“Sri Durga Deviyai Namaha“
This mantra is considered to act in a very powerful manner during the navratri, so why not start with it to get the most spiritual benefit from this Principle. It is believed that the Goddess Principle is a thousand times more active than usual, that is the reason she visits all the houses to bless and bestow gifts upon her devotee children. Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, prosperity, auspiciousness, and good fortune, and Lord Vishnu‘s wife, pondered that she appreciates and visits those houses that invites cleanliness and tidiness. Her human devotee clean their house to make them meticulous and appealing for their deity. The mortal beings also use the new bed sheets, cushion covers, settee covers, clothes and all the other things. Alongside they use fairy lights to light up their house and the flower and leaves garland. They also prepare sweets and delicacies as offerings. In the evenings, they put up earthenware diya’s lit inside and outside the homes and leave the gates open to welcome the god.
The concept of keeping fast during the navratra is was advocated by Sage Narad to Lord Ram, so that He could kill Ravan. After completion of this fast, Lord Ram attacked Lanka and finally killed Ravan. The Goddess fought with the demon Mahishasurfor nine days from Pratipada to Naomi and finally killed him on the Naominight. Since then, she came to be known as Mahishasurmardini, the annihilator of Mahishasur. Humans fast on this auspicious festival and visit temples to seek divine blessings, in order to please the Goddess and offer prayers for the prosperity of family and business. Fasts also increases the potential, stamina and strength in the person physically, mentally and emotionally. Fasting’s also uses fat stored in your cells as fuel, so we are burning fat instead of storing it, which leads to weight loss. Each region have their own ways of celebrating this festival that is the reason India is known for it’s unity in diversity. How one festive is celebrated in varied ways all over the country giving the spiritual and positive vibes across the place. The nine days of navratri are dedicated to the nine devi and the tenth day is celebrated a dussehra. The last two days, that is, ashtmi and naomi are supposed to be the most important days out of the rest. The Lakshmi Puja in a very proper and grand manner. Priests do the havan and then the special offerings prepared for the god but the immortal carved image cannot have them. In India, the small girls are considered as goddess laxmi (goddesses of wealth) and so they are fed the offerings first, it is also known as kanya bhoj and then the rest of the family breaks the fast. Generally the fasts are kept by the females of the family but it is not a compulsion. It totally depends upon the admiration and reverence of an individual.
-Written by sachi sitoke