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<small>By Swami Harshananda</small>
 
<small>By Swami Harshananda</small>
  
Navarātra (‘[festival of] nine nights’)
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Navarātra literally means ‘festival of nine nights’.
  
‘Navarātra’ means a period of nine nights, or for that matter, a period of nine days. Two Navarātras are mentioned in the purāṇas and the dharmaśāstras, as being highly auspicious for the worship of Sakti or the Divine Mother Durgā. They are: Vasantanavarātra, the first nine days in the Vasanta ṛtu or spring, from Caitra śukla pratipad up to navamī; Saran-navarātra, the first nine days in the Saradrtu or autumn, from Āśvayuja śukla pratipad to navami. However, in practice, the celebration of the former has yielded
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==Classification of Navarātra==
 +
‘Navarātra’ means a period of nine nights or period of nine days. Two Navarātras are mentioned in the [[purāṇas]] and the dharmaśāstras to be highly auspicious for the [[worship]] of [[Śakti]] or the Divine Mother Durgā. They are:
 +
# Vasantanavarātra, the first nine days in the Vasanta ṛtu or spring from [[Caitra]] śukla pratipad up to navamī
 +
# Saran-navarātra, the first nine days in the Saradrtu or autumn, from Āśvayuja śukla pratipad to navami
  
its place almost completely to the latter.
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==Significance of Celebration==
 +
However, the celebration of the Vasantanavarātra has yielded its place almost completely to the Saran-navarātra. Though the festival of Navarātra is celebrated all over the country in some form or the other, Durgotsava or the festival of Mother Durgā occupies the place of prime importance.  
  
Though this Navarātra is celebrated all over the country in some form or the other, it is the Durgotsava or the festival of Mother Durgā that steals the show.
+
==Celebration in South India==
 +
Celebration of the Navarātra festival varies from place to place in other parts of the country. Southern part of the country celebrates this festival as denoted belows:
 +
* Goddess [[Sarasvatī]] is worshiped on the saptami and Durgā on the aṣṭami day. The [[worship]] is done in the picture and not in clay images as in Bengal.
 +
* The navamī day called as ‘Mahānavami is celebrated as Āyudhapujā. It is the instruments and implements that help us to earn our livelihood being worshiped then.
 +
* This is akin to the Viśvakarmapujā performed in the North, during the month of Bhādrapada when Ravi<ref>Ravi means the Sun.</ref> enters the zodiacal sign of Kanyā.<ref>Kanyā means Virgo.</ref>
 +
* In almost all the homes, display of decorated dolls is very common. This is a special attraction for children.
  
Celebration of the Navarātra festival varies from place to place in other parts of the country. In South India, goddess Sarasvatī is worshipped on the saptami day and Durgā on the aṣṭami. The worship is done in the picture and not in clay images as in Bengal. The navamī day, called ‘MahānavamF, is celebrated as Āyudhapujā, the instruments and implements that help us to earn our livelihood being worshipped then. This is akin to the Viśvakarmapujā performed in the North, during the month of Bhādrapada when Ravi (the Sun) enters the zodiacal sign of Kanyā (Virgo). In almost all the homes, there will be display of dolls with decorations. This is a special attraction for children.
+
==Celebrations in North India==
 
+
In several Northern parts, especially in the Hind belt, Navarātra is celebrated as Rāmalīlā. The salient features of this celebration are:
In several parts of North India, especially in the Hindi belt, Navarātra is celebrated as Rāmalīlā. Recitations from the Rāmāyana, enacting plays based on the several episodes of the epic and processions culminating in the burning of the effigies of Rāvaṇa, Kumbhakarṇa and Meghanāda on the daśamī day (also called Vijayadaśamī) are the salient features of these celebrations.
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* Recitations from the Rāmāyana
 
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* Enacting plays based on the several episodes of the epic  
In the Mysore City of Karnataka, the Dasara festival celebrated during the Navarātra, has been very famous. It was a royal festival celebrated by the Mahārājā (King) of Mysore, ending with a grand procession on the Vijayadaśamī day.
+
* Processions culminating the burning of the effigies of [[Rāvaṇa]], Kumbhakarṇa and Meghanāda on the daśamī day also called Vijayadaśamī are the salient features of these celebrations.
 
+
Now-a-days, an image of Cāmuṇ-deśvarī (an aspect of Durgā) is taken out in procession.
+
  
 +
==Celebrations in Mysore City==
 +
In the Mysore City of Karnataka, the Daṣara festival celebrated during the Navarātra has been very famous. It is a royal festival celebrated by the Mahā[[rājā]]<ref>Mahārājā means the King.</ref> of Mysore. It ends with a grand procession on the Vijayadaśamī day. Now-a-days, an image of Cāmuṇdeśvarī<ref>Cāmuṇdeśvarī is an aspect of Durgā.</ref> is taken out in procession.
  
 
==References==
 
==References==
 
{{reflist}}
 
{{reflist}}
* The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore
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* The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram [[Krishna]] Math, Bangalore
== OLD CONTENT ==
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‘Navarātra’ means a period of nine nights, or for that matter, a period of nine days. Two Navarātras are mentioned in the purāṇas and the dharmaśāstras, as being highly auspicious for the worship of Sakti or the Divine Mother Durgā. They are: Vasantanavarātra, the first nine days in the Vasanta ṛtu or spring, from Caitra śukla pratipad up to navamī; Saran- navarātra, the first nine days in the Saradṛtu or autumn, from Āśvayuja śukla pratipad to navami. However, in practice, the celebration of the former has yielded
+
its place almost completely to the latter.
+
 
+
Though this Navarātra is celebrated all over the country in some form or the other, it is the Durgotsava or the festival of Mother Durgā that steals the show.
+
 
+
Celebration of the Navarātra festival varies from place to place in other parts of the country. In South India, goddess Sarasvatī is worshipped on the saptami day and Durgā on the aṣṭami. The worship is done in the picture and not in clay images as in Bengal. The navamī day, called ‘MahānavamF, is celebrated as Āyudhapujā, the instruments and imple­ments that help us to earn our livelihood being worshipped then. This is akin to the Viśvakarmapujā performed in the North, during the month of Bhādrapada when Ravi (the Sun) enters the zodiacal sign of Kanyā (Virgo). In almost all the homes, there will be display of dolls with decorations. This is a special attraction for children.
+
 
+
In several parts of North India, especially in the Hindi belt, Navarātra is celebrated as Rāmalīlā. Recitations from the Rāmāyana, enacting plays based on the several episodes of the epic and processions culminating in the burning of the effigies of Rāvaṇa, Kumbhakarṇa and Meghanāda on the daśamī day (also called Vijayadaśamī) are the salient features of these celebrations.
+
 
+
In the Mysore City of Karnataka, the Dasara festival celebrated during the Navarātra, has been very famous. It was a royal festival celebrated by the Mahārājā (King) of Mysore, ending with a grand procession on the Vijayadaśamī day.
+
Now-a-days, an image of Cāmuṇ- ḍeśvarī (an aspect of Durgā) is taken out in procession.
+

Latest revision as of 15:54, 17 December 2016

By Swami Harshananda

Sometimes transliterated as: Navaratra, NavarAtra, Navaraatra


Navarātra literally means ‘festival of nine nights’.

Classification of Navarātra

‘Navarātra’ means a period of nine nights or period of nine days. Two Navarātras are mentioned in the purāṇas and the dharmaśāstras to be highly auspicious for the worship of Śakti or the Divine Mother Durgā. They are:

  1. Vasantanavarātra, the first nine days in the Vasanta ṛtu or spring from Caitra śukla pratipad up to navamī
  2. Saran-navarātra, the first nine days in the Saradrtu or autumn, from Āśvayuja śukla pratipad to navami

Significance of Celebration

However, the celebration of the Vasantanavarātra has yielded its place almost completely to the Saran-navarātra. Though the festival of Navarātra is celebrated all over the country in some form or the other, Durgotsava or the festival of Mother Durgā occupies the place of prime importance.

Celebration in South India

Celebration of the Navarātra festival varies from place to place in other parts of the country. Southern part of the country celebrates this festival as denoted belows:

  • Goddess Sarasvatī is worshiped on the saptami and Durgā on the aṣṭami day. The worship is done in the picture and not in clay images as in Bengal.
  • The navamī day called as ‘Mahānavami is celebrated as Āyudhapujā. It is the instruments and implements that help us to earn our livelihood being worshiped then.
  • This is akin to the Viśvakarmapujā performed in the North, during the month of Bhādrapada when Ravi[1] enters the zodiacal sign of Kanyā.[2]
  • In almost all the homes, display of decorated dolls is very common. This is a special attraction for children.

Celebrations in North India

In several Northern parts, especially in the Hind belt, Navarātra is celebrated as Rāmalīlā. The salient features of this celebration are:

  • Recitations from the Rāmāyana
  • Enacting plays based on the several episodes of the epic
  • Processions culminating the burning of the effigies of Rāvaṇa, Kumbhakarṇa and Meghanāda on the daśamī day also called Vijayadaśamī are the salient features of these celebrations.

Celebrations in Mysore City

In the Mysore City of Karnataka, the Daṣara festival celebrated during the Navarātra has been very famous. It is a royal festival celebrated by the Mahārājā[3] of Mysore. It ends with a grand procession on the Vijayadaśamī day. Now-a-days, an image of Cāmuṇdeśvarī[4] is taken out in procession.

References

  1. Ravi means the Sun.
  2. Kanyā means Virgo.
  3. Mahārājā means the King.
  4. Cāmuṇdeśvarī is an aspect of Durgā.
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore