Chaitra Navratri ( 18th March till 26th March 2018 ) and Ram Navami ( 25th March 2018 )
Chaitra Navratri ( devoted to the worship of Goddess Durga ) is a Nine day festival that begins from first day of the Chaitra month as per Hindu Lunar Calendar. Chaitra Navratri is also known as Vasant Navratri. The 9th day of Chaitra Navratri usually celebrated as the Birth of Lord Rama ( Ram Navami ). This year, Chaitra Navratri will begin from Sunday, 18th of March till Monday, 26th of March 2018 and Ram Navami will be celebrated on Sunday, 25th of March 2018.
Legend Behind Ram Navami :
According to Great Epic Ramayana, once upon a time, there was a King named Dasarath, during his Kingdom, Ayodhya reached a period of great prosperity. However, he had no children and therefore he decided to perform a sacrifice known as "Ashwamedh". He had to observe difficult rituals for this sacrifice. Rishyashring priest was chosen to conduct the sacrifice with utmost accuracy and that was a great event in Ayodhya. The Gods, Gandharvas, Siddhas & Rishis present arid began to pray to Lord Brahma, the Creator of Universe. At that time, Ravan (Demon) was terrorizing the people and all were praying for liberation from his threats. Ravan was given a boon by Lord Brahma that he would never die by the hands of Gods or Gandarvas or Yakshas or Demons. Ravan was very cruel and did not care for humankind & never included men in his list of potential slayers. Therefore, Lord Brahma declared that Ravana would die by the hands of a man. The Gods went to Lord Vishnu with the request that Dasarath is a Glorious King and asked to take Birth in the wombs of his three queens in four different degrees of his divinity. When Dasarath's sacrifice ended, a shining figure appeared over the sacrificial homam kund and offered a divine beverage to King Dasarath known as "Payasam" to be given to his queens Kausalya, Kaikayi and Sumitra. In few months, Kausalya gave birth to Lord Rama, Kaikeyi to Bharat and Sumitra to Lakshman & Shatrugna. Lord Rama was believed to be the embodiment of half degree of Vishnu's divinity. Hence, Lord Rama's birth is celebrated as Ram Navami with great zeal and enthusiasm.
|Nine forms of Shakti are worshipped during the Navratris. Every day, she assumes a new incarnation, having a new look and name. Each Goddess has a different form and special significance. The message that Goddess Durga gives to her devotees is that with the force of dignity and wisdom, we can achieve the victory over all the demonic forces inside us. |
|Day ||Date (2018) ||Information about Deity |
|1st Day ||Sunday, 18th March ||Shailputri|| |
Goddess Shailputri is considered the daughter of the Himalayas, this form of Goddess Durga rides a bull & carries a trident & a lotus in her two hands
|2nd Day ||Monday, 19th March ||Brahmacharini|| |
Goddess Brahmacharini is also a form of Uma or Parvati. She is Blissful & bestows Happiness, Peace, Prosperity & Grace upon all devotees who worship her. Worshiping this form of Goddess Durga is also a way to attain Moksha
|3rd Day ||Tuesday, 20th March ||Chandraghanta|| |
Goddess Chandraghanta is the symbolic representation of beauty & bravery. She has a ‘chandra’ or half moon on her forehead in the shape of a ‘ghanta’ or bell. That is why she is called ‘Chandraghanta’.
|4th Day ||Wednesday, 21st March ||Kushmanda|| |
It is believed that Kushmanda is the creator of the entire Universe which she has created by her laugh. The universe was full of darkness, until her light spreads in all directions like rays from the sun.
|5th Day ||Thursday, 22nd March ||Skand Mata|| |
She is the Mother of Skanda, the chief warrior of the Gods army. She is accompanied by the Lord Skanda in his infant form.
|6th Day ||Friday, 23rd March ||Katyayani|| |
Goddess Katyayani rides on a magnificent Lion & she has four hands. She carries lotus flower & sword in her right hands & keeps her left hands in Abhaya and Varada Mudras.
|7th Day ||Saturday, 24th March ||Kalratri|| |
Her complexion is dark black & she rides on a donkey. She is depicted with four hands. Her right hands are in Abhaya and Varada Mudra & she carries sword and the deadly iron hook in her left hands.
|8th Day ||Sunday, 25th March ||Maha Gauri / Ram Navmi|| |
She is considered to be extremely beautiful, white like snow & she wears white colored ornaments. She represents calmness and exhibits Wisdom. Her power is unfailing and praying to her is instantly fruitful.
|9th Day ||Monday, 26th March ||Siddhidatri|| |
It is believed she is bestower of all the eight Siddhis. She lives on lotus and has Supernatural healing powers. In ‘Devi Bhagvata Purana’ it is mentioned that Lord Shiva worshipped her and was blessed with all Siddhis (supernatural powers).