Navarathri »

Navratri, Navaratri, or Navarathri is a Hindu festival of worship of Shakti and dance & festivities. The word Navaratri literally means nine nights in Sanskrit, nava meaning nine and ratri meaning nights. During these nine nights and ten days, nine forms of Shakti/Devi are worshiped. The 10th day is commonly referred to as Vijayadashami or Dussehra.

Significance

Download information on Navrathri Celebrations / Programmes - 2013

Letter of Trust

The beginning of spring and the beginning of autumn are two very important junctions of climatic and solar influence. These two periods are taken as sacred opportunities for the worship of the Divine Mother. The dates of the festival are determined according to the lunar calendar.

Navaratri represents celebration of Goddess Durga, the manifestation of Deity in form of Shakti [Energy or Power]. The Navaratri festival or ‘Nine Nights festival’ becomes ‘ten days festival’ with the addition of the last day, Vijayadashami which is its culmination. On all these ten days, the various forms of Mother Mahisasura-mardini (Durga) are worshipped with fervor and devotion.

Traditions of Navaratri

Navaratri is celebrated five times a year. They are Vasanta Navaratri, Ashadha Navaratri, the Sharada Navaratri, and the Paush/Magha Navaratri. Of these, the Sharada Navaratri of the month of Puratashi and the Vasanta Navaratri of the Vasanta kala are very important.

  • Vasanta Navaratri: Basanta Navrathri, also known as Vasant Navratras, is the festival of nine days dedicated to the nine forms of Shakti (Mother Goddess) in the spring season (March - April). It is also known as Chaitra Navratra. The nine days of festival is also known as Raama Navratri.
  • Gupta Navaratri: Gupta Navratri, also referred as Ashadha or Gayatri or Shakambhari Navratri, is nine days dedicated to the nine forms of Shakti (Mother Goddess) in the month of Ashadha (June - July). Gupta Navaratri is observed during the Ashadha Shukla Paksha (waxing phase of moon).
  • Sharada Navaratri: This is the most important of the Navratris. It is simply called Maha Navratri (the Great Navratri) and is celebrated in the month of Ashvina. Also known as Sharad Navaratri, as it is celebrated during Sharad (beginning of winter, September - October).
  • Paush Navaratri: Paush Navratri is nine days dedicated to the nine forms of Shakti (Mother Goddess) in the month of Paush (December - January). Paush Navaratri is observed during the Paush Shukla Paksha (waxing phase of moon).
  • Magha Navaratri: Magha Navratri, also referred as Gupta Navratri, is nine days dedicated to the nine forms of Shakti (Mother Goddess) in the month of Magha (January - February). Magha Navaratri is observed during the Magha Shukla Paksha (waxing phase of moon).