Navratri is celebrated across various parts of India for nine nights and ten days. The Navratri festivities begin on 1st October 2016. Goddess Durga is worshipped in her nine avatars as Nava-Durga. As Goddess Durga on the first three days, Goddess Lakshmi on the next three days and Saraswathi on the last three days.
The story behind celebration of Navratri originates from the Hindu perspective of good triumphing over evil, i.e., of Goddess Durga defeating the asura Mahishasura, to claim her rightful place in the hearts of selfless worshippers.
The battle of Devas and Asuras:
The demonic beings or asuras in this context could be interpreted as evil forces like ego, greed, lust and fear, which keep one away from spiritual progress. The personification of Devas are symbolic of self-discipline, universal love and courage, which comes under threat in evil trying to possess the good, in the battle between devas and asuras.
The self-delusion personified Mahisha, the asura chief gets beaten in his own game as the power of the goddess grows to overpower him and slayshis ego driven nature.. The endless cycle in whichdesires and greedassume giant or asura like proportions can be victoriously dispelled, as the glorious light of the goddess enters the worshipper’s consciousness. Thereby removing the darkness of one’s own bitter and poisonous self.
The dos for bringing home energy of Goddess during Navratri:
- Have a physically purifying bath first thing in the morning.
- Eat fruits and vegetarian diet and abstain from eating non-vegetarian food.
- Offer home-made naivedyam or milk and sweets to Goddess .
- Recite mantras as many times in a day as possible. Read the durga-saptashati paath everyday – read the first and then the last, then the second and the second last, the 7th chapter needs to be read twice.
- Participate in special rituals to the Goddesses
Welcoming the Goddess in the sacred confines of your home is like sending a spiritual invitation to invoke the archetype’s blessings. Ask Goddessto be present with you as you start praying and asking for forgiving your wrong deeds and any mistakes. This prayer chanting will get your spiritual settings right this Navratri.
The dont’s that need to be borne in mind:
- Don’t eat more than what you need to. Don’t eat bitter or non-vegetarian food.
- Do not stitch or knit anything during the Navratras.
- Do not lie or use unkind words on others as it spews ill effects and creates a circle of negativity around you.
- Do not dirty your home, specially your puja room. Keep it dirt-free and cleansed to reflect positive energy.
- Avoid Television/ News/ Serials/ Movies that bring pessimism and involves one in embracing lively energies only.
- Do not study on the 9th day. On the contrary, keep your books, pens, pencil and other tools of education near Goddess Saraswati so that you can get her blessings
These simple do’s and dont’s are means to self regulate your way of functioning in your living space. After performing the rituals, fasts, performing acts of cleansing and chants for Navratri, Goddess Durga blesses her devotees with true and pure heart.
And when ego perishes, order is restored and harmony returns to your mind and nature.