Navratri, the festival of nine days in which people worship divine feminine Ma Navdurga, Ma Jagdamba, Ma Bhagvati, and Ma Adhyashakti who is the only factor behind every aspect of Shakti (energy). Nine is a very important number in our culture relating to the nine planets and human body is also built with nine elements; Panchtatva – Akash (Ether), Vayu (Wind), Agni (Fire), Jal (Water), and Prithvi (Earth), Man (Mind), Buddhi (Intelligence), Ahankar (Ego) and Chitt (Willing). Ma NavDurga is the creator and controller of all the nine elements hence during Navratri people worships Ma NavDurga. Also, there is an importance in praying during the nights as well.

Four types of Navratri and day wise celebration.

There are four Navratris in the year but two are famous and the other two are less comparatively, also known as secret Navratri or Gupta Navratri. Chaitri Navratri, celebrated from first to nine days of shukl paksh of the Chaitra Month and Ashwini Navratri or Sharada Navratri, celebrated from first to nine days of shukl paksh of the Ashwini Month. The other two are Poshi or Magh Navratri and Ashada Navratri. People pray to divine feminine Ma Navdurga as nine avatar on each day, first day is celebrated for Shailputri the daughter of Himalayas, second day is celebrated for Brahmacharini an incarnation of Ma Parvati, third day is celebrated for ChandraGhanta, fourth day is celebrated for Kushmanda, fifth day is celebrated for Skandmata, sixth day is celebrated for Katyayani, seventh day is celebrated for Kalratri, eighth day is celebrated for Mahagauri and ninth day is celebrated for Shiddhidatri.

Legend behind the Navratri Celebration

The story behind the Navaratri is that a long time ago, the demon named Mahisasur became very powerful and became harmful for the Dharma, people and god both. So all the gods went to Lord Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh and told about the demon Mahisasur and requested to help out the Earth from his atyachar (torture). Lord Tridev created the Daivy Shakti with their virtue and everyone provided the various powers. Then during Navratri, a battle took place between the Ma Daivy Shakti and the Mahisasur for nine days and Ma Daivy Shakti killed Mahisasur and established the Dharma again. This Daivy Shakti is our Ma NavDurga and hence the battle these days is celebrated as Navratri.

During Navratri we all should pray to Ma Navdurga and ask to provide us the power to fight against the ashuri shakti and help us to triumph against the evil. As per our common understanding, physically, a demon has long teeth, hair and nails but in reality, the ashuri shakti means greed, anger, ego, selfishness. असुषु रमन्ते इति असुरा | Our society contains all of this Ashiri shakti so we all need to pray to Ma Navdurga to give us the power to fight against it.

All our spiritual scripture includes the Vedas, Upnishad, Ramayana, Mahabharata, Skandh have given importance to the worship of Shakti. We can see the bravery, feat, and brightness in all the characters such as the Lord Ram, Lord Krishna, Arjun, Bhism. Also mentioned that if we want to established and sustain the Dharma we must worship the Shakti and without the Shakti no one can sustain on the earth even it is morally sound. For a very long time, ashuri shakti has attacked the Daivy thoughts, having good and moral thoughts may not be enough if not protected by the protection of the Shakti.

Today we can see that India is a little weak in terms of Shakti because we forgot the messages from our scripture to worship of Daivy shakti and we will get weaker if we do not get the power and strength. One famous Sanskrit slok - संघे शक्ति: कलौ युगे | mentioned that we have to be united and worship the Ma Devi Shakti and this is the only Mantra to sustain the in this Kaliyug.We all have to give equal efforts and make an organization of all people with good thoughts in Navratri days and we need to remove our negative actions to build our nation a superpower and be respected worldwide. We have to pray to Devi Shakti Ma to give the world a good sense and unite during Navratri.

Significant: Nowadays every person thinks that he is superior and they wish to find the reason, evidence, and science behind themselves. So day by day, the faith in God, Nature and even in themselves is reduced. An understanding has to be developed, that for everything in the world, there are three main factors. One is Kriya Shakti (Action), second is Dravya Shakti (Lakshmi) and third is Buddhi Shakti (Intelligence). These all three are co-related and in absence of any, nothing is possible. Everything around us is due to these three Shakti, If we have Lakshmi and Buddhi but we don’t take any action then it is worthless and applicable vice and versa and that is why we have to worship Ma Devi Shakti during Navrati. Navratri is sub divided in three part, first three days we have to pray and worship Ma Kali, the form for the Kriya shakti, next three days we have to pray to Ma Lakshmi, the form for the Dravya Shakti and last three days of Navratri we have to pray to Ma Saraswati, the form for the Buddhi Shakti. If all these three shakti are with us, nothing can stop us and our Nation India from developing and growing rapidly.

We should pray and asked for Buddhi, Shraddha and Shakti.

या देवी सर्वभुतेषु श्रद्धारूपेण संस्थिता । नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमो नमः ॥ या देवी सर्वभुतेषु कान्तिरूपेण संस्थिता । नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमो नमः ॥ या देवी सर्वभुतेषु लक्ष्मीरूपेण संस्थिता । नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमो नमः ॥

Celebration: Navratri is celebrated across India in different ways. The common practices followed across the nation are; fasting during the Navratri, Ghat sthapan on the first day and visarjan on the ninth day and worship of Ma Devi Shakti. Apart from this, region wise people across the nation celebrate as per their faith and practice. In Gujarat, Navratri is one of the most important and awaited festivals. People across the state make Garba with color and holy Divdo (Lamp) and then worship this Garbo and put it into the center and play Garba and Ras around this to worship Ma Devi Shakti and do Pradakshina around Ma Devi Shakti for all the nine days. In West Bengal, Navratri is celebrated as Durga Pujan Festival. Navratri is the most important festival in West Bengal and thousands of Pandals (stages) are built. People across the state visit these pandals and pray. Major social gathering during the Navratri happens in West Bengal. In North India, Ramlila events are arranged where the story of Lord Ram is played on the stage.

In short, Navratri is the time to worship Ma Devi Shakti and get the victory over the various Ashuri shakti of Kaliyug, understand the power of unity and importance of devotion and faith.

Dates of Sharad Navratri

Year Date
2021 7th October to 15th October
2022 26th September to 4th October
2023 15th September to 23rd September
2024 3rd October to 11th October
2025 22nd September to 30th September
2026 11th October to 19th October

Dates of Chaitra Navratri

Year Date
2021 13th April to 21st April
2022 2nd April to 10th
2023 22nd March to 30th March
2024 9th April to 17th April
2025 30th March to 7th April
2026 19th March to 27th March