Navratri is a time period of nine days devoted to the worship of nine forms of Maa Durga.

Maa Durga
Maa Durga

Namaste!

Welcome to the world of divine readings at www.onindianpath.com. I am writing this blog on two Navratris falls twice in a year. Lets read on this informative and engaging experience.

Introduction

Navratri is a Hindi word which means nine nights. As per Devi Bhagwad Purana, Goddess Durga is the supreme divine power of the universe. If a devotee pray to her for these allocated nine days, he will be blessed with the siddhis of Maa Shakti.

Apparently we have two Navratri in Hindu Panchang- Vasantiya Navratri and Shardiya Navratri. Both of them indicates the welcoming of change in season and weather with celebrations of arrival of Maa Durga in her nine forms.Today, I am talking about both the auspicious Shardiya Navratri and Vasantiye Navratri.

Background and Significance

As per Hindu text, it is believed that once Goddess Parvati asked her Husband Lord Shiva to go to her Mayeka (Mother’s house). Then Lord Shiva gave permission to goddess Shakti to visit the Earth during nine days of navratri in the Chaitra and Ashwin maas.

Similarly other ancient text suggest that Goddess Bhagwati roam around the world during these nine days to review her devotees’ life.

Firstly, on this occasion girls visiting their house during Navratri are considered auspicious and wealthy sign of Shakti mahotsav.

Secondly, devotees also request young girls below the age of 9 years to visit their homes as kanjhak (kanya pujan) to bless them.

Date of Chaitra Navratri 2024

As per Hindu Panchang, Chaitra Navratri falls on pratipada of shukla paksha of Chaitra mas. As per Gregorian calendar, it will start from April 9, 2024. The tithi will start at 11:50 pm on April 8 and will end at 8:30 pm on April 9, 2024.

Muhurat for Ghatsthapna of Chaitra Navratri 2024

Additionally, the shubh muhurat for ghatsthapna will start at 6:02 AM and ends at 10:16 AM on April 9,2024. Also, there is abhijeet muhurat starting at 11:57 AM and ends at 12:48 PM on April 9, 2024 for ghatshtapana of kalash.

Date of Shardiye Navratri 2024

This year we are having Shardiya Navratri from October 3, 2024 till October 11, 2024. As per hindu panchang, Shardiya Navratri starts from the Pratipada of Ashwin mas.

Shubh muhurut for Ghatasthapana is 06:09 AM to 07:08 AM on October 3, 2024. Likewise, it is recommended in abhijeet muhurat from 11:44 AM to 12:32 PM on October 3, 2024.

Although Goddess Durga always has lion as her sawari. But as per Hindu sages and scholars, Maa Durga will come on horse this year to wander around the Earth.

What is Ghatsthapna?

Eventually, Ghatasthapana has a deep spiritual significance. The kalash (earthen pot or pot made up of brass) represents the divine energy, and it is installed to invite the blessings of Goddess Durga into one’s home.

Apparently, Ghatasthapana is a powerful ritual during Navratri’s as it signifies the renewal of life and the triumph of good over evil.

What are the things needed for Kalash Sthapana?

Firstly for setting up the Kalash, earthen pot, barley, pure soil of Ganga, coconut, Kalava ( a kind cotton thread believed to be auspicious), red chunari, water of Ganga or any holy river, betel nut, Akshat, lamps and ghee are the necessary items.

How to Install the Kalash on Navratri?

On this day, people invoke the Goddess by installing Kalash in their homes and then worship her for nine days.

Firstly, revere Lord Ganesha during Brahma Muhurta. One should also remember Goddess Durga.

Secondly, a round shape should be made on the ground with soil and barley should be sprinkled on it and the urn (kalash) should be placed.

Thirdly, Swastika should be made on the kalash and kalava should be tied in it.

Then after, seven types of grains and metals should be put in the Kalash, filled with Ganga water and installed.

Lastly, a coin should be tied on the coconut through Kalava, placed on the Kalash and red chunri should be worn. This coconut is considered to be the form of the goddess.

At the end, always revere the nine form of Devi Durga during nine days with reciting their respective mantras.

How to worship Goddess Durga in Navratri?

Here are the few things which we need to keep in mind while worshipping Maa Durga in Navratri. when I was a child, my father used to tell us about the significance of installing kalash and sowing of Barley in soil for religious and environmental reasons.. During Navratri, my father used to tell us the importance of soil and sowing of Barley in the earthen port to both of us(me and my brother).

Although we used to question him why do we do every Navratri? Hence, he used to answer us by sowing Barley in the soil is the way through which we recognise the efforts made by farmers to serve us the grains. And soil and water are essential parts of sustaining life on Earth. Religiously speaking, Barley is considered pious for Puja.

List of Chaitra Navratri 2024 and Shardiya Navratri 2024

However, the list of nine days of Chaitra Navratri are as follows:

9 April 2024 – Maa Shailaputri

10 April 2024 – Maa Brahmacharini

11 April 2024 – Maa Chandraghanta

12 April 2024 – Maa Kushmanda

13 April 2024 – Maa Skandmata

14 April 2024 – Maa Katyayani

15 April 2024 – Maa Kaalratri

16 April 2024 – Maa Mahagauri

17 April 2024 – Maa Siddhidatri

Meanwhile, the list of nine days of Shardiya Navratri are as follows :

3 October 2024 – Maa Shailaputri

4 October 2024 – Maa Brahmacharini

5 October 2024 – Maa Chandraghanta

6 October 2024 – Maa Kushmanda

7 October 2024 – Maa Skandmata

8 October 2024 – Maa Katyayani

9 October 2024 – Maa Kaalratri

10 October 2024 – Maa Mahagauri

11 October 2024 – Maa Siddhidatri

Nine Days, Nine Forms of Navratri

The nine forms of Goddess Durga worshiped during Navratri are known as the Navadurga. These are:

Shailaputri

ऊँ देवी शैलपुत्र्यै नमः

Goddess Shailaputri is worshipped on the first day of navratri. Also she is fond of white and red colour.

Firstly she is offered red and white flowers. Devotees also offer milk and kumkum to devi Shailaputri. She is the daughter of the Himalayas and is symbolized as a goddess riding a bull. She is holding a trident in one hand and lotus in another hand. Devotees worship her for sucess. She is revered in yoga too for awakening Kundalini.

Brahmacharini

ओम ब्रां ब्रीं ब्रौं ब्रह्मचारिणीय नमः

This form of Maa durga called Brahamcharini. She represents the pursuit of knowledge and wisdom. Devotees worship her on second day of Navratri. She did penance to get Lord Shiva as her husband.

Infact goddess Brahamcharini holds a rosary in one hand and a water pot (kamandal) in another hand. Hindus worship her for long age and to control their anxiety and improving concentration. Also she is fond of hibiscus and lotus flowers. Even she also loves yellow colour.

Chandraghanta

ॐ देवी चन्द्रघण्टायै नमः

Apparently Goddess Chandraghanta is worshiped on third day of Navratri. She is depicted with a half-moon on her forehead and is believed to bring peace and serenity. And, she is having 10 arms holding lotus flower, water pot, trident, mace, sword, arrow, and bow and one on heart and rest two hands in abhay mudra and var mudra.

Indeed she took birth to kill the demons. She is fond of red colour.

Kushmanda

ॐ देवी कूष्माण्डायै नम:

Goddess Kushmanda is a fourth form of Durga, associated with creating the universe. And is often worshipped with eight hands holding waterpot, bow, arrows, lotus, amrit kalash, chakra and mace.

Apparently Devi kushmanda is associated with Ku (small), ashm (heat) and anda(circular form) means a goddess made from a small dot with a smile. She is fond of orange colour.

Skandamata

ॐ देवी स्कन्दमातायै नमः

Skandamata is the mother of Lord Skanda (Kartikeya) and is portrayed holding her son with six faces. She is worshipped on fifth day of navratri. She is fond of red colour and bananas. Devotees revered her for the pursuit of happiness and higher peace.

Katyayani

ॐ देवी कात्यायन्यै नम:

Goddess Katyayani Is the sixth form of Durga. Eventually, she is known for her fierce form and is often depicted as riding a lion while wielding various weapons. She has four hands holding lotus and sword in both of the upper hands. While she is having Abhay mudra and Var mudra in lower hands. Also she is fond of honey and yellow colour.

Kaalratri

ॐ कालरात्र्यै नम:

Maa Kaalratri is the fierce form of goddess Durga, associated with the eradication of ignorance and darkness. She is worshipped on seventh day of Navaratri. Also she is sitting on a donkey, having three eyes and has a dark complexion. Also she is four armed Devi projecting vara mudra, abhay mudra, sword and a weapon with spikes. Although she is having three eyes and open black hair. Infact she is fond of red color and jaggery.

Mahagauri

ॐ देवी महागौर्यै नमः

Mahagauri is the eighth form of Goddess Durga. She is the epitome of beauty and purity, depicted as fair coloured Devi with four arms. She is sitting on bull and having four arms holding damru, trident, abhay mudra and var mudra. She got tanned during penance to get Lord Shiva as her husband. Then after getting the blessings of Mahadev, she was transformed into a fair beauty by Ganga Jal that Lord Shiva poured onto her.

Siddhidatri

ॐ सिद्धिदात्र्यै नम:

The ninth form of goddess Durga represents Siddhidatri. She is the giver of supernatural powers and is often depicted with four arms holding chakra (discus), shankh (counch shell), mace and a lotus flower. She sits on a lotus flower. Siddhidatri is fond of beige colour.

These nine forms of Goddess Durga has great relevance in our life.

Rituals and Traditions of Navratri

There are many rituals and traditions of Navratri followed differently at different geographical locations.

  • Fasting
  • Garbha Dance
  • Dandiya Dance
  • Alpana Making

Modern traditions of Navratri has changed the traditions with contemporary lifestyles. Here are some modern practices associated with Navratri:

Dandiya and Garba Events

Contemporary times have made Dandiya and Garba events, as special and lively by inducing live music concerts, DJ nights, professional dancers, competitions and contests. Youth have made it a more modern and social way to celebrate the festival.

Dandiya during Navratri
Performed Dandiya during Navratri

Navratri Fashion

Now, people are ready to try something new. Specially the younger generation try to showcase their fashion sense during Navratri. They create a fusion of traditional and modern styles by mixing Chaniya Choli with jeans and Kurta are often paired with trendy accessories.

Online Celebrations

distance is not a big deal now. You can celebrate Navratri in India while sitting in USA. Thanks to digital development of communication and technology, online chatting, video conferencing and video calling has made it easy for far off people.

Health-Conscious Fasting

These days many people are opting for gluten-free or vegan alternatives during Navratri fasts. They choose to focus on health-conscious fasting, instead of going for traditional dietary restrictions.

Eco-Friendly Practices

Apparently people are more environment conscious. Also they consider eco-friendly and sustainable practices such as using natural dyes for Rangoli designs and recycling by reducing waste in decorations.

Health and Fitness in Navratri

Generally people are coming up with ideas and options focusing on their health. Now a days, health is wealth. Many people use Navratri as an opportunity to focus on health and fitness by incorporating yoga, alternate healing and other exercises into their daily routines.

Conclusion

Modern Navratri traditions reflect the evolving cultural landscape and changing lifestyles. But it shoes not change the aura of Navratri. People are still maintaining the essence of the festival’s spirituality and devotion to the goddess Durga.

Keep following us for more information and updates on Hindu culture. Have a blessed read.

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