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Navratri - All About the Festival, Traditions and Rituals

India is a place of many religions and civilizations, and its festivals are renowned for capturing the spirit of this country. Sharad Navratri is particularly significant among these celebrations. The mystical energies of the Goddess Shakti are celebrated during this Nine Nights celebration. This blog will take you on a tour of Sharad Navratri, a festival celebrated with great fervor and vibrancy all throughout India for its spiritual significance and historical significance.

Navratri, which celebrates the triumph of good over evil, is known in Sanskrit as the "Nine Nights" (Nav, Nine, and Ratri, Nights). During these nine days and nights, devotees call upon the Divine Mother in her three incarnations: Durga, Lakshmi, and Saraswati.

History and Significance of Sharad Navratri

The history of Navratri is deeply rooted in Hindu mythology and ancient traditions. Navratri, is a celebration of the divine feminine energy and the triumph of good over evil. Its origins can be traced to various Hindu legends and scriptures.

Goddess Durga and the Battle with Mahishasura: One of the most well-known stories associated with Navratri is the battle between Goddess Durga and the demon king Mahishasura. According to Hindu mythology, Mahishasura was a powerful demon who could change his form at will. He wreaked havoc on the Earth, and the Gods could not defeat him. In response, they created Goddess Durga, an embodiment of divine feminine energy. She fought Mahishasura for nine days and nights and finally defeated him on the tenth day, which is celebrated as Vijayadashami or Dussehra.

Navdurga: During Navratri, nine different forms or manifestations of Goddess Durga are worshipped. Each form is associated with specific qualities and attributes. These forms are: Shaila Putri, Brahmacharini, Chandraghanta, Kushmanda, Skandamata, Katyayani, Kalaratri, Mahagauri, and Siddhidatri.

Ramayana Connection: In the epic Ramayana, Lord Rama is said to have worshipped Goddess Durga for nine days before embarking on his battle against the demon king Ravana. This tradition is believed to have inspired the Navratri festival.

Harvest Festival: In some parts of India, Navratri also marks the beginning of the harvest season. Farmers worship the goddess for a good harvest and offer the first harvested grains to her as a sign of gratitude. Throughout history, Navratri has evolved and adapted to regional customs and practices, making it one of the most diverse and culturally rich festivals in India. It is celebrated with great enthusiasm and devotion across the country and holds a special place in the hearts of millions of people.

Rituals to prosperity this Navratri.

Sharad Navratri is not merely a festival; it is a spiritual journey that connects people with

their inner selves. It teaches us to embrace the virtues of strength, courage, and devotion symbolized by Goddess Durga, making it a cherished and revered occasion in the Hindu calendar. Here are some of my tips to ensure Mata Parvati visits and resides in your homes this Navratri.

  1. Food symbolizes prosperity, in this auspicious time of Navratri to ensure residence of Mata Parvati at your homes its critical for you to prepare a complete meal at all three times of the day.

  2. Kitchen is the heart of your home, so do ensure its well-kept and clean in this duration. Specifically, during the nighttime do not leave used vessels and dirty cutlery in the sink.

  3. You should stock your home with necessary groceries needed for 9 days. You can buy enough to get you through this period on the first day of Navaratri.

  4. Through all these days it’s important that you offer “Bhog” in your mandir. If you pray to the “Tulsi” tree, then you should offer Bhog there too.

  5. Avoid arguments and cultivate an atmosphere of serenity and contentment to attract the blessings of Mata Parvati, who resides in areas of joy.

  6. If you run a restaurant or food joint or a commodity or grocery shop, it's very important that you cook all 3 times of the day irrespective of customers. Do not cook the complete portion one time and serve it through the day. Also, if you have a “mandir” at your restaurant offer “bhog” there too.

  7. If you run a commodity or grocery shop and have a “mandir” at the shop, then offer “bhog” there too.

  8. It’s important that you prepare ‘Pakka Khana (e.g., Puri Sabji)” for at least 2 days during this festival duration.

  9. Mata Parvati may come in any form at your home, so ensure you host guest well, respect them. Offer and feed them well before leaving.

  10. If an underprivileged person or a beggar comes to your home or meets you, please do donate food or money to the person. No one should return empty handed from your place.

  11. During these 9 days, it is customary to light a "Akhand" Deepak. Mustard oil and a clove in a light will accomplish the same thing. Put a clove in the lamp you light in front of "Tulsi" as well. If the clove burns off, you can add another one the next day, but if it doesn't, you can just leave it.

  12. During this auspicious time for the first 2 days, make an offering of a sweet made of milk. Please note all the offerings should be cooked at home. You can offer (kheer, rabri, milk sweets, etc.)

  13. Be kind to animals during this duration. Mata Parvati is fond of animals so you can offer food and serve them during this time.

  14. To attract abundance and prosperity it's very important that the women in the family should stay well-groomed and dress their very best in this duration.

  15. To attract abundance and prosperity it’s very important that all the members in the family should rise early morning and get ready before 9am.It's also important that no food or beverage is consumed prior to bath in this duration.

  16. During this holy and auspicious period do not consume meat or eggs. Infact do not keep eggs at your home.

From our Ekakivedam family here’s wishing you the energy of Maa Parvati, the prosperity of Maa Lakshmi, and the wisdom of Ma Saraswati. May the nine avatars of Maa Parvati bless you with nine qualities – power, happiness, humanity, peace, knowledge, devotion, name, fame, and health Wishing you a warm and blessed Navratri. Shubh Navratri!

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