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Navratri & 3 Popular Tales Behind the Festival

Here are the tales associated with the auspicious 9-day Navratri


Highlights:

1. Story of Goddess Durga

2.  Kamal Nayan Ram won over Ravan

3.  Weapon worship

On this occasion, it is necessary and exciting to know what Navratri is and why we celebrate it. Navratri is a Hindu festival that is full of excitement and colour. It is time for family and friends to come together and celebrate.

The word Navratri is derived from Sanskrit, meaning nine nights. Nava means nine, and Ratri means night.

The 9-day-long celebrations are dedicated to goddess Durga’s 9 avatars, Navadurgas. Each day is associated with the incarnation of the goddess.

Story of Goddess Durga

Navratri

The Tale of Navratri hails from the battle that occurred between the goddess and Mahishasur and his Assur Army. Mahishaur wanted to become more and more powerful and rule all the 3 lokas (Swarglok, Murtiyulok, and Patallok). After a severe Tapasya, he pleased Lord Brahma. Brahma gifted him a boon.

Mahishasur asked, “Lord, if you cannot grant me immortality, then give me such powers so that I cannot be killed by either a god or a man? If I have to die, it should only be with the hands of a woman.”

Mahishasur was very proud of his masculinity and power. He believed that no woman could stand his powers. His wish was granted, and he developed a myth that now he is immortal and the most powerful in the universe.

He immediately marched towards all the 3 lokas with his army. After his atrocities, the king of Dev, Indra, went to Trimurties (Brahma, Vishnu, Mahesh) and explained the whole situation to them. All the 3 gods together create a woman who holds all the supreme powers. Lord Shiva gave her Trishula, Vishnu handed over his Chakra, Brahma presented his Kamandal, and Indra gave his Vajra.

This Aadi Shakti also possessed courage, wisdom, and inner strength. She rode on a lion for Mahishasur Vadh.

Mahishasur’s heart skipped a beat after looking at goddess Durga. He still thought that a single woman could not kill me. To this, Durga replied, “I am not an ordinary woman. I’m here to fulfill your desire to be killed by a woman”. Mahisha immediately realised the danger, turned into a buffalo, and charged toward the goddess with all his might.

The ferocious battle continued for the 10-long days. On the 10th day, Durga killed Mahisha with her trident. Therefore, 9 days are celebrated as Navratri, and the 10th day is known as Vijay Dasmi. 

After Durga slew Mahishasur she earned the title Mahishasur Mardini. 

Kamal Nayan Ram won over Ravan

Navratri

Another famous story is associated with Ramayana. It is said that before being involved in a battle with Lanka Pati Ravan, Lord Rama prayed to Goddess Durga to receive her blessings. This puja needs 108 blue lotuses, but he managed to arrange only 107. Therefore, Ram decided to offer one of his eyes as he was also known as Kamal Nayan (Whose eyes are like a lotus petal). When he was about to peel off his eye, Durga appeared and blessed him with a victory boon. Lord Ram killed Ravan on Vijay Dashmi itself.

Weapon worship

Navratri

In Mahabharata, the Pandavas were exiled to a forest for 12 years after they lost the game of Chosat to the Kauravas. They also had to live 1 year in disguise. If anybody recognised them, the whole process of exile would be repeated.

After the period was successfully over, they retrieved their arms which were kept safely on a Shami tree. On Vijay Dasmi, they worshipped their weapons. Hence, people often worship implements that are part of their lives on this day.

Edit- Ayushi Mittal

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Ayushi Mittal

In her journey to become a journalist, Ayushi can inculcate your tale through her news writings. You may find her with a mike in protests, rallies, or in museums. So what's your story?
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