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Saturday, April 9, 2011

Navratri - A Hindu fastival

Navratri is a Hindu Festival of worship of Shakti and dance & festivities. The word Navaratri literally means 'nine auspicious nights', nava meaning nine and ratri meaning nights. During these nine nights and ten days, nine forms of Devi are worshiped. Navratri is celebrated twice a year - once in the month of Chaitra (April-May) and again in the month of Ashwin (September-October). On both the occasions, nine different forms of Goddess Durga are worshipped. In the September-October celebrations, the main ritual consists of placing images of the Goddess in homes and temples. On the tenth day, the idol is immersed in water. Numerous other celebrations are also associated with Navratri festival.

Nine forms of Shakti are worshipped during the Navaratris. The Devis worshipped depend on the tradition of the region.

The Nine forms of Durga are mentioned as under:-

1. Shailputri is considered to be the daughter of Himalaya. She was the daughter of Daksh during her previous birth and was named as Sati. In this birth, she was named as Parvati. Due to the misbehavior of her father Daksh towards her husband Lord Shiva in her previous birth, she set herself on fire and died. After that, she was reborn to marry Lord Shiva once again. This is first among the different forms of Durga.

2. Brahmacharini is a very beautifully presented in her idol. She is second among the different forms of Durga. She was named as Brahmacharini because once Naradji told her that she will be marrying Lord Shiva and hence in order to get Lord Shiva as her husband she started doing Tap or penance. She undertook the penance as a Bramhachari and hence came to be called as Brahmacharini.

3. Chandraghanta is the third among the different forms of Durga. She is so named as a half circular moon appears on her head. She appears to be golden in color and very charming and Bright personality.

4. Kushmanda is the fourth recognized among the different forms of Durga. She seems to be riding on her lion with eight hands in her idol.

5. Skanda Mata depicts that she was a mother of a son called Skand who was born after she married Lord Shiva after passing through a tough penance. She is counted fifth among the different forms of Durga.

6. Katyani is the name given to her sixth form among the different forms of Durga as she was born as a daughter of a Katyan a rishi.

7. Kalratri is the name given to her black color that symbolizes a dark night. Many flames of fire emerge out as a result of her respiration through nose. She is seventh among the different forms of Durga.

8. Maha Gauri is a fair form of Durga. She is counted as eighth among the different forms of Durga. She rides on a bull in her idol and has four hands. While in penance, she gets d**** ang Lord Shiva cleans her with water of Ganga that makes her pure.

9. Siddhidhatri is among the different forms of Durga that was worshipped by Lord Shiva and hence half of the body of Shiva became the body of Goddess.

Maha Navami is the penultimate day of Durga puja. It commences after the Shandhi puja ends. Maha Navami marks the beginning of the end of the Sharodiya Durga Puja. The celebrations acquire a festive form since the seventh day when the festivities of Navratri surround the atmosphere. After this ritual, the Maha Navami puja starts. People enjoy the Durga puja bhog special on mahanabomi. 

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