day, the goddess is worshipped as Katyayani. Seated on her vehicle lion, Katyayani has three eyes and four hands.
Seventh Day Pooja
On the seventh day, the Goddess is worshipped as 'Kalratri'. As the name suggests, Kalrati is as black as a dark night. She has four hands, she is meant to make the devotees fearless.
Eighth Day Pooja
On the eight day, the Mata Rani is worshipped as 'Maha Gauri'. She is considered to extremely beautiful, white like snow and accessorized with white colored ornaments. She represents calmness and exhibits wisdom.
Ninth Day Pooja
On the ninth day, Durga is worshipped as Siddhidatri. It is believed she consists of all the eight siddhis. She lives on lotus and is worshipped by all the Rishis-Munis, Siddhas, Sadhakas and Yogis.