The nine nights of festival known as ‘Navratri’ is close and Maa Durga will soon be present on earth to bless us all. It is one of the most divine and auspicious time for Hindus. As per the rituals, the nine forms of Shakti/Goddess are worshipped and pleased with utmost dedication and purity in heart and mind.
The devotees pay their respect to the ‘Maa’ (Goddess, Mother, and Divine Power) by fasting, dancing, and lighting up their societies. The Durga festivities are a delight to the eyes.
The nine forms of Durga are worshipped for nine days. Some people call nine little girls on the eighth day (also known as Ashtami) or on the ninth day (also known as Navmi) and feed those girls taking their blessings in return. The tenth day marks a significant importance and is known as Vijayadashami and Dussehra. On the same day, Durga took victory over demons Shumbha-Nishumbha, Shakti took victory over Mahishasura, and Lord Ram assassinated king Ravan. Thus, these days are highly celebrated as victory of good over evil energies.
Garba and Dandiya are two major dance forms that hold a lot of attraction during Navratri. These originate from Gujarat and are today a global practice. The other equally important states where Maa Durga is prayed include Maharashtra, West Bengal, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, and Punjab.
1. Maa Shailputri
2. Maa Brahmacharini
3. Maa Chandraghanta
4. Maa Kushmanda
5. Maa Skandamata
6. Maa Katyayani
7. Maa Kaalratri (also spelled as Kaalratri)
8. Maa Mahagauri
9. Maa Siddhidatri
You may find the stories and beliefs of these forms of Durgas on various websites online.
During the Navratri time, the Garbis are lighted and the women play garba around. You will also find huge idols of Maa Durga placed and prayed. Maha Arti/Pooja is performed every night before the dance and music begins. Navratri is the first sign that indicates major festivities have begun.
The rites of praying to Maa are slightly different state-wise. The roads are filled with flowers on sale accompanied by other decorative for the pandal. Special songs of Navratri are played and there are special beats that are run for the people to catch up with dandiya.
Grab the colourful Bandhanis and Ghagra cholis to deck up for the Navrati coming soon! May Maa Durga bless us all.