India is a country of festivals and celebrations. It has a very rich historical and cultural background. Each Indian festival has a proper meaning, logic and significance behind its celebration. It is celebrated with immense zeal and enthusiasm all over the country. Navaratri literally means ‘nine auspicious nights’. Like other festivals of India, It also has a significance and meaning attached to it. As she is the goddess of power, she is believed to have the power of creation, preservation and destruction. Each day of the nine-day festival is dedicated to the worship of different forms of Goddess Durga, which unfolds the religious importance of the occasion.
The first three days of Navaratri
The first three days of Navratri are devoted to the worship of the Goddess Durga. This is the period, when her energy and power are worshipped. Each day is dedicated to a different appearance of Durga. Kumari, which signifies the girl child, is worshipped on the first day of the festival. Parvati, who is the embodiment of a young woman, is worshipped on the second day. The destructive aspects of Goddess Durga symbolize the commitment to acquire triumph over all the evil tendencies. Hence, on the third day of Navratri, Goddess Kali is worshipped, who represents the woman who has reached the stage of maturity.
Fourth to sixth days of Navratri
When a person acquires triumph over evil tendencies of ego, anger, lust and other animal instincts, he/she experiences a void. This void is filled with spiritual wealth. For the purpose, the person approaches Goddess Lakshmi, to acquire all the materialistic, spiritual wealth and prosperity. This is the reason why the fourth, fifth and sixth day of Navratri are dedicated to the worship of Lakshmi in the form of Kushmanda, Skandamata and Katyayani- the goddesses of prosperity and peace.
Seventh and eighth day of Navaratri
The seventh day is dedicated to worshipping Saraswati, the goddess of art and knowledge. Prayers are offered with an aim to seek spiritual knowledge. A ‘yagna’ is performed on the eight day. This comprises of a sacrifice honouring goddess Durga as well as bids her farewell.
Ninth day of Navaratri
The ninth day is the final day of Navratri celebrations. It is also known as ‘Mahanavami’. On the day, Kanya puja is performed to worship nine young girls, who have not yet reached the stage of puberty. These nine girls symbolize one of the nine forms of goddess Durga.
It is said that 64 aspects or the energies of the devi govern this creation and these energies are all contained within one awakened consciousness. The celebrations during the nine nights of navaratri rekindle those energies, harmonise the environment and bring depth to our lives.