Nine days of Worshiping Divine Mother

Ma Durga is the incarnation of power. All evil is destroyed by Her. She is the creative manifestation of the Supreme Being, who is beyond opposites. This makes Navaratri the world's greatest Hindu festival dedicated to the Goddess. This festival is celebrated twice in a year  for nine or ten days in the lunar month of Chaitra (March-April) and Ashvina (September-October).

Millions of Hindu women consider Navaratri as a way to commune with their own feminine divinity. A widespread practice honors the Goddess in every woman by inviting young girls to the family's home, feeding them and offering new clothes. During the festival, women are ready to exercise their share of restraint to get closer to the Divine by performing tapas and selfless acts.

Author Madhur Jaffrey explains, "Navaratri is a time to present to the Goddess our silent requests. This is not done crudely, but properly. We pray morning and evening, the women fast, and the poor in our neighborhood are given food and cooking pots. We offer magnificent food to Goddess Parvati and only after She eats we discreetly whisper our requests."

In the North, Navaratri is commonly called Durga Puja. Durga is worshiped as Navadurga, the one with nine manifestations, one for each day of the festival. They vary in attributes and appearance, but usually include: Shailputri, daughter of the mountain; Brahmacharini, the chaste one; Chandraghanteti, the fighter; Kushmanda, of many lights; Skanda Mata, mother to Lord Skanda; Katyayani, the divine daughter; Kalratri, the black one; young-looking Maha Gauri, who seems no older than eight years; and Siddhidatri Ardhanarishvara, the all-powerful Siva-Shakti. Each is invoked with a special mantra and, frequently, with complicated.

In Punjab, Navaratri's disciplines are strictly followed by most of the population. Although few Punjabis are vegetarian, alcohol, meat and some forms of entertainment are completely avoided at this time. Following the fast, on the last day, devotees feed beggars and follow the tradition of worshiping a young girl representing Shakti.

The first of Vasanta/Chaitra month is celebrated as Ugadi also known as Telugu and Kannada New Year and Gudi Padwa or Marathi New Year. On this day, Cheti Chand or Sindhi New Year is also celebrated. All North Indian people celebrate the festival as Nav Varsh while Hindus in Kashmir celebrate it as Navreh or Kashmiri New Year.

I and my husband are observing Navratri fasts this month. I will share my vrat recipes which are extremely simple and easy to prepare. May the Divine Goddess bestow her blessings upon us!


Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner