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Monday, September 26, 2011

NAVRATRI, worshiping the Power

ITs a festival which touches every life and its more of a carnival. Navratri is an Indian festival where we worship the Goddess of power or Shakti in her all forms.

I wondered about the beginning and legend behind this festival. Here it goes.

Each of the nine day of this festival is dedicated to one of the form goddess took.
Parvati, the Supreme Goddess of Power known as sagun form of Devi Adi-Parashakti is the centre of this festival.

1. It all started when Lord Rudra worshiped Maa Adi-parashakti for creation, Lord Rudra cleared different levels of Shakti and Maa Shakti appeared in 'Saguna' form from the left half of Lord Shiva. The Goddess was Siddhidatri.
2. Then Goddess started living inside center of Sun so that Sun liberates energy by the grace of Goddess, the Goddess is known as Goddess Kashmunda.
3. The same Goddess then took birth in home daksha, Goddess was a great sati and her unmarried form is known as Goddess Brahmacharini.
4. After the self immolation of Maa Sati she appeared as daughter of Lord Himalya, the Goddess is then recoganized as Goddess Shailputri.
5. At the age of 16 Goddess Durga was extremely beautiful and very fair complexion and known as Goddess Mahagauri.
6. When Devi gets married with Lord Shiva, as Lord Shiva, Devi also liked to wear half chandra on her forehead, and recoganized as Goddess Chandraghanta.
7. When Devi became the mother of Lord Skanda or Lord Kartikeya, Devi was then known with name Goddess Skandmata.
8. Then Devi took the form of Goddess Katyani to destroy Demon Mahishasura.
9. Goddess Gauri or Goddess Parvati removed Devi's outer golden skin to fight against demons Shumbha-Nishumbha, Devi became very dark Goddess's this form is called Goddess Kaalratri.

The Nine days of Navratri:

Day 1 Shailputri

The first among nine Durgas and 1st night of Navratras is devoted to the puja of Shailputri . Her two hands display a trident and a lotus. Her mount is a bull.

Day 2: Bhramcharni

.One hand hold a "Kumbha" or water pot, and the other holds a rosary. She personifies love and loyalty. Bhramcharini is the store house of knowledge and wisdom. Rudraksha beads are Her most adored ornaments!

Day 3: Chandraghanta.

There is a half-circular moon in her forehead. She is charmful and bright. She is Golden in color, possesses ten hands and 3 eyes. Eight of her hands display weapons while the remaining two are respectively in the mudras of gestures of boon giving and stopping harm. Chandra + Ghanta, meaning supreme bliss and knowledge, showering peace and serenity, like cool breeze in a moonlit night. This Durga Shakti rides a tiger.

Day 4: Kushmanda

possessed of eight arms, holding a weapons and a mala ( rosary), her mount is the tiger and She emanates a solar aura.The abode of Kushmanda is Bhimaparvat

Day 5: Skanda Mata

Rising a lion as Her chosen vehicle, She holds Her son skanda on her lap. She displays three eyes and four hands; two hands holds lotuses while the other two hand display defending and granting mudras, respectively. Its said, by the merch of Skandmata, even the fool becomes an ocean of knowledge.

Day 6: Kaatyayani

stayed in the Ashram of sage Katyayan for penance, hence SHE named as Kaatyayani. This 6th Shakti is also astride a lion with 3 eyes and 4 arms. One left hand holds a weapon and the other a lotus. The other 2 hands respectively display defending and granting gestures. HER complexion is golden coloured.

Day 7: Kaalratri

Black (or blue ) skin with bountiful hair and 4 hands, 2 clutching a cleaver and a torch, while the remaining 2 are in the mudras of "giving" and "protecting". Her vehicle is a faithful donkey. The destroyer of darkness and ignorance

Day 8: Maha Gauri

With four arms and the fairest complexion of all the Durgas Shaktis, Mahagauri radiates peace and compassion. She is often dressed in a white or green sari. She holds a drum and a trident and is often depiected riding a bull.

Day 9: Siddhidatri

There are eight Siddhis , they are- Anima, Mahima, Garima, Laghima, Prapti, Prakamya, Iishitva & Vashitva.It is said in "Devipuran" that the Supreme God Shiv got all these Siddhies by worshipping Maha Shakti. With her gratitude the half body of Shiv has became of Goddess and there fore his name "Ardhanarishvar" has became famous.Usually shown ensconced a lotus with four arms, She is the grantor of 26 different wishes to Her Bhaktas.

Checklist for the festival preparation
1. Flowers
2. Dhoop , agar batti, Cotton
3. Ghee
4. Long ke jode (9) or 18 if you will do havan too
5. Havan samgri
6. Nariyal (kalash ke upar nariyal rakha jata hai . Nariyal ko roli dhage ya chunri se bandha jata hai)
Ideally nariyal and kalash is not moved for 9 days.

7. Roli dhaga
8. Panch meva (kismis, badam, gola, kaju, chiraunji)( prepare its mixture before hand)
9. mishri
10. IMP: chunri :) go for most colourful and beautiful ones u find
11. roli tika

Wishing everyone a most blessing and peaceful navratri.
May it bring peace and shakti nivas in your homes. May you feel the kind gaze of Maa Durga and prosper.Let there be light.

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