| The Story | Importance | History | Significance of Navratri
Navratri is a post-monsoon autumn festival called Shraddha Navratri, celebrating the Gods for the victory of good over evil. The Navaratri 2020 starts on October 17 and ends on October 25.
Navratri is an auspicious festival observed in many ways at various places in India, like setting the stages, doing prayers, performing plays of Gods, doing pooja, idol immersion, some perform fasting, some prepare feast, and having a bonfire. Even in Nepal Navratri is celebrated as Dasain, it is a family event and homecoming celebration. Beyond religion, the Navratri celebration is a symbol of eliminating evil from our lives and making us start walking in the path of dharma.
Let us dive into the question of why Navratri is celebrated? and will see about the story, History, Significance, and Importance of the Navratri festival.
Why Navratri is Celebrated?
Navratri is celebrated for the victory of dharma on the earth over evil. Whenever evil suppresses Dharma, it is believed that God will take a new form in this world and protect everyone from evil. In North and western parts of India, the tenth day of Navratri is celebrated as the Dussehra festival as a victory of Lord Ram for killing ten-headed rakshasa Ravana, for destroying the evil on the earth. Navratri is observed as Durga Pooja in eastern parts of India, where Goddess Durga battles and wins over the Mahishasur - buffalo-headed Demon. In southern states, Navratri is celebrated by different Gods and Goddesses for destroying evil and spreading Dharma and peace in this world.
Story of Navratri
The story of the Navratri festival is associated with the battle between Devi Durga and the Demon Mahishasur. The history of the Navratri festival involves the conflict between Devas and Asuras which is a never-ending one. Mahishasur is a buffalo-headed Demon who is an expert in changing his physical form. He worshiped Lord Brahma and wanted to become immortal but no God will take a chance of missing a balance in this universe and so Lord Brahma wished a boon that no man could kill him. After gaining more power Mahishasura raged war against Devas. In the fight between Gods and Demons, Mahishasura won Deva's head Indra Deva and even captured Trilogy.
The dejection of the war made all the Devas lose their ego and fall to the feet of mother Parvathi. She gave her word that she will save all the Devas from Mahishasur and restore dharma. His boon does not mention women, his faith was to die in the hands of a woman. So, the incarnations of mother Parvathi, Lakshmi, and Saraswathi participated in the war and led the Devas. The war happened for nine days and finally, on the tenth day of the battle, the goddess Durga also known as Aadiparasakthi led the army and killed the Demon Mahishasur with her Trishul. Hence she is called Mahishasuramardhini that means Killer of Mahishasura.
People also believe that the Navratri festival is associated with the battle between Rama and Ravana. It is believed that Rama is an incarnation of Lord Vishnu born to kill Ravana who got a big boon from Lord Brahma that he can't be killed by any Gods, Devas, Rishis, Demons, or any spirits. So, Lord Vishnu was born as a Human to destroy evil and strengthen the foot of dharma.
Rama was born to Dasharatha and Kowshalya as an elder prince of the Ikshavaku Dynasty. His Siblings are Bharatha, Lakshmana, and Satrugana from his stepmothers Kaikeyi and Sumitra. On knowing that Rama is going to be the next king, Dasharatha's beloved wife Kaikeyi forced him to send his son Rama for exile for 14 years. Dasharatha with a broken heart sent Rama for exile with Sita and Lakshmana, later he died with the sadness of missing his beloved son Rama. Rama, Sita, and Lakshmana went to many sacred places, visited great saints, and spent the years. Meanwhile, Rama with his brother Lakshmana destroyed many evils and protected people on their way. Later the king of all Demons Ravana abducted Rama's wife Sita to Lanka. Rama requested to release her but Ravana refused and this led to the fierce battle between Rama and Ravana. In the end, Rama destroyed Ravana and other evil. The victory is celebrated as Dusshera - the last day of Navratri in many states of India. The arrival of Rama with his wife Sita and brother Lakshmana back to Ayodhya is celebrated as the "Diwali" festival that comes twenty days after Vijayadashami
Importance and Significance of Navratri
If we come across the importance of Navratri, it mainly focuses on the benefits and blessings of celebrating the Nine days. Navratri's nine days are dedicated to nine Goddesses who are Navadurga and they are believed to be the incarnations of Devi Durga named Shailaputri worshiped on Prathamai, Brahmachari on Dwithiyai, Chandrakanta on Trithiyai, Kushmanda on Chaturthi, Skandamatha on Panchami, Katyayini on Sashti, Kaalaratri on Saptami, Mahagauri on Ashtami, Sidhidatri on Navami, and finally, on Dashami i.e on the tenth day, Goddess Durga is worshipped for the victory of the dharma over evil, and that's why that day is celebrated as Vijayadasami in India. Like in many ways, Navratri has bundles of importance.
The nine days of Navratri festival is always celebrated with full of lights, Colours, excitement, and a great time with family and friends. The beginning three days are devoted to the Goddess Parvati, the next three days are devoted to the Goddess Lakshmi, the last three days are devoted to the Goddess Saraswati.
During Navratri days, everyday people prepare varieties of food and snacks and share the food, dresses, and other holy objects with the people who visit their homes. Especially people share all these items with young girls because there is a belief that the Goddess Durga visits their home in the form of young girls and blesses them for goodness in their lives.
The story of Navratri may vary from place to place, but every incident is related to destroying the evil and restoring the dharma in the world. In the evolution of the world, Humankind is a combined form of both Deva and Asura. The significance of Navratri is to demolish the demonic qualities and enhance the angelic character in every human.
Get ready to invite Mother Durga on this Navratri 2020 and be blessed with all the goodness in life!!!