As a Hindu, religion and festivals are a main part of my life in which I believe in. In our Hindu culture, so many festivals are celebrated throughout the year which brings the people of different communities, cultures and even the people living next to each other houses, who have not talked to each other in their entire life, together and celebrate the joys of these festivals. This is the essence of our culture.
Among the various festivals of Hindu tradition, Navratri is endowed with a great significance. It is the symbol of victory of good over evil. The nine day festival culminates on the tenth day which is the day of victory and success. This festival also marks the symbolic journey from humanness to divinity thereby reminding people of the real goal of human life. The Navratri festival glorifies the eternal power of Durga and seeks her blessing and protection from the negative and the evil powers that surrounds us.
So today I am going to talk about “Vasanta Navratri”, the second most celebrated of the four navratris i.e. Sharada, Vasanta, Magha and Ashada and is named Vasanta as it falls on spring. It is observed on the lunar month of Chaitra (post-winter, March–April) and is also known as Chaitra Navratri. The festival is associated to the prominent battle that took place between Durga and demon Mahishasura and celebrates the victory of Good over Evil. These nine days are solely dedicated to Goddess Durga and her nine Avatars. Each day is associated to an incarnation of the goddess.
Day 1: Shailaputri
Known as Pratipada, this day is associated to Shailaputri (Daughter of Mountain), an incarnation of Parvati. It is in this form that the Goddess is worshiped as the consort of Shiva; she is depicted as riding a Bull, with a Trishul in her right hand and Lotus in left. Shailaputri represents the collective power of the Hindu Trinity- Brahma, Vishnu, and Mahesh. The color of the day is Red, which depicts action and vigor.
Day 2: Brahmcharini
On Dwitiya, Goddess Brahmcharini, another incarnation of Parvati, is worshiped. In this form, Parvati became Sati, her unmarried self. Brahmcharini is worshiped for emancipation or moksha and endowment of peace and prosperity. Depicted as walking bare feet and holding a japamala and kamandalu in her hands, she symbolizes bliss and calm. The color of the day is Royal Blue which depicts calmness-cum-energy.
Day 3: Chandraghanta
Tritiya commemorates the worship of Chandraghanta- the name derived from the fact that after marrying Shiva, Parvati adorned her forehead with half-chandra(lit. moon). She is the embodiment of beauty and is also symbolic of bravery, and hence, the color of the day is Yellow.
Day 4: Kushmunda
Goddess Kushmunda is worshiped on Chaturthi. Believed to be the creative power of universe, Kushmunda is associated to the endowment of vegetation on earth and hence, the color of the day is Green. She is depicted as having eight arms and sits on a Lion.
Day 5: Skandmata
Skandmata, the goddess worshiped on Panchami, is the mother of Skand(or Kartikeya). The color Grey is symbolic of the transforming strength of a mother when her child is confronted to dangers. she is depicted riding a ferocious Lion, having four arms, and holding her baby.
Day 6: Katyayani
Born to a sage, Katya, she is an incarnation of Durga and is shown to exhibit courage which is symbolized by the color Orange. Known as the warrior goddess, she is considered one of the most violent forms of Goddess Parvati. In this avatar, the Devi rides a lion and has four hands.
Day 7: Kalratri
Considered the most ferocious form of Goddess Durga, Kali is revered on Saptmi. It is believed that Parvati removed her fair skin to kill the demons Sumbh and Nisumbh. The color of the day is White.
Day 8: Mahagauri
Mahagauri symbolizes intelligence and peace. The color associated to this day is Pink which depicts optimism.
Day 9: Sidhidatri
On the last day of the festival also known as Navami, people pray to Siddhidaatri. Sitting on a lotus, she is believed to possess and bestows all type of Siddhis. Here she has four hands. The color of the day is Purple.
Thus, the festival of Navratri is endowed with a lot of significance in terms of religious, spiritual, intellectual, social, cultural and national dimensions. This festival drives home the message of heralding divinity, realizing the true purpose of life, demonstrating gratitude and sense of charity and several other values.
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