The Sanskrit word Navaratri is composed by joining two words Nava (Nine) and Ratri (Nights), Sanskrit language is very powerful we can join two or more words to make another word. Navaratri is feast celebrated in a stretch for nine nights. Navaratri is the time we adore the nine incarnations of Goddess Durga and is celebrated five times in a year. At the start of spring just after the end of winter season we have Vasantha Navaratri in the month of Vasantha. At the start of monsoon just after summer we have Ashadha Navaratri in the month of Ashadha. We have Sharada Navaratri in of the month of Ashvija which is the start of mild winter season just after monsoon. Magha Navaratri is when the mild winter gives way to harsh winter in the month of Magha.
Our festival though celebrated with much of zeal and enthusiasm for rejoicing and to enjoy, there will always be a reason and significance behind the festivals. The Divine power is acting on this universe providing energy for the Earth to rotate on its own axis and go on orbiting the Sun. This orbit around the Sun by the Earth brings in various seasons which in turn cause change in nature. This change in nature is necessary for maintaining the perfect balance in the universe. These changes in the nature not only impact the balance of the universe but also on our physical body.
The change in nature is felt as the season changes. It is observed that in the months starting from spring where the solar influence is on the rise the energy level in our too body is on the rise. It is in this period of time our agricultural activates gets started. This positivity is due to the Sattva Guna predominance as the result of it, we become energetic, enthusiastic, innovative and creative. When monsoon creeps in our energy level slides down Tamo Guna is seen predominant and we tend to be a bit lethargic. This is mostly in the month of Ashadha and continues till Shravana.
In the month of Shravana to cheer up our energy level the festive season starts with Naga Panchami followed by Varamahalakshmi and Ganesha Chaturthi. Then we have Paksha Maasa to revere our ancestors. Recalling those beautiful memories of our grandparents we accrue more positivity to welcome Navaratri which starts from the Pratipada of Ashvija Maasa.
The Nine Nights followed by the 10th day called Vijaya Dasami we seek Goddess Durga, the source of energy to bestow vigour to overcome the inner enemies which are Arishadvargas. The nine nights are equally divided among the three aspects of Shakthi. The first three nights is to adore Maha Kaali, a nemesis of the darkness. The next three days are dedicated to Maha Lakshmi, the giver of potent material and spiritual wealth and the remaining three is to worship Maha Saraswati, the magnanimous benefactor of infinite knowledge and wisdom.
We need the blessings of all three aspects of Goddess Durga; hence, the worship for nine nights. Navaratri is celebrated in different ways in West Bengal, Assam and Bihar it is Durga Puja where pandals are erected to display Goddess Durga victory over the demon Mahishasura. In Gujarat it is Garba and Dandiya, the traditional dance performed both by men and women. In Karnataka it is Naada Habba (State Festival) and is celebrated in the same way as it was way back in 1610 celebrated by the great Vijayanagara dynasty. The famous Mysore Dasara procession is the highlight on Vijayadashami. And there is Gombe Habba (Festival of Dolls)...more on it tomorrow.