Navratris are celebrated twice in a year by devotees with huge devotion and all the rituals. They are called Chaitra Navratri and Sharad Navratri.
When Navratris are celebrated?
According to Hindu calendar, Chaitra Navratri is celebrated in the month of Chaitra which is the starting of the spring season. The second time it is celebrated in the Ashwin month with the name Sharad Navratri also known as Maha Navratri. This year Chaitra Navratri is being celebrated from 18 March 2018 to 25 March 2018. It will be celebrated for eight days only because Ashtami and Navami tithi is lying on the same day according to the calendar.
Why are Navratris celebrated?
Navratris are celebrated to marks the symbolic journey from humanness to divinity thereby reminding people of the real goal of human life.
During Navratri which literally means nine nights in Sanskrit the devotees worship nine incarnations of goddess Durga to get the blessing of Maa Durga.
According to a Hindu tradition, it is believed that there are three major forms namely, Mahasaraswati, Mahalakshmi and Mahakali in which Goddess Durga manifested herself. These three forms are the active energies (Shakti) of Brahma, Vishnu and Rudra respectively and without these goddesses, the gods will lose all their powers.
These three forms of Durga further manifested in three more forms each, and thus emerged the nine forms of Durga, which are collectively called Navadurga means Nine Durgas. These are Maa Shailputri, Maa Brahmacharini, Maa Chandraghanta, Maa Kushmanda, Maa Skandamata, Maa Katyayini, Maa Kaalratri, Maa Mahagauri, Maa Siddhidhatri.
Maa Shailaputri literally means the daughter (Putri) of the mountain (shaila). She is worshipped on the 1st day of Navratri. She can be pleased by chanting
Om Devi Shailaputryai Namah – ॐ देवी शैलपुत्र्यै नमः॥
Maa Brahmacharini is the unmarried form of the Mother Goddess. She is worshipped on the 2nd day of Navratri. Mantra to please her chant
Om Devi Brahmacharinyai Namah – ॐ देवी ब्रह्मचारिण्यै नम
Maa Chandraghanta after getting married to Shiva, Goddess Mahagauri started adorning her forehead with a half moon (Chandra) shaped like a bell(Ghanta) due to which, she became known as Goddess Chandraghanta. She is worshipped on the 3rd day of Navratri. To worship her chant:
Om Devi Chandraghantayai Namah – ॐ देवी चन्द्रघण्टायै नम
Maa Kushmanda is called so for her power and capability to live inside the Sun. The glow and radiance of her body are as luminous as that of the Sun. She is worshipped on the 4th day of Navratri by chanting:
Om Devi Kushmandayai Namah – ॐ देवी कूष्माण्डायै नम
Maa Skandamata is the mother of the God of War, Lord Skanda that’s why she is known as Goddess Skandamata. She is worshipped on the 5th day of Navratri. Please her by chanting Om Devi
Skandamatayai Namah – ॐ देवी स्कन्दमातायै नम
Maa Katyayini incarnated as the daughter of sage Katyayana to destroy demon Mahishasura and help Devas. She is worshipped on the 6th day of Navratri. Worship her by chanting
Om Devi Katyayini Namah – ॐ देवी कात्यायन्यै नम
Maa Kaalratri is the fiercest and the most ferocious form of the Mother Goddess. She destroyed the demons, Sumbha and Nisumbha. She is worshipped o the 7th day of Navratri.
Om Devi Kalaratryai Namah – ॐ देवी कालरात्र्यै नम
Maa Mahagauri: Goddess Shailputri is also called Maa Mahagauri because at the age of sixteen was extremely beautiful and blessed with a fair complexion. Due to her extremely fair complexion, she was known as Goddess Mahagauri. She is worshipped on 8th day of Navratri by chanting:
Om Devi Mahagauryai Namah – ॐ देवी महागौर्यै नम
Maa Siddhidhatri: Adi Parashakti, the Mother Goddess was pure energy and had no form. She thus appeared in the form of Siddhidhatri from the left half of lord Shiva. She is worshipped on 9th day of Navratri. To please her chant
Om Devi Siddhidatryai Namah – ॐ देवी सिद्धिदात्र्यै नम
Colour to be worn during these 9 days are:
Navratri Day 1 – March 18, 2018 (Sunday) – Color of the Day – “Orange”
Navratri Day 2 – March 19, 2018 (Monday) – Color of the Day – “White”
Navratri Day 3 – March 20, 2018 (Tuesday) – Color of the Day – “Red”
Navratri Day 4 – March 21, 2018 (Wednesday) – Color of the Day – “Royal Blue”
Navratri Day 5 – March 22, 2018 (Thursday) – Color of the Day – “Pink”
Navratri Day 6 – March 23, 2018 (Friday) – Color of the Day – “Purple”
Navratri Day 7 – March 24, 2018 (Saturday) – Color of the Day – “Yellow”
Navratri Day 8 – March 25, 2018 (Sunday) – Color of the Day – “Green”
Navratri Day 9 – March 26, 2018 (Monday) – Color of the Day – “Grey”
This festival drives home divinity, realizing the true purpose of life, demonstrating gratitude and sense of charity and several other values.