March 30, 2022, 12:06 p.m. by Karuwaki Speaks ( 168 views)
The word Navaratri means 'nine nights' in Sanskrit, nava meaning nine and ratri meaning nights.While the Sharadiya navratri is more famous there are four Navratri festivals which are named after the Hindu seasons/months they fall in — Magha (Winter), Chaitra (Spring), Ashadha (Monsoon), and Sharad (Autumn and in the Vedic calendar named Sharad Navratri, Chaitra Navratri which are pratakshys & Magha Gupta Navratri and Ashadha Gupta Navratri which are held in secrecy.
Chaitra Navaratri is named after vasant or spring.It is observed during the lunar month of Chaitra (March–April). It also marks the first day of Hindu Lunar New Year, according to the Vikram Samvat calendar.This Navratri is celebrated during the shukla paksha of chaitra and while Maharashtrians celebrate the first day of this navratri as Gudi Padwa, in Kashmir, it is called as Navreh & in the south it's known as Ugadi.The colorful spring season marks the exuberance of this fascinating & divine festival .
The prayer, fasting and meditation performed during Navratri connect us with our spirit invoking positive qualities within us.By reducing stress & destroying the negativity we experience the deep mind/body rest of the transforming nine nights.
Navratris fall within the cusp of two seasons and the Navratris are celebrated at the juncture of seasonal changes. Just before the beginning of summer and winter, Mother Nature undergoes a major change which is commemorated to celebrate Goddess Shakti,the embodiment of Nature itself.
During this religious observance a kalash (pot ) is installed (ghatasthapana) at a sanctified place at home. A lamp is kept lit in the kalash for nine days. The kalash symbolizes the universe and the uninterrupted lit lamp symbolizes Shakti.Navratri is a time period to become more aware of ourselves & connect with the divine consciousness.
The scientific reason behind fasting during Navratri is to detoxify the body & fasting allows the gut to cleanse & strengthen the lining.For many people it is a time of religious reflection and fasting.Observing a strict vegetarian diet and abstaining from alcohol and certain spices help in detoxification & meditation helps in rejuvenation.During these nine days, people eat a variety of fruits and food that are nutritious. The antioxidants present in these foods help in the removal of harmful free radicals from the body.
Music plays an integral part in rejuvenation.While spiritual music is played during navratri invoking the Goddess, special semi-classical songs,called chaiti are rendered during Sri Rama Navami, in praise of maryada purushottam Sri Ram.The vasant Ritu inspires the light classical Chaiti which is traditionally sung in & around Banaras, Mirzapur, Mathura, Allahabad, and the Bhojpur regions of Bihar.Girija Devi,Shobha Gurtu & Pandit Channulal Misra are among the popular singers of Chaiti.Most of the songs have wordings like "Ho Rama" or "Are Rama". Chaiti evokes the aura of romanticism and the mood of love in spring.
Devotees worship Nava Durga during Navratri, and the nine forms of the Goddess are -Shailputri,Brahmacharini,Chandraghanta, Kushmanda, Skanda Mata, Katyayani, Kalaratri, Maha Gauri and Siddhidatri.The ninth day of celebration of Chaitra Navratri is Ram Navami which is considered to be the birthday of Lord Rama. Although the celebration is aimed at worshipping Shakti, but the ninth day is dedicated to Sri Ram & celebrates the birth of the seventh incarnation of Vishnu as Ramnavami.