Navaratri – The Festival of Nine Nights
The word ‘Nava’ means nine and ‘ratri’ means night and the festival Navaratri meaning ‘nine nights’ commences from the first day of the bright fortnight of the lunar month of Ashwin, which is then celebrated for 9 nights.
Navaratri is celebrated every year during the months of September and October to commemorate the victory of good over evil and the 3 dominant Goddesses worshipped on Navaratri are Goddess Durga, Goddess Lakshmi and Goddess Saraswati, who share three nights of the nine nights of the Goddesses each.
Navaratri or the Nine nights/Moons of the Goddess is an important time period wherein the Supreme Goddess in the forms of Ma Durga the Warrior Goddess, Ma Lakshmi the Goddess of Wealth and Ma Saraswati the Goddess of Wisdom, jointly destroy the demons.
Navaratri Dedicated to 3 Main Forms of the Goddess
The 9 nights of Navaratri are dedicated to three aspects of the Goddess in their fierce forms with multiple hands and multiple psychic weapons. The 9 nights of Fierce fighting produce an accumulative effect as each Goddess takes her turn to fight the battle for different aspects of ultimate perfection inside and out. The battle ends in victory as the demons are killed on the 9th night.
First 3 Nights – Goddess Durga
Goddess Durga is a form of Parvati and She is depicted riding on a tiger, wielding weapons and killing demons. Ma Durga fighting demons is not relevant in the human realm however in the invisible realm demons are evil forces and energies. There are stories and details of her graphic battles from times immemorial and Goddess Durga fights against it for us. On Navaratri, Goddess Durga:
- Destroys all of our impurities, vices, defects and gains us purity and perfection
- As per Vedic Astrology, Durga is the overlord of planet Rahu and Her energy counteracts the negative influences of Rahu.
Middle 3 Nights – Goddess Lakshmi
Lakshmi is the Goddess of Wealth. There are many who consider her to be the most important of all the goddesses as she represents wealth. Ma Lakshmi or Goddess Lakshmi destroys the demon of scarcity and grant never-ending riches.
- Destroys the demon of poverty and grant inexhaustible wealth and abundance
- As per Vedic Astrology, Goddess Lakshmi is the overlord of the planet Venus; She brings pleasures, comforts and fun into your life.
Final 3 Nights – Ma Saraswati
In Sanskrit ‘Sara’ means essence and ‘Va’ means the self therefore meaning knowledge of the true self which is all knowing and all powerful. Ma Saraswati is most widely known as the Goddess of Education. She is also the Goddess of Wisdom, learning, intelligence, skills, the creative arts and She wants to inspire others to excel and stimulate creativity in the world. On Navaratri, Goddess Saraswati:
- Destroys the demon of ignorance and grants us knowledge and divine wisdom
- While Saraswati is not the overlord of any planet, Her energy is essential for discrimination, academics and performing arts.
Vijaya Dasami – The Victory Day of Navaratri
The 9 nights of Goddess, Navaratri generates and accumulates the power required to destroy demons, who are very powerful. The 9th night is the peak of this energy build up and the demons are destroyed. On the 10th Moon, this victory is consolidated and celebrated as Vijaya Dasami.
Significance of Navaratri
Navaratri is the time to cleanse our own evil characteristics like hatred, jealousy, ignorance, anger, greed, violence, etc. inside and outside of us. It is important to understand that each of the negative human qualities exists in the form of demons, externally in the invisible sphere.