Symbolizing victory of positivity over negativity, Navratri, the word is formed using two words 'Nava' and 'Ratri'.
Nava means nine and Ratri means nights hence Navratri literally means nine nights.
During the festival of Navratri, Maa Durga is worshipped and revered in Her various forms.
Navratri is celebrated every year in the Hindu calendar month of Ashwin which is around September-October as per the Gregorian calendar.
What's the Significance of Navratri?
During Navaratri, we invoke the energy aspect of God in the form of the universal mother, commonly referred to as "Durga,"
which literally means the remover of miseries of life. She is also referred to as "Devi" (goddess) or "Shakti" (energy or power).
It is this energy, which helps God to proceed with the work of creation, preservation and destruction. In other words, you can say
that God is motionless, absolutely changeless, and the Divine Mother Durga, does everything. Truly speaking, our worship of Shakti
re-confirms the scientific theory that energy is imperishable. It cannot be created or destroyed. It is always there.
Why Twice a Year?
Every year the beginning of summer and the beginning of winter are two very important junctures of climatic change and
solar influence. These two junctions have been chosen as the sacred opportunities for the worship of the divine power because:
(1) We believe that it is the divine power that provides energy for the earth to move around the sun, causing the changes
in the outer nature and that this divine power must be thanked for maintaining the correct balance of the universe.
(2) Due to the changes in the nature, the bodies and minds of people undergo a considerable change, and hence, we worship
the divine power to bestow upon all of us enough potent powers to maintain our physical and mental balance.
Why Worship the Mother Goddess?
We think this energy is only a form of the Divine Mother, who is the mother of all, and all of us are her children.
"Why mother; why not father?", you may ask. Let me just say that we believe that God's glory, his cosmic energy, his
greatness and supremacy can best be depicted as the motherhood aspect of God. Just as a child finds all these qualities
in his or her mother, similarly, all of us look upon God as mother. In fact, Hinduism is the only religion in the world,
which gives so much importance to the mother aspect of God because we believe that mother is the creative aspect of the absolute.
Why Nine Nights & Days?
Navaratri is divided into sets of three days to adore different aspects of the supreme goddess.
On the first three days, the Mother is invoked as powerful force called Durga in order to destroy all our impurities, vices and defects.
Also on the first day Barley seeds are sown in a mud pot and the pot is kept on the Puja Altar
The next three days, the Mother is adored as a giver of spiritual wealth, Lakshmi, who is considered to have the power of bestowing on
her devotees the inexhaustible wealth.
The final set of three days is spent in worshipping the mother as the goddess of wisdom, Saraswati. In order have all-round success in life,
we need the blessings of all three aspects of the divine mother; hence, the worship for nine nights.
Mahanavami: Navaratri culminates with Mahanavami. Kanya Puja is performed on Mahanavami in which nine young girls (pre-puberty)
representing the nine forms of Goddess Durga are worshiped and fed.
Listen to a Recording from MHDS Satsang, Bhajan by Brando Bhai