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Step into the vibrant land of India, where ancient traditions blend seamlessly with modern times. One such exhilarating extravaganza that captivates the nation every year is the dazzling festival of Navratri. Enveloped in mythological tales and steeped in historical significance, Navratri is an electrifying celebration that showcases India’s rich cultural tapestry. Join us on a journey through time as we unravel the captivating origins and spellbinding stories behind this remarkable festival!
Navratri, (“Nav” meaning Nine, & “Ratri” meaning Night), is one of the most revered Hindu festivals observed in honor of the Goddess of strength-“Maa Durga”. According to ancient legends, an invincible demon king named Mahishasura threatened the existence of gods and mortals alike. In their desperate plea for help, the gods united their powers, and Devi Durga emerged, a fierce and formidable goddess. Goddess Durga is the feminine epitome of destruction, protection, motherhood, and wars. She is often depicted with many arms, each carrying a weapon and defeating the demons while riding a tiger.
The festival of Navratri is celebrated twice a year: “Chaitra Navratri” is celebrated in the month of March-April and “Sharad Navratri” is celebrated in the month of September-October. Both festivals are associated with Maa Durga and are believed that the goddess remains on the earth for nine days to bless her devotees & rid the earth of all negative energies. Chaitra Navratri, which falls during the Shukla Paksha of Chaitra every year, signifies the beginning of the Hindu New Year as per the Hindu calendar. During the nine-day festival, the goddess Durga’s nine forms are worshipped and celebrated with great enthusiasm all over India. The devotees observe fast for nine days to attain the blessing of the goddess. These nine days are solely dedicated to the 9 incarnations of Maa Durga which are:
Day 1- Maa Shailputri (Daughter of Mountain)
The Goddess “Shailputri” is worshipped on the first day of Navratri. She was the daughter of the King of Mountains, Himavan. She is depicted with light ornamentation on her limbs and is robed in red and pink colored cloth. She has two hands both holding a trident and lotus and is shown seated upon a white bull.
Day-2 Maa Brahmacharini (Mother of Devotion and Penance)
The Goddess “Brahmacharini” is worshipped on the second day of Navratri. “Brahma” means “Tapa” and “Charini” means “an ardent female follower”. She is seen dressed as a female ascetic and is adorned with dried Rudraksha Beads and Flowers ornamentation. She has two hands both carrying a rosary and water utensils.
Day-3 Maa Chandraghanta (Destroyer of Demons)
The Goddess “Chandraghanta” is worshipped on the third day of Navratri. Her forehead is bedecked with a Crescent Moon resembling the shape of a temple bell. She is seen seated upon a fierce tiger with her nine armed by a trident, mace, bow, arrow, lotus, sword, bell, and a waterpot, while one other hand blesses her devotees.
Day-4 Maa Kushmanda (Goddess of the Cosmic Egg)
The Goddess “Kushmanda” is worshipped on the fourth day of Navratri. “Ku” means little, “Ushma” means “warmth or energy”, and “Anda” means “Egg”. This form of Shakti is a happy manifestation of the Goddess. She is mounted on the back of a Lion with eight to ten hands, holding a trident, discus, sword, hook, mace, bow, arrow, and two jars of honey (Elixir) and blood.
Day-5 Maa Skandamata (Goddess of Motherhood and Children)
The Goddess “Skandamata” is worshipped on the fifth day of Navratri. “Skanda” is another name for Kartikeya and Skandamata means “The Mother of Kartikeya”. She is seen seated upon the back of a Lion with four hands. Her two hands are holding lotuses, the third holding her six-headed infant Kartikeya and the fourth hand blessing her devotees.
Day-6 Maa Katyayni (Goddess of Power)
The Goddess “Katyayni” is worshipped on the sixth day of Navratri. She represents Durga in the warrior stage. She is seen sitting on a fearsome lion and is adorned with heavy ornamentation on her limbs and is dressed in green and pink vestments. She has four hands each carrying a sword, shield, lotus, and trident.
Day-7 Maa Kaalratri/Kaali (Goddess of Auspiciousness and Courage)
The Goddess “Kaalratri/Kaali” is worshipped on the seventh day of Navratri. “Kaal” means “Time or Death” and “Ratri” refers to darkness/ignorance. Therefore, Kaalratri means the one who puts an end to darkness & ignorance. Representing Durga in the form of Destruction, she is seen mounted upon a donkey as her vehicle. She has three bloodshot eyes and unkempt hair wearing a garland of skulls around her neck. She has four hands holding a trident, a scimitar, a vajra, and a cup.
Day-8 Maa Mahagauri (Goddess of Beauty and Women)
The Goddess “Mahagauri” is worshipped on the eighth day of Navratri. She represents Durga in her Recovery and is seen sitting upon a white ox. She has four hands, three of which carry a trident, a mini drum, and a pink lotus, while her fourth hand blesses her devotees with protection.
Day-9 Maa Siddhidatri (Goddess of Supernatural Powers or Siddhis)
The Goddess “Siddhidatri” is worshipped on the final day of Navratri. Representing Durga in her highest and supreme form of Mahashakti, she is seen sitting on a fully bloomed lotus. She has four hands carrying a discus, conch shell, pink lotus, and a mace.
It is said that Navratri is the time when nature begins to bloom & supports the creation of positive energies during this time, which makes these nine nights more sacred. Navratri Puja is conducted with supreme dedication by devotees to please Goddess Durga. Prabhu Shriram- India’s Best Agarbatti and Dhoop brings to you premium fragrances that make you feel the essence & presence of the supreme Goddess in the comfort of your home. The “Navratri Puja Kit” includes all the Puja essentials to conduct the puja & get the divine blessings of Maa Durga. The ”Upasana” Agarbatti from the Life & God Collection has a unique fragrance that instills your prayers with Maa Durga’s Shakti. The holy fragrance of “Mata Vaishno Devi Agarbatti” from the Incredible Temple Collection lets you offer your prayers to Maa Durga and fill your house with the soulful fragrance of the Mata Vaishno Devi temple.
In the present day, Navratri continues to evolve, blending tradition with contemporary elements. From celebrity performances to innovative dance forms, the festival embraces new dimensions while holding onto its timeless essence. Social media platforms and digital spaces amplify the celebrations, connecting people from all corners of the world and spreading the infectious enthusiasm of Navratri to new generations.