: Mother Durga
: 9 days
Reason of Celebration
: To propitiate Shakti (power)
It lasts for nine days in honour of the nine manifestations of Durga. During Navaratri (the word literally means "nine nights") devotees of Durga observe a fast. Brahmins are fed and prayers are offered for the protection of health and
property· The beginning of summer and the beginning of winter are two every important junctions of climatic and solar influence.
These two periods are taken as holy opportunity for the worship of the Divine Mother. They are indicated respectively by the
Rama-Navaratri in the Chaitra (April-May) and the
Durga Navaratri in Aswayuja (September-October). The bodies and minds of people undergo a considerable change on accost of the changes in Nature. Sri Rama is worshipped during
Ramnavmi, and Mother Durga during Navaratri.
The Durga Puja is celebrated in various parts of India in different styles. But the one basic aim of this celebration is to propitiate
Shakti, the Goddess in Her aspect as Power, to bestow upon man all wealth, auspiciousness, prosperity, knowledge (both sacred and secular), and all other potent powers. Whatever be the particular or special request that everyone may put before the Goddess, whatever boon may be asked of Her, the one thing behind all these is propitiation, worship and linking oneself with Her. There is no other aim. This is being affected consciously unconsciously. Everyone is blessed with Her loving mercy and is protected by Her.
Durga Puja or Navaratri commences on the first and ends on the tenth day of the bright half of
Aswayuja (September-October). It is held in commemoration of the victory of Durga over
Mahishasura, the buffalo-headed demon. In Bengal Her image is worshipped for nine days and then cast into water. The tenth day is called
Vijaya Dasami or Dussera (the "tenth day"). Processions with Her image are taken out along the streets of villages and cities.
The mother of Durga (that is, the wife of the King of the Himalayas) longed to see her daughter. Durga was permitted by Lord Shiva to visit her beloved mother only for nine days in the year. The festival of
Durga Puja marks this brief visit and ends with the Vijaya
Dasami day, when Goddess Durga leaves for Her return to Mount
Kailas. This is the view of some devotees.