OM SARVE MANGAL MANGALIYE, SHIVE SARWATH SATHIKE, SHARANAYE TREYAM
BAKE GAURI NARAYANI NAMOASTUTE
Sri Durga NavRatri
Sri Vijaya Dushera
Nav Ratri is traditionally the best time to start new ventures in life - be it spiritual or
material. It is a time of purification through strict fasting and seeking divine
blessings of our supreme Goddesses for the three most important aspects of life -
health, wealth and knowledge.
Often referred to as Shradhiye Nav Ratri, this festival is predominant among Hindus
of all origins - North India, Bengal, Western India especially Gujarat, South India to
Punjab. It starts a day after the Pitra Paksh Shradh amavasiya on the first day of new
moon of the Ashwin month and runs to the ninth day.
Sri Nav Ratri Festival marks the worshipping of our three principal Goddesses - Sri
Saraswati, Sri Laxmi and Ma Durga/ Kali. As the name suggests, Nav Ratri means
celebration over nine nights. Literally, we celebrate Nav Ratri twice a year, the first
is March during the births of Sri Ram and his three brothers. Both the Nav Ratri can
be over eight or 10 nights - depending on the movement of the moon - thus Hindu
lunar calendars could make this festival a day short or even a day more.
Nav Ratri is divided into three equal days in which each of Goddesses are invoked
to seek their blessings.
1st , 2nd & 3rd nights of Nav Ratri
Lord Shiva's wife, Devi Parvati, Kali or as Ma Durga - she is worshipped during the
first three nights. Ma Durga is regarded as the Mother of Valour, Power & Energy
(adi shakti - highest strength). Celebrations and fasting during these days are
dedicated to Ma Durga's divine ruup (form). By fasting and performing yagna
sacrifices during these days, we ask ma Durga to destroy our sins, deficiencies and
prepare us for the year ahead.
4th, 5th & 6th nights of Nav Ratri
Lord Vishnu's wife, Ma Lakshmi is prayed to during these days for shanti (peace),
abundance and bliss (prosperity). Wealth is not the only aspect of life that Ma
Lakshmi governs, she also aids in basic things like families, friends and food.
7th, 8th & 9th nights of Nav Ratri
Brahma's wife, Ma Saraswati is giver of knowledge - education and ability to use it
for a proper living in life. Knowledge in all aspects is obtained from Devi Saraswati -
not just spiritual but also the ability to comprehend things and decide between
what is dharma and what is adharma.
During the last days of Nav Ratri, Kanya Puja is also observed - where nine young
girls representing the nine forms of Goddess Durga are worshipped.
10 th day - Vijaya Dussera
This is the day, Sri Ram destroyed Ravana, the demon king of what is now Sri Lanka.
An effigy of Ravana is usually burnt on this day to mark the end of evil (Ravan) and
triumph of good (Sri Ram).
Garba & Dandiya Raas
Garba originates from Sanskrit Garba Deep - Garba meaning inside and Deep
referring to Diya. Ladies place a Garbha Deep in the middle as a symbol of shakti/
Ma Durga and dance around it with clapping hands and singing praises of Ma
Dandiya Raas is somewhat connected to Garba but it was traditionally performed
by the men. It originated in Gujarat and dances are performed in similar fashion in
circular groups but using a pair of bamboo sticks.
Ma ki Chowki & Jagran
Ma ki Chowki & Jagran was originally intended as an all night vigil where praises of
Mata are sung from early night till the dawn of the next day, however recently and
particularly in western countries - Jagran is held to midnight.
Special Puja Details
1) Puja requirements - Shringhar Samagri - bangles, chunri, sindoor, small mirror,
comb, neckalce, earrings, ring, kajal, mehandi, bindi, chandan powder, kumkum,
raw rice, kapur, attar, dhoop, Devi Durga murtis, water, coconut, prasad.
2) Fastings - For best benefit out of your Nav Ratri festival, observe full nine days
of fast on fruits and milk.
Sri Durga Devi Puja
Nav Ratri- Day 1
Nav Ratri- Day 2
Nav Ratri- Day 3