The time of the year to revel in finery and dance to the beats of the traditional drums will soon be here! Navratri, or ‘nine nights’ as it literally translates into, has a special significance for each of the days the festival is celebrated for. It is a time when one engages in healthy eating and fasting and pays obeisance to the divine goddess (devi) signified by Goddess Durga with the traditional garbas. During the day too, often, people engage in certain rituals and poojas and abstain from consuming alcohol and meat with respect to the goddess. The festivals also lead to worshippers undertaking nine days of fasting where they abstain from certain grains and vegetables and follow specific rules when consuming meals. All of this is undertaken to please the goddess and invoke her blessings.
Fasting and meditation through rituals are performed during the period to unwind from the stress of life, and the spiritual practices are supposed to bring in deep rest. It is believed that these practices invoke the energies of the universe and feed the human spirit to become better people.
1. Paying Obeisance To The Divine Goddess
2. Navratri Colours For All Days In
3. Navratri Significance Day : Shailaputri
4. Navratri Significance Day : Brahmacharini
5. Navratri Significance Day : Chandraghanta
6. Navratri Significance Day : Kushmanda
7. Navratri Significance Day : Skandamata
8. Navratri Significance Day : Katyayani
9. Navratri Significance Day : Kalaratri
10. Navratri Significance Day : Mahagauri
11. Navratri Significance Day : Siddhidatri
12. Navratri Significance FAQs
Paying Obeisance To The Divine Goddess
According to many, the devi is a symbol of cosmic energy which energizes the world. So when partaking in the ritual, human beings give up worldly activities to enter into meditation to absorb this energy during these nine days. The significance is that it is believed this energy is present within all human beings, and if it is harnessed well, it can lead to satisfaction, contentment and prosperity.
Navratri Colours For All Days In 2021
For years now, each day of Navratri is signified with a particular colour, which leads devotees to wear that colour on the day to show solidarity and further please the goddess.
Each of the nine days of Navratri seeks to worship a different form of Goddess Durga or Parvati, and in each of these forms she is has a different outlook and abilities. Overall, with worship every day, the devotees seek to be blessed by her in totality.
Navratri Significance Day 1: Shailaputri
The significance of day one is to worship Goddess Shailaputri. She is a form of Parvati, who is the daughter of Raja Himavan, the king of the mountains. The meaning of ‘shaila‘ is extraordinary, one to reaches great heights or a mountain high. In this form, the goddess holds a trident (trishul) and a lotus and is mounted upon a bull. The worship of Goddess Shailaputri is undertaken to reach a high state of consciousness.
Tip: This day, the colour yellow is worn for celebration and joy and to get rid of evil thoughts.
Navratri Significance Day 2: Brahmacharini
Day two is the worship of Goddess Brahmacharini. This is the form of Parvati in which she went through extreme penance. This goddess is a fountainhead of knowledge and wisdom, and she adorns herself with rudraksha. She holds a water pot (kumbh) in one hand and a rosary in the other. As ‘Brahma’ means divine consciousness, coupled with achar (which means behavior) this day becomes significantly sacred to meditate.
Tip: The colour for this day is the colour of nature and prosperity – green. With this, one can evoke blessings for spiritual knowledge, growth and peace.
Navratri Significance Day 3: Chandraghanta
Goddess Chandraghanta presides on day three of Navratri. This is the form of Goddess Durga atop a tiger, symbolising ‘shakti‘ or strength. Here, her hands form mudras or gestures – one of blessing and the other of preventing misdeeds and harm. ‘Chandra‘ stands for the moon, which represents the mind. The Goddess, who wears a half-moon on her forehead, stands for showering supreme bliss through knowledge, and emotional balance.
Tip: Wearing grey on this day will enable worshippers to stay rooted.
Navratri Significance Day 4: Kushmanda
On the fourth day, worshippers invoke the blessings of Goddess Kushmanda. Her name signifies the creation of the cosmic universe from a divine egg. He has eight arms in this form, one holding a rosary and others sporting weapons, and she is mounted on a tiger. She showers worshippers with energy to grow.
Tip: The bright colour orange is for this day, to generate the feeling of warmth and exuberance among worshippers.
Navratri Significance Day 5: Skandamata
This day signifies the worshipping of the goddess’s motherly form – Goddess Skandmata. Her name translates to ‘mother of Skanda, he is seen seated in her lap in this form, and her vehicle is a lion. She represents motherly affection. Worshipping the goddess in this form is said to bring wisdom, wealth, power and prosperity. Along with three eyes, she has four hands – two hold lotuses and the other two are in mudras of defending worshippers and granting boons.
Tip: The colour of serenity and peace is worn on this day to worship the goddess and achieve inner peace.
Navratri Significance Day 6: Katyayani
As Goddess Katyayani, the goddess takes a divine form to destroy all evil forces of the universe. In this form, she slays the demon Mahishasura. Her name comes from the sage Katyayan, in whose ashram she resided to do penance. She is invoked with prayers to put an end to all our inner turmoil. Her vehicle is a lion, and she has three eyes and four arms – two in gestures of defending and granting and the others holding lotuses.
Tip: The vibrant red symbolising infinite courage, intense passion and love is the colour for this day.
Navratri Significance Day 7: Kalaratri
This day is for worshipping the fiercer form of the goddess, one which represents the dark night – Kalaratri. With this worship, devotees get the solace and comfort at night to rest as the goddess destroys the fear of darkness. The dark-skinned goddess has bountiful hair in this form with four hands, mounted on a donkey. Two hold a cleaver and a torch respectively while the other two are in giving and defending mudras.
Tip: Royal blue that stands for elegance is the colour for this day.
Navratri Significance Day 8: Mahagauri
Goddess Mahagauri signifies inner beauty and freedom. She also represents nature, for the energy that propels life forward. Worshipping her on the eighth day means inviting that energy within the person to propel them forward and be liberated. Her countenance radiates peace and compassion and her arms hold a drum and a trident. She rides a bull.
Tip: The sublime pink symbolising affection and feminine charm is worn on this day for harmony and kindness.
Navratri Significance Day 9: Siddhidatri
The ninth day signifies the worship of Goddess Siddhidatri. Seated on a lotus, she has the ability to grant 26 different wishes to her devotees. She is worshipped for going beyond the logical mind to explore more. It is said she makes the impossible, possible.
Tip: The vibrant purple is the colour of this day, and for stability and richness.
Navratri Significance FAQs
Q. Is Navratri and Durga Puja the same?
A. Essentially, though the worship days overlap (Durga Puja is celebrated on the last five days of Navratri) the two festivals signify different things. Navratri worships Goddess Durga, but it is a nine-day celebration of the victory of Rama over Ravana. On the other hand, Durga Puja is for the victory of Durga over the demon Mahishasur.
Q. Does the fasting in Navratri signify anything?
A. Yes, apart from pleasing the goddess and invoking her blessings, fasting serves as a cleansing mechanism for the body and a means to reach your inner self in a meditative process.