World's biggest festival of Goddess begins-1billion Hindus to celebrate "Navratri" to honor feminine
Updated: Apr 4
News published by NRI Herald Australia, 03 Apr 2022
Navratri honours the Goddess Durga, who battled and defeated the demon king Mahishasura. This year, the festival will take place from 2 to 11 April.
The nine-day festival, which is also known as Sharad Navratri, is observed in the Ashwin month of the Hindu lunar calendar. During Navratri, Hindus invoke the divinities who are in Arupa state, to Rupa state, in the form of Shaila. This transformation of divinities into Rupa state, is represented by the form of Shailaputri.
According to Hindu History, Lord Brahma had fulfilled the demon king Mahishasura’s boon of immortality, on the condition that he could only be defeated by a woman. As the demon king remained invincible after attacking Heaven, Earth and Hell, Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu, and Lord Shiva combined their powers to create Goddess Durga. The goddess fought against Mahishasura and killed him with her Trishul after a nine-day battle on the day of Mahalaya.
Navratri generally falls four times a year, but only two- Chaitra Navratri (March-April) and Sharad Navratri (September-October) are celebrated widely with grandeur. This year, Chaitra Navratri will commence on April 2, 2022, and end on April 11, 2022. Chaitra Navratri falls in the auspicious month of Chaitra as per the Hindu calendar.
On the occasion of the Navratri, the nine forms of Goddess Durga are worshipped, which are collectively known as Navdurga. Each day of the Navratri is dedicated to an incarnation of Ma Durga. The first day is for Mata Shailputri, then Brahmacharini, Chandraghanta, Kushmanda, Skanda Mata, Katyayani, Kaalratri, Mahagauri and Siddhidatri on the ninth day. Each form of Maa Durga is also associated with a specific colour and has a special meaning. Wearing these colours on the specific days of the Navratri is considered auspicious. Here is the significance of each colour of Ma Durga.
1.Shailaputri represents Parvati in her stage of childhood. Shail defines mountain and she is the daughter of the Mountain King, Lord Himavan and Queen Menavati. After having given up her Sati form, the Goddess has taken birth in the avatara of Shailputri Parvati. Since her birth, she experienced a feeling of attachment towards Lord Shiva. Goddess Parvati had taken her birth as an ordinary woman to attain the position of a goddess in her journey to become one with Lord Mahadev. She is that avatar of a little daughter who makes a family, her parents happy, joyous and proud of her. Shailputri is milk white in complexion, with three content eyes as well as a calm mien. She is adorned by light ornamentation on her limbs and was clothed in red and pink robes. She has two hands both holding a trident and lotus. She is seated upon the behind of a white bull.
2. Brahmacharini represents Parvati in her phase of asceticism. Parvati had attained this epithet due to her performing austere and harsh penances to have Lord Mahadev as her husband for years. This form of her is close to her because as Parvati, she had been meditating to become one with Shiva again as Shakti, ensuring that her motive is complete. For her to be Brahmacharini, not only did Parvati wake up Mahadev from his penances, but rather, this form of hers was awakened within her in which she'd broken the rules of living life as a ordinary human. She is a student and a disciple who makes it her mission to attain the goals of her life through the harsh period of her education. Brahmacharini is of a fair complexion, with three content eyes as well as a calm mien. She is dressed as a female ascetic and is adorned by dried up Rudraksha beads and flowers as her ornamentation. She has two hands, both of which carried a rosary and a water utensil.
3. Chandraghanta represents Parvati in her married aspect. Parvati was given this title by Lord Mahadev himself, due to her wish to have Lord Chandradev, the Moon God, to adorn her as an ornament on her forehead, as her Lord adorned him upon his crown of matted hairs, as he's known the world over as Chandrashekhara. On fulfilling her wish, Mahadev transformed her bridal guise into a new form with a new name. As she's now adorned by the digit of the crescent moon on her forehead, Parvati will be known the entire world over as Devi Chandraghanta. She is also that aspect of a woman who is independent and fights to establish justice, peace and makes her voice heard to bring about positive changes. Chandraghanta is gold complexioned, with three bloodshot eyes and a calm face. She is adorned by heavy ornamentation on her limbs and was dressed in red apparel. Her crown is decorated by the logo of the half moon. She has ten hands, nine of them are armed by a trident, mace, bow, arrow, lotus, sword, bell and a waterpot, while one other hand blesses her devotees. She is seated upon a fierce tiger.
4. Kushmanda represents Devi Parvati in her stage of discovering that she is none other than Mahashakti. After their marriage, Lord Mahadev made Goddess Parvati know the fact of her true existence. This form of her is known the world over as Kushmanda, as she holds within her, many endless powers of the world. Lord Mahadev had helped her realize the fact that she's not just a human, she is a Goddess, who is the Mother of the World and all of creation, as she produced the three planes through her golden womb. She's that aspect of woman who brightens up the lives of those around her by her glee. Kushmanda is of a gold complexion, with three peaceful eyes and a calm mien. She is adorned by ornaments on her limbs and was dressed in pink and yellow vestments. She has eight hands, six of which held a discus, mace, lotus, bow and arrow in one hand, sword and rosary and the two other hands carried a jar of honey and waterpot. She is mounted upon the back of a tiger.
5. Skandamata represents Devi Parvati in her stage of motherhood. Parvati is known to be the mother of Skanda, her son Kartikey. Parvati was kept away from nurturing her child from the six Krittikas. As the seed of the energy that Shiva and Parvati created, fell to a sleeve of reeds, it was split into six infants, as they're found by six women, and after working out a fair resolution, as Shiva and Parvati merged the six babies into one infant with six faces, he would be known to all as Shanmukha (six-faced) and as being the mother of this unique child, Parvati will be known as Skandmata. Also, as the baby Shanmukha Skanda had been found by the six Krittikas, he will be known as Kartikeya, as he's their kid as well as Shiva and Devi's kid. Skandmata is maternity, affection, and love in a woman. Though any child may be biological, adopted, or through surrogacy, she is still a mother. Skandamata is of a gold complexion, with three eyes as well as a calm mien. She is adorned with light ornamentation on her limbs and is dressed in orange and yellow apparels. She has four hands, two of which held lotuses, the third holding her son, the six-headed infant Kartikeya seated on her lap, and the fourth saves her devotees. She is seated upon the back of a lion.
6. Katyayani represents Parvati in her warrior stage. When the Gods invoked Mahashakti to protect them from demon Mahishasura, Parvati materialized from a sacrificial fire in the avatar of a ten armed Goddess, who is then known the world over as Katyayani, due to her having assumed her birth in the home of sage Katyayan being his daughter and killed the dreaded demon after a long fight. She is that avatara of a woman who shows that she is not vulnerable when the question of protecting her is brought up, as even she can also protect men oftentimes. Katyayani is of a molten gold complexion, with three staring eyes and a relaxing face. She is adorned by heavy ornamentation on her limbs and is dressed in green and pink vestments. Her four hands each carried a sword, shield, lotus and trident. She's seen seated on a fearsome lion.
7. Kaalratri represents Parvati in her phase of destruction. She is called the Goddess of time and death because she is above and beyond its reign as she controls the time in which someone's death arrives and she is beyond darkness. She is also that aspect of a woman who is constantly enraged by injustices and fights them to save society as she is aggressive and can bring about destruction when her threshold is crossed. Kaalratri is of a pitch dark complexion and has a ferocious expression. She is adorned in electric ornamentation on her limbs and is clothed in red and black robes. She has three bloodshot eyes, unkempt hairs, and wears a garland of skulls around her neck, which shone like lightning. Her four hands all held a trident, scimitar, vajra, and a cup. She is seated upon the behind of a donkey as her vehicle.
8. Mahagauri represents Parvati in her phase of recovery. After she embraced her form of Kali, Parvati returned to her normal form but with skin as black as night clinging on to her person. On Lord Brahma's direction, she immersed herself in the Manasarovara river and came back out afterward, radiant as the moon and shining brilliantly with her white garments and ornaments. This form of Parvati was known the world over by the name of Mahagauri. She's also that avatar of a woman who is a homemaker, devoted wife, and a nurturing mother, as she is the only one who is the foundation of a family. Mahagauri is of a bright white complexion, with three peaceful eyes as well as a calm expression. She is adorned by light white ornamentation on her limbs and is dressed in white clothes. She has four hands, three of which carried a trident, mini-drum and a pink lotus while her one hand promised her devotees protection. She is seated upon a white bull.
9. Siddhidhatri represents Devi Parvati in her stage of reaching her highest and supreme form, knowing who she is as she has been established as the complete manifestation of Goddess Mahashakti, thus reaching her status of becoming a Goddess. Siddhidatri has all the supernatural powers and is one with Lord Shiva as Ardhanarishwara. She's that avatar of a woman that represents the very source of life and provides education, teaching skills, and discipline into her kids. Siddhidhatri is of a fair complexion, with three content eyes as well as a calm mien. She is adorned by light ornamentation on her limbs and was dressed in red and blue vestments. Each of her four hands carried a discus, conch shell, pink lotus and a mace. She is seated upon a fully bloomed lotus.