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The Festival of Nine Nights - Navratri

The significance of 'Navaratri'

he festival of Nine Nights or Navratri is one of the most popular and widely celebrated festival among Hindus all over the world. Considered to be the most auspicious time to worship Goddess Durga and other reverent Hindu Goddesses, Navratri is celebrated in various forms and ways across India. From Bengal's Durgo Pujo to Gujarat's Garba Raas, Navratri has myriad associations and numerous faces. People in hoards gather each night/ evening to offer their prayers to the Goddess Shakti and ask for penance. Later, amidst festivities and bonhomie, they indulge in fun, laughter, folk dances, singing and sharing of prasaads.

"Kalou Vinayako Chandi"

The aforementioned shloka means that in Kaliyug, you get blessings very quickly, especially if you worship Lord Ganesha and Goddess Chandi. It is believed that if the Pooja is performed with great devotion, during the period on Navaratri, it brings great and long term benefits. The legend goes that during the nine nights of Navaratri, the Goddess takes a visit of the entire planet each night. Hence during these nine nights, it is recommended to light a lamp and incense sticks during sunset, switch on all the lights in the house and draw a Swastik in front of the main door of the home/ premises.

Goddess Durga is considered as a form of all the visible and invisible powers in this world. The different forms of the Goddess have different tasks. Goddess Durga is the protector, destroyer and preserver of the world. It has been mentioned in the Rig Veda that Goddess Durga is the prime goddess among all the goddesses. Brahma, Vishnu and Rudra were created by the power of this great Goddess. In this world, nothing is higher than power. There is no requirement of any auspicious occasion for praying Goddess Durga, and there is no set or prescribed rite in order to perform her prayers. However, it is said that you will receive the blessings of Goddess Durga, if you recite Goddess Durga's "Shaptasati paath". You can also recite "Argala Stog", "Kunjika Strot" or "Shakraday Stuti".

Different Goddesses are worshiped in different regions of India. In Bihar, Bengal and Maharashtra Goddess Saraswati, in central and Eastern India Goddess Durga, in Rajasthan Goddess Annapurna or Amba, in South India Goddess Durga and in Gujarat Goddess Ambika and Bhadrakaali are worshiped. During Navaratri, goddesses are worshiped after the erection of a temporary temple in every village/ area. Children along with their friends, in the vicinity, gather and worship the installed statue of Mohalla Mata (a small temple of Goddess is built on the street).

If one worships Goddess during Navaratri, one can see increase one's wealth, peace and happiness. Goddess bestows us stability in earning and other issues in life. Business and wealth both are said to grow, as result the Goddess' blessings.

This Navratri, as you deck up to head to a Pooja Pandal or a Raas Garba, bow your head with some sincere reverence to the Goddess Shakti. Swing to the mellifluous tunes of Aarti playing in the backdrop, and wish peace and happiness for the world at large.

Lord Ganesha wishes you all a Happy Navratri and a Happy Deepawali in advance.

Ganesha's Grace,
Dharmeshh Joshi
The GaneshaSpeaks Team