India is a place where in many festivities and celebrations are recognized. Each of the celebration has a very significant meaning and impact to the lives of the people there. There is always a heavier reason to celebrate those events in the traditions of the Hindus aside from having fun and enjoyment.
One of the important festivals in India is the Navratri. It is a nine-day festival dedicated to the worship of the deity of power – Goddess Durga. Like any other festival, Navratri has significance in the Indian traditions. The occasion has a religious importance as seen in the worship of the different forms of Goddess Durga in each day.
On the first day of the Navratri, Kumari is being worshipped. This is the girl child form of Goddess Durga.
Navratri Significance and Meaning
Parvati or the embodiment of a young woman is honored on the second day. On the third day, Goddess Kali who represents the woman who has reached the stage of maturity is being worshipped. These first three days of the Navratri is allotted in worshipping the energy and power of Goddess Durga. The matured form of Goddess Durga symbolizes the person who had acquired the triumph over evil tendencies of ego, anger, lust and other animal instincts.
The next three days are dedicated to the worship of the goddess of prosperity and peace – Lakshmi. After the people triumphed over the evil tendencies, they then want to acquire all the materialistic and spiritual wealth. Among the fourth, fifth and sixth day, the fifth day is the most remarkable for true knowledge is being sought aside from wealth. Knowledge is required to live through a more humane life. On this day, Goddess Saraswati is being worshipped. All the books and other literature materials are gathered in one place and a ‘diya’ or an earthen lamp is lit in front of the deity to seek Saraswati’s blessings.
The veneration of Goddess Saraswati continues until the seventh day of the Navratri. Prayers are offered to her to seek spiritual knowledge. On the eighth day, a yagna is being performed to honor Durga and finally bid her farewell. On the final day of the Navratri celebration or what they call Mahanavami, nine young girls who have not yet reached the stage of puberty are worshipped. This is called Kanya Puja. The feet of the girls are washed as a sign of respect to the goddess and to welcome her. At the end of the puja, the girls are given new set of clothes by the devotees.
Indeed, each day of the nine days has a very meaningful impact on the Hindus. Each give them time to honor the goddess of wealth, prosperity and knowledge.
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