Navratri Garba Festival 2015
“Chand Ki Chandani,
Basant Ki Bahar.
Phoolo Ki Khushbu,
Apno Ka Pyar.
Mubarak Ho Aapko Navratri Ka Tyohar
Sada Khush Rahe Aap Aur Apka Parivar !!”
Navaratri is a festival dedicated to the worship of the Hindu deity Durga. The word Navaratri means ‘nine nights’ in Sanskrit, nava meaning nine and ratri meaning nights.During these nine nights and ten days, nine forms of Devi are worshipped. The tenth day is commonly referred to as Vijayadashami or “Dussrhra ” (also spelled Dasara). Navaratri is an important major festival and is celebrated all over India and Nepal. Diwali the festival of lights is celebrated twenty days after Dasara. Though there are total five types of Navaratri that come in a year, but Sharad Navaratri is the most popular one. Hence, the term Navaratri is being used for Sharada Navaratri here.
The beginning of spring and the beginning of autumn are considered to be important junctions of climatic and solar influences. These two periods are taken as sacred opportunities for the worship of the Divine Mother Durga. The dates of the festival are determined according to the Lunar Calendar. on which each women follow tradition to wear three colours of dress on Navaratri.
Navaratri represents a celebration of the Goddess Amba, (the Power).
Navaratri or Navadurga Parva happens to be the most auspicious and unique period of devotional sadhanas and worship of Shakti (the sublime, ultimate, absolute creative energy) of the Divine conceptualized as the Mother Goddess-Durga, whose worship dates back to prehistoric times before the dawn of the Vedic age.
A whole chapter in the tenth mandal of the Rigveda addresses the devotional sadhanas of Shakti. The “Devi Sukta” and “Isha Sukta” of the Rigveda and “Ratri Sukta” of the Samveda similarly sing paeans of praise of sadhanas of Shakti. In fact, before the beginning of the legendary war between the Pandavas and Kauravas in the Mahabharata – a foundational Sanskrit epic in the Hindu tradition – Lord Krishna worshipped Durga, the Goddess of Shakti, for the victory of the Pandvas.
Lord Brahma is cited in the Markandey Purana as mentioning to Rishi Markandey that the first incarnation of Shakti was as Shailputri. Further incarnations of the Divine Mother are: Brahmcharñi, Chandraghanta, Kushmanda, Skandamata, Katyayani, Kalratri, Mahagauri and Siddhidatri in that order. These nine manifestations of Shakti, are worshipped as “Nava-Durga”. The fifth chapter of the Rudra Sanhita of Shiva Purana also vividly describes the various Divine Emanations of Durga.
Since the Vedic Age of the Rishies, the devotional practices recommended during Navaratri are primarily those of Gayatri Anushthana.
In the Vedic Age of the Indian Culture, the religious philosophy and devotional practices were focused towards true knowledge and ultimate realization of the supreme power of Gayatri (Bram Shakti). The Vedas were the basis of all streams of spirituality and science those days. Gayatri has been the source of the divine powers of the gods and goddesses in the heavens and their angelic manifestations and incarnations. Gayatri sadhana was also paramount in the higher level spiritual endeavors of the yogis and tapaswis. Gayatri Mantra was the core-focus of daily practice of sandhya-vandan (meditation and devotional worship) for everyone. As guided by the rishis, specific sadhanas and upasanas of the Gayatri Mantra were sincerely practiced during the festival period of Navaratri by every aspirant of spiritual enlightenment.
“The temple priest has rung his bell.
A cloud of smoke from candles and lamps
Haloes the Goddess, glowing bright
This beat of drums both maddens and dulls.
The incense burns: so heady the musk,
Our senses flounder in the flood.
This endless chant of sacred words
Soon drugs our lips and stuns our minds.
The Goddess, always staring down:
Her painted pupils cut through smoke
And read the secret thoughts we think.
We somehow feel this within our hearts.
To Mother, we know, we bow and pray –
Her form not just this image of clay”.