It is a well known and discussed fact that India is a country full of rich culture and festivals. These festivals we celebrate, with each having it’s own significance, are also a way to bring people together, to work together, and to celebrate life together. Many different goddess are an important part of this culture, and so are the women in our society. One such festival which celebrates this indistinguishable part of life, is the nine days long festival of Navratri. Though it is celebrated in different ways all over the country, the feeling of devotion and worshiping the goddess is same all over the country. Through all the enthusiasm, fun and get-togethers that happen during these days, there’s also a lot to learn. There’s an ocean of information one can get by knowing the significance and reason why these festival is celebrated. So, here’s a quick look at the importance of each day from these nine days.
या देवी सर्वभूतेषु शक्ति रूपेण संस्थिता।
नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमो नम:।
Navratri is the festival of goddess Durga, the goddess who is considered to be a symbol of power. Each day among the nine days is represented by one form of this goddess, each being significant and interesting to learn about. So, let’s take a look at these nine forms or Navadurga.
Literally meaning daughter(putri) of the mountains(Saila). Considered to be the daughter of the king of Himalayas, she is the first among the nine forms of goddess Durga. Being a combined form of the powers of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, she rides a bull a trident and lotus in her hands. Being the daughter of the mountains, she stands for the giant mountains and the beautiful mother nature we’re blessed with. Worshipping her offers our worship to the nature and also a resolution to work towards keeping earth beautiful, as much as we can.
She is the second form of goddess, meaning the one who practices devout austerity. The name can be broken into Brahma (penance) and charini(female follower). A form which teaches how be true and honest with oneself.
The third form of goddess Durga whose name means one who is bearing a moon shaped like a bell. The devotees who worship her are believed to be blessed by her by freeing them from all the sufferings in life.
It is believed that she created this universe. Also, the devotees are blessed with health, wealth and strength upon worshipping her.
5. Skanda Mata
She is believed to bless devotees with prosperity. Her name means Skanda(Kartikeya)- mata(mother).
Also known as Chandika, she is considered to be the most fierce form of goddess Durga.
Also known as Maa Kaali, she is believed to diminish darkness.
8. Maha Gauri
Representing peace, serenity and intellect.
This form, considered to be the ninth avatar, is also known as Mother Goddess.
Each of these nine forms is unique, one being fierce, the other being calm. Since childhood we are also surrounded by so many women, appearing to us in different roles. Right from our mother to teachers, sister, grandmother, aunts and every other woman who cares for us, teaches us in some or the other way. Isn’t it a celebration of all this? A celebration of all the women we have around us. A celebration of the care, warmth and unconditional love they spread around. A celebration of the first lesson your kindergarten teacher taught you. A celebration of the care your mother took when you were down with fever. A celebration of the stories your grandmother told you at bedtime. A celebration of the laughter you shared with your sister on a joke only you two could laugh at. Celebration of the dinner talks you have with your wife after a bad day at work. Celebration of the homework your best friend did for you at school, just because she cared. Here’s to all the women who are equally caring at good times and fierce when need be. Who would go that extra mile to help and care for someone in need and would also raise their voice against something wrong. Here’s celebrating power, courage, care and love a woman offers and a goddess blesses us with.