Navratris

 

What is Navratri ?

It is one of the biggest Hindu festivals and is celebrated  twice a year – Spring and Autumn. Navratri means Nine Nights. Nav means nine, ratri means night. During this period Parvati, Laxmi and Saraswati are worshipped as three different manifestations of  cosmic energy.

 

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Durga, The Mother Goddess:

The celebrations are dedicated to the Hindu goddess Durga.  Navratri, symbolizes the triumph of good over evil, as in Hindu mythology, Durga famously destroyed the demon Mahishasura after a battle that lasted nine nights. Hinduism is the only religion in the world which has emphasised  the motherhood of God to such an extent.

Celebrations:

The 10 days and 9 nights of Navratri are filled with ritualistic chanting, prayers, fasting and celebration. In some places in India, festivities include traditional dance and music, fire ceremonies, community worships. Navratri is also meant for introspection and purification. The most elaborate celebrations happen in Bengal, where Indians worship massive idols of Durga.

Dietary restrictions:

Ideally, one should observe fast from any grains, onion, garlic, any fruit / vegetable which grow under the ground during navratris. I know so many people who still do that. But with such fast paced lives today or old age or health issues, sometimes it’s hard to follow this tradition. In that case one has the option to pick last two days to observe the grain  fast. If nothing works, some people try not to use garlic and onion in their cooking during navratris. In general, whether you are fasting or not, you have to adopt a vegetarian style for nine days – no eggs or any kind of meat allowed.

 

The tenth day

The festival comes to an end on tenth day, popularly called as Vijay Dashmi or  Dusshera. This symbolizes the victory of positivity over negativity.

How I celebrate this festival:

Before I got married, I remember visiting temple as early as 5.30 a.m. with my mother. We would spend about one hour reading our scriptures and offered prayers to Maa Durga. I always looked forward to this festival as I could feel the positive vibes throughout the nine auspicious days. I think it was through those trips to temple  I realized that we can create a positive environment around ourselves if we really wish to. It’s all in our minds. We just need to change our focus and channelize our energies in creating a beautiful and meaningful life.

 

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The beautiful statue of Maa at the ashram, Crestone.

 

From last 8 years, I have been going to this ashram at Crestone, twice a year with my family here in U.S. Come rain / snow or shine, we have rarely missed going to Crestone. The fire ceremonies there and the enchanting community recitals at the dusk and dawn are truly a  divine experience .

 

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It is believed that fire ceremonies or ‘yagna’ purifies the air making room for positive energy.

 

May this festival brings good luck and positive energy for each one of us.

Happy Navratri.

 

27 Comments

  1. I don’t even know how I have never heard of this before seems as it is such a big celebration that happens twice a year! I always love all the colours associated with Hindu festivals

  2. Thanks for sharing this informative post. I have not heard of this before. Happy Navratri!

  3. This is fascinating! I had never heard of Navratris before but it is very interesting learning about it. I love the purpose behind it of of purification. I hope your celebrations are just as positive and meaningful again this year!

  4. Happy Navratri to you as well Monika! Hope it brings you good luck and lot’s of positive energy! We do not have such festivals…a pity really

  5. Happy Navratri! I love learning about other cultures! It’s my dream to visit India one day!

  6. Nice article on Navratri ! Jai Mata Di. We also observe complete vegeterian lifestyle for 10 days.
    http://www.mumbaitomelbourne.com/fashion-and-beauty-blog-posts/polka-dots-at-work

  7. Happy Navratri, Monika! Looking forward to seeing your pics through the festive season 🙂 btw I nominated you for a Liebster award – do check it out!

  8. Thank you for sharing this post on this fascinating and beautiful festival! I would love to take part in one at some point in my life. I agree that we can make a positive energy everyday if we so choose, the mind and spirit are powerful gateways to positivity if we choose to use them.

  9. This festival looks beautiful – thank you for sharing with us 🙂

  10. Awesome, beautifully written post.. I do miss Navratri, especially kolu & all the fun associated with it!! Thanks for sharing this wonderful post!

  11. Shubh naratre.

  12. I didnt hear about it before

  13. Jai mata di 🙏🏼
    Happy Navratre!

  14. I looks like a great opportunity to connect with oneself & their beliefs too 🙂

  15. Happy Navratri, Moniika, what a beautiful festival! I hope it brings you much joy and creativity.

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