Significance of Navaratri
In Samskrit, Navratri literally means nine nights. It is a very popular festival celebrated across India. Navaratri is celebrated in the form of feminine energy of the divine called as Goddess Durga. There are nine forms of Goddess Durga and these nine days are dedicated to nine forms. It symbolizes as a victory of positivity over negativity. The main purpose of this festival is to move from the state of ignorance to the state of self-awareness.
Every living being in this universe including human beings are born out of mothers womb. According to Devi Bhagavata, Adi parashakti is the supreme being. She is the creator (Srishti), observer (Sthithi) and destroyer (Laya) of the universe. She possesses three basic qualities of existence, tamas, rajas and satwa in a manifested form (Saguna swaroopa).
Navaratri is dedicated to the three dimensions of the feminine energy represented by Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati. Durga is the fierce form, Lakshmi is gentle and benevolent and Saraswati is the giver of knowledge, education and transcendence from all the bondage. They also represent three basic qualities of existence – tamas, rajas and satwa. Tamas means inertia, rajas means activity and sattwa means balance, awareness. The goal of the Navaratri should be transforming tamas, balancing rajas and developing sattwa.
It is often depicted in the mythology that the Goddess Durga killing rakshas or evil forces. It is important to note at this point is that the evil forces also reside in our mind too in the form of hatred, jealousy, anger, depression, lust, fear, laziness, ignorance, addiction, attachment, doubt, shame etc. We have to conquer these negative qualities in order to attain happiness, peace, joy, freedom, compassion, self-control, fulfilment, bliss, cheerfulness, gratitude, fearlessness, selflessness etc. We have to move from tamasic state to sattwik state through rajas. That is the reason navaratri is divided into three parts. The first three days are dedicated to decrease tamas, so Goddess Mahakali or Durga is worshipped on these days. The next three days are used to enhance rajas, so Goddess Mahalakshmi is worshipped. And the last three days to develop satwa and to intensify spirituality, so Goddess Saraswati is worshipped. And finally, on 10th day comes ‘Vijaya Dasami’. Vijaya means victory and Dasami means 10th day. It is the final victory of all the impurities in the mind.