Every Indian festival has a reason and significance behind its celebration. It is not only celebrated for fun and enjoyment.
It is the divine power that provides energy for the earth to move around the sun, causing the changes in the outer nature and that this divine power must be thanked for maintaining the correct balance of the universe. Due to the changes in the nature, the bodies and minds of people undergo a considerable change.
Due to climate change & solar influence, the energy level of the body goes up & down. If energy level is up, Satwa increases, positivity increases. On the result of it, human becomes dynamic, enthusiastic, creative & happier. When energy level is down, Tamas increases, negativity increases. So all types of negativity like greed, jealousy, hatred develops in human’s body.
In the month of Vadraba, there is lowest energy. Our saints are so clever. They thought about it & want to do something to keep our energy level up. So they performed Ganapati Puja for first 10 days of Vadraba. We worship the divine power to bestow upon all of us enough potent powers to maintain our physical and mental balance. Then they keep Shradha to remember our ancestors. So we can remember the beautiful memory those we have spent with our grandfather, grandmother & others. When we think about those happy moments, our Satwa goes up, so our energy level goes up.
Then on the first day of Ashvin, they put 9 days of worship to the mother, the source of energy. There is no rakhyas like Mahisasura. The real rakhyasas are our ego, sorrow, greed, jealousy etc which should be killed from ourselves. The 10 days (including Vijaya Dasami) refers to 10 evils.
Reason for doing Religious Works at Night
The saints have given more importance to night. Understanding it scientifically; night is peaceful and quite, tantra-mantra and other supernatural things are in strong position. It is easy to concentrate in the night. Chanting Mantra in a peaceful environment yields auspicious results. Many obstacles of nature are removed. This time may be used for gaining mental power and Yogic powers.
Scientifically, performing things during the day increases the chances of problems in concentrating; just the way radio signals face problems during day time but improve in the night. The sound of the bells and conch kills Germs up-to far-away places. This period is used for Siddhi for fulfilling wishes.
The four important ratri (night)
There are four nights which are special meant for worship.
- Maha ratri (Maha Shiv Ratri)
- Kaal ratri (Deewali)
- ………… (couldn’t remeber)
These four falls on 15th of the month instead of 14th.
What is Navratri?
Navratri is a combination of two words. ‘Nav’ means nine while ‘ratri’ means night. Therefore, this celebration is literally translated as ‘nine nights’.
Navarathri is celebrated five times a year. They are Vasanta Navaratri, Ashadha Navaratri, the Sharada Navaratri, and the Paush/MaghaNavaratri. Of these, the Sharada Navaratri of the month of Puratashi and the Vasanta Navaratri of the Vasanta kala are very important.
- Basanta Navaratri: Basanta Navaratri, also known as Vasant Navaratri, is the festival of nine days dedicated to the nine forms of Shakti (Mother Goddess) in the spring season (March–April). It is also known as Chaitra Navaratri. The nine days of festival is also known as Raama Navratri.
- Gupta Navaratri: Gupta Navaratri, also referred as Ashadha or Gayatri or Shakambhari Navaratri, is nine days dedicated to the nine forms of Shakti (Mother Goddess) in the month of Ashadha (June–July). Gupta Navaratri is observed during the Ashadha Shukla Paksha (waxing phase of moon).
- Sharada Navaratri: This is the most important of the Navaratris. It is simply called Maha Navaratri (the Great Navratri) and is celebrated in the month of Ashvina. Also known as Sharad Navaratri, as it is celebrated during Sharad (beginning of winter, September–October).
- Paush Navaratri: Paush Navaratri is nine days dedicated to the nine forms of Shakti (Mother Goddess) in the month of Paush (December–January). Paush Navaratri is observed during the Paush Shukla Paksha (waxing phase of moon).
- Magha Navaratri: Magha Navaratri, also referred as Gupta Navaratri, is nine days dedicated to the nine forms of Shakti (Mother Goddess) in the month of Magha (January–February). Magha Navaratri is observed during the Magha Shukla Paksha (waxing phase of moon).
But popularly Navratra is celebrated twice a year. First Navratra is from Pratipada of Chaitra month to Navami and the second is exactly after six months in Pratipada of Ashwin Shukla Paksha to a day before Vijayadashami. In the two Navratras Sharada Navratra is given more importance. The celebrations begin on the first day of the month of Ashvin (i.e. Ashwin Shukla Paksha Pratipada) according to the Hindu calendar.
First three days
The goddess is separated as a spiritual force called Durga also known as Kali in order to destroy all our impurities.
Second three days
The Mother is adored as a giver of spiritual wealth, Lakshmi, who is considered to have the power of bestowing on her devotees inexhaustible wealth, as she is the goddess of wealth.
Final three days
The final set of three days is spent in worshiping the goddess of wisdom, Saraswati. In order to have all-round success in life, believers seek the blessings of all three aspects of the divine femininity, hence the nine nights of worship.
We need the blessings of all three aspects of the divine mother; hence, the worship for nine nights.
Each of the nine days of Navratri has special significance. Each day is dedicated to a particular Goddess who is worshipped on that day.