is a very important Hindu Festival in India, Which is celebrated from our
ancient people to till date. It is dedicated to Goddess Durga. It is celebrated
for nine days, which signifies by the name that Nava means Nine and Ratri means
Night. During this nine nights and ten days, nine forms of devi's are
worshipped. The tenth day is Vijayadhasami or Dussehra.
story of Navaratri founds evidence in many Hindu Religious text books like
Markandeya Purana, Vamana Purana, Varaha Purana, Shiva Purana, Skanda Purana,
Devi Bhagavatam and Kalika Puranam. However this festival is significance for
spirituality, it has a message behind for all mankind. That is to wake up from
the slumber of ignorance, removal of all negativities, cleanse the mind and
cultivate positive intrinsic worth.
It is celebrated in the month of Ashwin i.e., September to October according to English calendar. This year (2015) Navaratri starts from the date of 13th October and ends at 22nd October (Vijayadasami).
Significance of Navaratri:
is celebrated with reason and significance for each one. During Navaratri we
Pray to nine forms of Durga where all provide lots of significance, Here the
major forms of Durga are Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswathy.
The nine nights are split up into three parts, on the first three nights Goddess Durga is worshipped; this worship goes in a way to attain ultimate strength from Goddess Durga. The Second set of three days Goddess Lakshmi is worshipped, this worship goes in a way to attain ultimate wealth to our family. The Third set of three days Goddess Saraswathi is worshipped, this worship goes in a way to attain ultimate knowledge in all aspects.
festival Puja may bring devotees all success. If devotees Pray to Maa Durga
with pure hearted and purity she showers her blessings. Likewise She eradicates
evil from our soul and body.
There are many different histories for Navaratri which is described by many Legends. History of Navaratri according to Markandeya Purana(chapter 81-93) the slaying of demon Mahishasura or Mahisha by Durga and it is reffered as Devimahatmya and is recited during Navaratri and Durga Puja. It symbolize the victory of good over evil. It details the exploits of the Goddess in her three major forms: Kali, Lakshmi and Saraswathi, representing the three fold energy: strength, wealth and wisdom.
Origin of Durga:
Danu has two sons called Rambha and Karambha performed penances to gain powers.
Rambha performed the austerity by standing in the midst of five ritual fires
called Panchagni and Karambha by standing in neck-deep in water. Indra, the
Lord of all Gods, felts threatened by such severe austerity and took the form
of crocodile and killed Karambha.
Rambha came to know about the death of his
brother, increased the intensity of his austerities and won several boons from
Gods like great vividness, beauty, invisibility in war. Most important boon is
that he will not be killed by Man or Deity or Asuras(Demons).
the boon, he was roaming in the garden of Yaksha and there he fell in love with
a female buffalo. To communicate his love Rambha took the form of a
male-buffalo and copulated with the she-buffalo. But soon a real buffalo
discovered Rambha in the garden and killed him. Rambha's inflated ego made him
not to ask the boon of invisibility from or not to be killed by animals. So an
animal killed him.
The female buffalo was pregnant at that time, It was decided to kill herself in the pyre of Rambha. She jumped into the pyre and from the pyre Sprang up a mighty Asura with the head of a buffalo and human body. This was Mahishasura. He defeated Gods and demons. He attacked the heaven and captured it and made Devas as his slaves. He proclaimed that he is now Indra- the Lord of the Gods.
The Gods led by Brahma
approached Vishnu and Shiva and appraised them about the situation. The anger
emerging out of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva combined to take the shape of a
terrible form of a woman which is called as Durga. Durga is the brilliance of
all Gods. The Gods bestowed their own characteristic weapon to Goddess Durga.
They are Shiva - The Trident, Vishnu - the Discus, Varna - the Conch, Agni -
the Spear, Yama - the Cudgel, Vayu - the Bow, Surya - the Arrows, Indra - the
Vajra, Kubera - the Mace, Brahma - the water pot, Kala - theSword and
Vishwakarma - the Axe. Himavan gifted a Mountain Lion as her vehicle.
When the Goddess was seen by Mahishasura, he fell in love with her and sought to marry her. The Goddess promised to marry him, if he defeated her in the battle. A terrible combat ensued and continued for nine days. Finally, Durga assumed the terrifying form of Chandika and pinned Mahishasura down with her foot and pierced his neck with her spear and she cut his head off with her sword.
Keeping Fasting during the Navaratri days is a important Puja vidhi. Fasting generally is a important thing to be followed by all individuals atleast during pooja days.
Fasting we can some types of food they are as follows, It may vary a little from one part to other of a country.
Flours and Grains :
Devotees can have Chestnut flour, Buckwheat flour, amaranth flour with these flour you can make some delicious food like halwa, iddli, dosa, etc can be prepared.
Spices and Herbs:
Cumin, Black pepper, rock salt, Cardamom, cloves, Dry pomogranate seeds, Cinnamon, Ginger, Green chilli these spices varities can be used in the food which is made during Navaratri days.
Potatoes, Pumpkin, Yam, Raw banana, Bottle Guard, Cucumber, Carrots, Spinach, tomatoes but some wont add.
All Milk products, All Fruits, Sugar, Jaggery, Tamarind, Lemon, Coconut these are all the other food which can be used.
Flour, grains and other which should be avoided:
Rice flour, Rice, Wheat, Maida, Onion, Garlic Non-veg Should be purely avoided during the Navaratri puja Fasting Days.
Navaratri Puja and Fasting vidhi(Procedure):