A year after, here comes another Navaraatri festival. As the name resemble, it is a festival of nine nights and ten days during which nine forms of Goddess Shakti are worshipped in India. The nine worshipped forms are Durga, Bhadrakali, Amba, Annapoorneswari, Sarvamangala, Bhairavi, Chandika, Lalita, Bhavani and Mookambika. These nine days are celebrated as the Maha Navaratri and the tenth day happens to be the most auspicious occasion and is known as Vijayadasami or Dussehra. The day is known to be the apt to start formal education known as Vidyaarambham. As a part of this tradition, Aayutha Puja and Saraswati Puja are performed on Ashtami, Navami and Dashami days of Navaratri.
There are many stories revolving around the day. It is assumed to be the victory of Goddess Durga over Mahishasura(an Asura king) in some parts of southern India. Goddess Durga, a combination of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, is ten handed with special power of all the Devas and rides a lion. After a long battle of nine days and nights, Mahishasura was defeated on the tenth day by Goddess Durga.
Some Indian states celebrate the day as the home coming of Durga Maata along with her children, Lord Karthikeya and Lord Ganesha and two Shaktis, Jaya and Vijaya, to visit parents of her pre-birth as Sati – King Dhaksha and Prasuti, known as Durga Puja.
Some northern areas of India observe Vijayadashami as the day of victory of Lord Rama over Ravana along with Lakshmana to rescue Sita from Lanka. They burn effigies of Ravana, Meghanada and Kumbhakarna to mark this. The ten day celebrations include recitation of Sundarakanda of Ramayana for five days, to eliminate ten bad qualities; Kama Vasana, Krodha, Moha, Lobha, Mada, Matsara, Swartha, Anyaaya, Amanavata and Ahangara, represented by the ten heads of King Raavana, from home. People perform dramas and plays based on the Epic Ramayana (RamLeela) during this season.
Despite all the varying stories,regions and names, the season is of great festive importance and is welcomed as the time of good luck, happiness, prosperity and is celebrated with all its traditional importance and ambience in all parts of India.
Wish you all a HAPPY NAVARATHRI..