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Navratri 2012 - Navratri in 2012

Last Updated: 9/6/2011 1:50:51 PM

navratri

By Bala Mishra

Navratri 2012 date is 23 March. India a country known for its varied festivals and celebration is rich in beliefs. The rich historical and cultural background of India has so many different festivals each with a proper meaning, reason and significance. Fun and enjoyment are common aspects of each of these festivals, which sets the festive mood.

Navratri, is one such auspicious festival that is celebrated for nine days. Navratri literally means nine nights. It is one of the most important Hindu festivals. Dedicated to the worship of Goddess Durga, the deity of power, Navratri has a deep significance and meaning attached to it. Each day of the nine-day festival are dedicated to the worship of different forms of Goddess Durga, which explains the religious importance of the occasion. Here is a write-up that talks about the significance of Nanvratri and its nine days.

The First Three Days of Navratri

During the nine days of Navratri, Sri Durgadevi wanders in the Universe along with Her nine weapons, with the help of the Absolute Fire Principle.The first three days of Navratri are devoted to the worship of the Goddess Durga. On the first day of the Navaratras, a small bed of mud is prepared in the puja room of the house and barley seeds are sowed. On the tenth day, the shoots are about 3 - 5 inches in length. After the puja, these seedlings are pulled out and given to devotees as a blessing from god. These initial days are dedicated to Durga Maa, the Goddess of power and energy. Each day is dedicated to a different appearance of Durga. Kumari, which signifies the girl child, is worshipped on the first day of the festival. Parvati, who is the embodiment of a young woman, is worshipped on the second day. The destructive aspects of Goddess Durga symbolize the commitment to acquire triumph over all the evil tendencies. Hence, on the third day of Navratri, Goddess Kali is worshipped, who represents the woman who has reached the stage of maturity.

Fourth to Sixth Days of Navratri

the Primal Divine Energy completely annihilates the distressing frequencies coming from the seven Patals (the nether regions) to the earth every day, in an ascending order.During these days, Lakshmi Maa, the Goddess of peace and prosperity is worshipped. Fifth day is known as Lalita Panchami and all books, pens and literature especially of children studying are place in puja and a lamp is lit to invoke Saraswati Maa, the Goddess of knowledge and art. These books are not touched by the student. When a person acquires triumph over evil tendencies of ego, anger, lust and other animal instincts, he/she experiences a void. This void is filled with spiritual wealth. For the purpose, the person approaches Goddess Lakshmi, to acquire all the materialistic, spiritual wealth and prosperity. This is the reason why the fourth, fifth and sixth day of Navratri are dedicated to the worship of Lakshmi - the goddess of prosperity and peace.

Although the individual has acquired victory over evil tendencies and wealth, he is still deprived of true knowledge. Knowledge is required to live the life of a humane, even though he/she is prospered with power and wealth. Therefore, Goddess Saraswati is worshipped on the fifth day of Navratri.

Seventh and Eighth Day of Navratri

The seventh day is dedicated to worshipping Saraswati, the goddess of art and knowledge. Prayers are offered with an aim to seek spiritual knowledge. This in turn will free us from all earthly bondage. A 'yagna' is performed on the eight day. This comprises of a sacrifice honoring goddess Durga as well as bids her farewell. The sacrifice or offering is made out of clarified butter (ghee), rice pudding known as kheer and sesame seeds.

Ninth Day of Navratri

The ninth day is the final day of Navratri celebrations. It is also known as 'Mahanavami'. On the day, Kanya puja is performed to worship nine young girls, who have not yet reached the stage of puberty. These nine girls symbolize one of the nine forms of goddess Durga. The feet of girls are washed to welcome the goddess and show respect to her. The girls are offered a set of new clothes as a gift from the devotees at the end of the puja.

Navratri Fasts

The fast is observed for all 9 days beginning from the first day of Navratri; some people observe the fasts for the first and last day only. It is believed a person will overcome obstacles and attain prosperity, happiness and spirituality by observing of this fasts. During navratri non-veg, alcohol should not be consumed and those devotees who smoke should abstain from it during this time. Many people do not shave and cut hair or nails during navratri. Fruits and milk can be consumed during the fasts and one can observe Ekana means you can eat a complete meal once during the day.

Navratri Puja Rituals

You can read Durga Saptashati, Durga Stuthi and other Devi stotras and chalisas. One can visit temples and pray to the goddess and offer flowers and fruits and light diyas.

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