Navratri: A Nine Day Festival Dedicated to Goddess Durga

In Sanskrit language, Navaratri means nine nights, Nava meaning nine and Ratri meaning nights. During Navratri, The nine forms of Shakti/Devi are worshiped. Legends related to Navratri show about the battle that was fought between the powerful demon named ‘Mahishasura’ and Goddess Durga. It is believed that evil Mahishasura was blessed with the immortality that was given by Lord Brahma under one condition that the powerful Mahishasura could be only be defeated by a woman. Goddess Durga is a reincarnation of Goddess Parvati, who is the wife of Lord Shiva. In Hindu mythology, it is believed that Shakti that is another avatar of Goddess Parvati is the goddess of power that runs through the universe.

Navratri is a very significant and major festival of Hindus and is celebrated all over the world. It is also one of the most ancient festivals dating back to the times immemorable. On each day of Navaratri, different avatars of Goddess Durga are worshipped with colors of joy. Let’s take a look at all the 9 forms of Goddess Durga and what they signify.

  • Goddess Shailputri –  The 1st night of Navratri is devoted to Goddess Shailputri. “Shail” means mountains. Goddess Parvati,  who is the daughter of the king of Mountains Himavan, is known as “Shailputri”.
  • Goddess Brahmacharini – She personifies love and loyalty. Goddess Brahmacharini is a symbol of knowledge and wisdom and Rudraksha is her most adorned ornament.
  • Goddess Chandraghanta – On the 3rd night of the Navratri is devoted to Goddess Chandraghanta. Chandra and Ghanta, together means supreme bliss and knowledge, showering peace and wisdom, like a cool breeze in a moonlit night.
  • Goddess Kushmanda – The 4th night begins with the worshipping of Goddess “Kushmanda”, she emanates a solar like aura. “Kumbh Bhand” means to see cosmic vivacity in Pindi shape or knowledge of cosmic intricacies in the human race.
  • Goddess Skandamata – It is widely believed that by the mercy of Goddess “Skandmata”, even the idiot becomes an ocean of knowledge like “Kalidas”.
  • Goddess Katyayani – Goddess “Katyayani” stayed in the Ashram of Rishi Katyayan for penance, and is named as “Katyayani”.
  • Goddess Kalaratri – Goddess Kalarati is the destroyer of darkness and ignorance, she is the 7th form of Nav-Durga and is symbolized as the enemy of darkness.
  • Goddess Mahagauri – Peace and compassion radiate from her and she is often dressed in a green or white sari. She is shown holding a drum and a trident.
  • Goddess Siddhidatri – Sitting upon a lotus, most commonly, with 4 arms, and is the possessor of 26 different wishes to grant her worshippers.

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