Navratri Festival: Rituals, Mantra, Aarti
Navratri is a religious festival dedicated to the Hindu goddess Durga. This festival is celebrated with pomp and excitement as cultural programs. Dance and fairs are organized at various public places in India.
Navratri is warmly welcome in West Bengal since this festival is a part of Bengali culture. Navratri in West Bengal is known as Durga Puja. You can see the Pandals and Durga Idols on the streets of Kolkata during Navratri or Durga Puja Festival. Know more about Durga Puja Celebration in Bengal.
The festival has its unique importance since we offer prayer to unmarried young girls in the form of the goddess. This festival is also known for its spiritual importance. Let us know a little more detail about Navratri.
‘Navratri’ means ‘nine nights.’ ‘Nava’ means ‘nine,’ and ‘Ratri’ means ‘night.’ The prayer, chanting, and meditation performed during Navratri connect us with our spirit. Getting in touch with the spirit invokes positive qualities within us and destroys laziness, pride, obsession, cravings, and aversions. When stress in the form of negative emotions is destroyed, we experience the deep rest of the transforming nine nights.
As the Navratri festival gets closer, people start preparing for this holy festival. Markets are decorated with goddess Durga idols, Chunri, goddess Durga prayer books, photos and banners and other puja materials.
The home is well-cleaned. The temple on the home is refurbished and decorated with LED lights and a bulb. The idols of the goddess Durga are placed in the centre. And Kalas Sthapna is done by the main priest in every home.
The special prayer is organized from the day first of Navratri morning and continued in the evening and morning till the 9th day. During these days the family member keeps fasting, praying and meditating to do jap of mantra from Durga Saptashati.
Navratri is a major festival in the western states of India: Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Karnataka during which the traditional dance of Gujarat called “Garba” is widely performed.
Navratri is celebrated with great zeal in North India as well including Bihar, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh and the northern state of Punjab.
A mantra can be a syllable or a group of words that has spiritual power. In Hindu religious Mantras, practice denotes vibration which has the power to align the chakras in the human body. These mantras help the human mind to evolve into a higher level of consciousness.
Navratri Mantra includes those included in the text ‘Durga Saptashati’. Navratri’s mantra is associated with the principle of purification. However, the quantum of effects depends on the level of sincerity with which the mantra is recited. During Navratri, devotees repeat the universal Navratri mantra for the invocation of Maa Durga, which is-
‘Aim hreem kleem chamundaye vichche’
Each mantra follows a pattern of rhythm, as in the number of syllables to create a certain effect. Hence the powerful Navratri mantra has to be recited with the right intonation and with full reverence.
Each year, we get a different set of colours to be followed for each day in Navratri. In Maharashtra and Gujarat girls and ladies and even some enthusiastic men follow the colours by wearing a Saree or dress of the colour of the day. This is followed from the first day to the Ninth Day of Navratri.
Since each day is dedicated to one particular form of Goddess Durga, each day has significance in terms of colour also. Devotees not only wear those coloured dresses for that day but also decorate the idol of the Goddess in that particular colour. The devotees offer a particular coloured Saree to the Goddess each day. Each colour has a significance of its own and represents different forms of the Goddess. Checkout:- Nine Colours of Navratri.
Navratri is celebrated for nine days. Each day is devoted to one form of Goddess Durga.
- 1st Day of Navratri- Shailaputri
- 2nd Day of Navratri- Brahmacharini
- 3rd Day of Navratri- Chandraghanta
- 4th Day of Navratri- Kushmanda
- 5th Day of Navratri- Skandamata
- 6th Day of Navratri- Katyayani
- 7th Day of Navratri- Kalaratri
- 8th Day of Navratri- Mahagauri
- 9th Day of Navratri- Siddhidatri