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The festival of Navratra is dedicated to Hindus for worshiping deity Durga. The meaning of word Navratra is “nine nights” this is extracted from Sanskrit, where nav means nine and ratri means night. Hindus worship nine forms of Devi (Shakti). The ten days are also known as Dussehra or Vijayadashmi. This festival is among the very important festival and is celebrated twice a year with great zeal.
Significance behind Navaratri Celebration
The beginning of autumn and the beginning of spring are two important junctions of solar and of climatic influences. Both periods are taken as sacred opportunities for worshiping Maa Durga. The dates for both Navratras are determined according to the lunar calendar.
The time period of Navratra is termed as most unique and auspicious period of devotional Sadhna and worshiping Shaktis (i.e. the ultimate, absolute creative energy and the sublime) of Goddess Durga.
The complete chapter of tenth Mandal of Rig Vedas represents the devotional Sadhna of navratra’s Shakti. Paeans of praise of sadhnas of Shakti are sung by “Devi Sukta”, “Usha Sukta” of the Rigveda and “Ratri Sukta” if Sam Veda. Before the beginning of war among Pandavas and Kauravas in Mahabharata, Lord Krishna worshiped Maa Durga (Goddess of Shakti) for the victory of Pandvas.
In Markandey Purana, Lord Brahma mentioned to Rishi Markandey that the first incarnation of Maha Shakti was Shailputri. Other incarnations of Diving Mother are Siddhidadtri, Mahagauri, kalratri, Katyayani, Skandamata, Kushmanda, Chandraghanta and Brahmcharni. These nine Shaktis are worshipped as Nava-Durga.
You must have noticed that Navratri is celebrated twice a year. Do you know the specific reason behind this fact? No… don’t worry, as in this post I am going to tell the genuine reason behind this fact.
Know why we celebrate Navratri twice in a Year
As we know that festival of Navratri is famous across India for its social and religious importance. In both navratras, this festival is devoted to the worshiping of Maa Durga in her various forms. Let’s have a look on both of these forms.
First is Chaitra Navaratri. This Navratri is in the beginning of Summer. The Chaitra Navaratri of year 2014 has already begun from 31st March. The second form of Navaratri is Ashwina Navaratri which is in the beginning of winter.
Now you will notice that both these Navratris are celebrated when our mother nature undergoes a very important climate change and this is because the duration of days and night are approximately equal during March to April and from September to October.
For both these junctions, nature maintains equilibrium among solar influence and climatic change.
The season during the Navaratri festival is also moderate i.e. its neither chill cold nor scorching heat. So, it is the perfect season for worshiping Maa Durga. Also the season during this festival is very crucial for our physical and mental health.
Prayer and devotion during this festival keeps our mind healthy and other penance gives us the energy to fight with diseases and other problems.
The festival of Navaratri gives us strength in the entire way so why not fast on Navaratri? I think we all must worship Maa Durga with proper rituals.