In Hinduism, the significance of Navratri is quite profound. The word Navratri literally means ‘nine auspicious nights’. In the following excerpt, you would know exactly what is so auspicious and special about this festival. You would also understand the significance of the Navratri festival in the lives of Indians especially.
During the period of nine nights, people worship different forms of Goddess Durga. Goddess Durga is nothing but the cosmic female energy in our universe. Before we understand the science behind it, let’s start with something easy.
Significance of Navratri Names
Goddess Durga has a very popular name to which people refer to her, i.e., Ma Durga. Well, it is the amalgam of the effulgence of all the major gods, including the Hindu trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwar. The Devi is beautiful, bountiful, compassionate, terrifying, and ruthlessly righteous.
She is Durga and Kali in Bengal. Whereas, she is Ambika and Bhadrakali in Gujarat. Likewise, Vaishnodevi in Jammu and Kashmir and Chamunda in Karnataka. Santoshi Ma and Bhavani are the names in Maharashtra. Lastly, Kamakhya in Assam. And to most of us, she is just ‘Ma’, the Universal Mother. Hence, the significance of Navratri names is quite extensive and important.
Significance of Navratri Fast – Durga Saptashati
To mark the commence of Navratri, Hindus observe fast for nine days. The significance of the Navratri fast is very important for everyone celebrating. People recite the 700 verses of Devi Mahatmyam or the Durga Saptashati of Markandeya Purana. The verses are recited daily during the nine days of Navratri. The mantras invoke Ma Durga and are people repeat it using a Haldi mala or turmeric garland. She is the very origin of all the worlds.
The significance of the Navratri festival also lies in the Hindu thought of three worlds. And Ma Durga is responsible for originating all three worlds. Since she is the female energy, she gives birth to multiple creations in the world. People also believe that she has all the three gunas of sattva, rajas and tamas. Sativa means purity, rajas means passion and tamas means inertia.
The ancient Indian social scientists, i.e, the rishis and munis held certain nights of the year. They did this to remain more conducive for practising spiritual sadhanas as compared to days. Some of these special nights are the nights of Diwali, Shivratri and Holi. These nights and the nine nights of Navratri are very special for spiritual growth. It is also helpful for carrying out black magic practices.
Significance of Navratri Night – Why is it Special?
The main reason behind the significance of Navratri night is that they fall during the time when the position is very unique at the astrological or astronomical level. The positions are such that our Milky Way allows our prayers and sadhanas to reach astral regions faster and better. In fact, they do this without distorting the message.
Modern science also acknowledges that all human thoughts have electromagnetic energy. After sunset and during the night, nature releases our thought energy into the astral region. Then it returns with due charge around dawn.
During the day, due to the sun’s rays, our thought energy cannot rise high enough into the atmosphere. Hence, the nights are more favourable and cosy. During the Navratri, however, our thoughts rise higher into the astral world in comparison to other nights.
Another significance of Navratri festival also lies in the fact that it occurs twice a year. The first one occurs at the onset of the Vikrama era. This era is nothing but the Hindu calendar following in North India. It takes place in the month of Chaitra from the first tithi or day of the Shukla paksha of the month up to Navami, the ninth day.
The second occurrence comes exactly six months later, just before the onset of winter. Thus, the two navratri’s fall at the time of the turning of seasons. This is when the sun’s rays are mild and soft, and they cannot distort the thought energy on a larger level. The spiritual practice during the Navratri, when sincerely carried out, helps one reach the desired destination faster and quicker.
Change Of Seasons
Navratris have another aspect that makes them even more interesting and significant. It is a phenomenon of nature. So when seasons change, the inner chemistry of human beings also change. Yes, you heard that right!
Observing fast during these periods keeps one not only healthy but happy as well. The Navratri provide people with a religious reason to observe fast. This helps one to gain at two levels: one at the physical level, and the other at the subtle spiritual level.
Remember The Purpose
Therefore, for some people, Navratri is just about playing Garba or wearing different kinds of costumes. However, people sometimes forget the real meaning behind it. They sometimes forget the real purpose of the festival. And now since you do know, make sure you spread the word.