Shardiya Navratri or Sharad Navratri is the most popular and significant Navaratri amongst all the Navratris in the Hindu religion. Thus, Shardiya Navratri is also known as Maha Navratri. This festival is of great importance and celebrated with different rituals, especially in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Punjab, North-West India, Kolkata and other states of India. Navratri was also celebrated in the Mahabharata and Ramayana era by our Hindu kings and the Aryans. This is a very long festival comprising of nine days and nine nights in the Hindu calendar. All the nine days of Navratri are dedicated to nine forms of Goddess Adi Parashakti. This festival falls in the Ashwin lunar month during Sharad Ritu. Shukla Paksha of Ashwin month culminates in the Sharad Purnima or Kojagari Purnima or Kuanr Purnima
, which is full moon day of Ashwin month. The name Shardiya Navaratri is derived from Sharad Ritu.
Navratri is especially celebrated in Gujarat with great enthusiasm and excitement in the form of Garba. Whereas in Bengal, it is celebrated in the form of Durga Puja. Hence, this festival has its own importance in different states, and people use different ways to praise the Divine Mother Goddess Durga. People of different religions, communities and culture enjoy Navratri, and various rituals are followed to celebrate this festival. Navratri is a very sacred and joyous festival of the Hindus.
Rituals In Navratri:
Performing rituals of Navratri is the most significant way of experiencing the essence of this Hindu festival. In the auspicious and awe-inspiring occasion, divine love pervades through all devotees who emerge more courageous and wiser through the nine-day rigor. In the vein of all vedic traditions, Navratri customs help to inculcate spiritual habits. Hence, prayers, chants, 'bhajans' and reading of important religious texts make up a significant portion of this festival. Devotees pay obeisance to this feminine divine energy that is believed to maintain the balance of the universe.
Types Of Navratri:
Navaratri signifies Navsarjan, Nav-Shakti and Nav-Durga. The number 9 indicates Shakti – the power and energy which creates the whole universe, i.e. Creative Energy. Hence, this power of Nine Divine Nights can change the luck, destiny and future of an individual. Navratri comes in our life as a Divine Light and Power in the form of Hope. There are four types of Navratri which are celebrated 4 times in a year:
1) Shardiya Navratri, celebrated during Shukla Paksh of Ashwin month, i.e. between September and October month.
2) Chaitra or Vasant Navratari, which is celebrated during Shukla Paksh of Chaitra month, i.e. between March and April month. The beginning of this Navratri also marks starting of the New Year as per Hindu lunar calendar.
3) The Ashad Navratri and 4) Magha Navratri
Called Gupt Navratri or Secret Navaratri, wherein the devotee or Sadhak performs very special rituals to attain some Siddhi. Generally these 2 Navratris are for occultism, and not for common people.
Navratri Festival Story:
According to the Devi Bhagwat Puran, during the battle of Lord Ram and the Demon King Ravana, Lord Brahma awakened the sleeping Mother Goddess. It was the 8th day of the waning Moon of the Ashwin month. Goddess Durga woke up and explained the procedure of her worship during Navratri. She stated that her devotee should awaken her on the 8th day of the waning Moon of Ashwin month. Moreover, the devotee should daily perform all the general prayers. During this Maha Navratari, Lord Ram had worshipped Goddess Durga and thus, succeeded in killing the Demon King Ravana on Vijaya Dashmi or Dussehra
As per the Markandeya Puran, there is a legend of Demon King Mahishasura. He worshipped Lord Brahma and obtained the boon and power of immortality. Soon, he started killing and harassing innocent people, and also proceeded to win all the three Lokas. The gods in Swarga Lok appealed to Lord Shiva for a solution to get rid of this demon. Hence, to protect the world from the atrocities of Mahishasura, the trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva united their powers and created a female warrior known as Adishakti Durga. Mahishasura was fascinated and totally mesmerised by the divine beauty of Goddess Durga and approached her with the intention of marriage. The goddess agreed to marry Mahishasura, but put forth a condition that he will have to defeat her in a battle. The proud Mahishasura agreed immediately! The battle continued for nine nights and at the end of the 9th night, Goddess Durga beheaded Mahishasura. Thus, from this onwards Goddess Durga was also named as Mahishasur Mardini. Whereas, the 10th day was named as Vijaya Dashmi to indicate the triumph of good over evil. Hence, when all the male gods i.e. devtas become powerless, Goddess Durga protects the 3 Lokas from the terror of demons like Mahishasura. Vijaya Dashmi usually falls 10 days prior to Diwali
Dates And Muhurat Timings Of Shardiya Maha Navratri 2018:
During this Vikram Samvat year 2074, Maha Navratri will start on Wednesday, 10th October 2018.
1. Ghatasthapana Muhurat:- It is on the 1st day of Navaratri, Ashwin Shukla Pratipada, Timings:- 06:22 to 07:25 am (morning)
2. Durga Ashtami Puja:- Wednesday, 17th October 2018.
Ashtami Tithi Begins = 10:16 on 16/Oct/2018
Ashtami Tithi Ends = 12:49 on 17/Oct/2018
3. Vijaya Dashmi Muhurat:-
Durga Puja Visarjan: Saturday, 19th October 2018.
Vijay Muhurat = 13:58 to 14:43
Aparahna Puja Time = 13:13 to 15:28
Durga Visarjan Time = 06:27 to 08:43
Various Names Of Goddess Durga And Its Importance:
It is said that during Navratri, the mother Goddess appears in 9 different forms, and each one is worshipped for a day. These 9 forms signify the various traits that are influenced by the Goddess. According to the Markendeya Puran the worship days for the various forms of Goddess Durga are as follows:
1. On the first day of Navratri – worship Goddess Shailputri.
Maa Shailputri will be worshipped this year on the first day of Navratri 2018 i.e. 10th October 2018. She is the first avatar, amongst the nine different...Read More
2. On the second day of Navratri – worship Goddess Brahmacharini.
Maa Brahmacharini will be worshipped on the second day of Navratri 2018 which falls on...Read More
3. On the third day of Navratri – worship Goddess Chandraghanta.
The third avatar amongst the Shakti Roopas is Goddess Chandraghanta. She will be worshipped on the third day of Navratri...Read More
4. On the fourth day of Navaratri – worship Goddess Kushmanda.
The fourth avatar amongst the Shakti Roopas is Maa Kushmanda. She will be worshipped on...Read More
5. On the fifth day of Navratri – worship Goddess Skandmata.
Goddess Skandmata is the fifth avatar, amongst the nine Shakti Roopas. She will be worshipped on...Read More
6. On the sixth day of Navratri – worship Goddess Katyayani.
The sixth avatar amongst the forms of Maa Shakti is Goddess Katyayani. She will be worshiped on September...Read More
7. On the seventh day of Navratri – worship Goddess Kaalratri.
The seventh avatar or form of Maa Shakti is Goddess Kaalratri. She will be worshipped on the seventh day of...Read More
8. On the eight day of Navaratri – worship Goddess Mahagauri.
The eighth avatar among the Roopas of Maa Shakti is Goddess Mahagauri. She will be worshipped on...Read More
9. On the ninth day of Navaratri – worship Goddess Siddhidatri.
The ninth avatar amongst the Shakti Roopas is Maa Siddhidatri. She will be worshipped on...Read More
With Ganesha's Grace,