Chaitra Navratri is observed during Chaitra month of Hindu calendar. It is a significant festival for Hindus having specific importance. Read on to learn about the significance of Chaitra Navratri.
Chaitra Navratri is one of the famous festivals of Hindus, which is celebrated for nine days and falls usually in the month of March or April. Devotees worship Goddess Durga, who is known for strength and power and seek blessings from her so that they can fight wrong things in life without compromising their morale.
What is Chaitra Navratri Celebrated?
Chaitra is the first month of Hindu calendar and so people celebrate New Year day on the first day of worship. It is also known as Ugadi, Gudi Padwa and has many different names in different parts of India. Chaitra Navratra is also known as Vasant Navratri and is celebrated with pomp and vigour more in northern India.
Navratri is celebrated twice in a year by the Hindus. First one is celebrated on the arrival of summer and the second one, on the advent of winter. The customs and rituals observed during this festival is almost the same as observed during the Navratri celebrated on the onset of winter.
Significance of Chaitra Navratri
Devotees worship Goddess Durga during the ten days and seek blessings from her. It is believed that one who worships her during this specific time period without any desire, he or she can attain salvation.
Chaitra Navratri is observed during the time of the year when Mother Nature undergoes big changes climatically. It is believed that keeping fast during this time helps one prepare for the summer season.
Also, Chaitra Navratri symbolizes beginning of year according to Hindu calendar. It also marks beginning of spring season when new flowers and fruits start to bloom. People worship Goddess Laxmi and Goddess Saraswati to seek blessings from them. The entire nine days and the tenth day when the idol is immersed is about praying, fasting, dancing and enjoying. All this in totality helps people get organised for summer season.
Mythological Significance of Chaitra Navratri
Navratra is a Sanskrit word, which means nine nights. This means nine nights of celebration and during this period nine forms of Goddess Durga are worshipped. Since this Navratrai falls in the month of Chaitra, it is known as Chaitra Navratri. Navratri symbolizes victory over evil. Navratri is divided into three parts to worship three different aspects of three goddesses.
According to popular Hindu belief, Lord Shiva gave permission to his wife, Goddess Durga to meet her mother only for nine days. This is because in many castes women visit their mother’s house during this period. During this period of time she killed the demon, Mahishasura. This is the reason why Goddess Durga is worshipped as symbol of Shakti, which means ultimate strength. She is worshipped for strength, power and energy. Devotees believe that Maa Durga cannot be created or destroyed. People pray to the Goddess to bestow blessings on them so that their inner strength never gets destroyed.
Rituals during Chaitra Navratra
Even before the celebration starts, people clean their houses, prepare new clothes to welcome the festival. Fasting and praying are the two main aspects of celebrating this Navratri. Most of the devotees observe fast for the entire nine days. However, others have satvik food during these days and even avoid using onion and garlic for preparing food and avoid non-vegetarian food completely. The fast is broken on the ninth day after the Havan is completed. The ninth day or Navami is also observed as Ram Navami as per Hindu calnder.
Navratri is a period of introspection and purification of self. It is considered auspicious for starting new ventures.
When does Chaitra Navratri being? How is Chaitra Navratri observed? How to do Puja on the day of Chaitra Navratri? Discuss here.
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