Navratri Festival is considered to be very important in Hinduism. A total of four times a year, Navratri festival comes, but of these Magh and Aashadh Navratri are gupt Navratri.
Apart from these, Chaitra and Ashwin Navratri are the two Navratri which are of the highest importance in Hinduism.
It is also known as ‘ Vasanti Navratri ‘ due to the celebration of Chaitra Navratri in the month of Basant (spring). At the same time, the festival has special significance as the Hindu New Year begins on the first day of Chaitra Navratri.
Chaitra Navratri 2022
Chaitra Navratri in 2022 begin on April 02, saturday, ends on April 10, Sunday.
Why is Chaitra Navratri celebrated? (Why Do We Celebrate Chaitra Navratri?)
In a year, two major Navatris are celebrated, the Shardiya Navratri and Chaitra Navratri. This festival of Navratri is celebrated all over India with great fanfare. There are many beliefs about this day.
According to a major recognition, Maa Durga was born on the first day of Chaitra Navratri and at her behest, Lord Brahma created the world.
That is why the Hindu New Year is also celebrated on the first day of Chaitra Shukla Pratipada (padwa), Chaitra Navratri.
In addition, according to Hindu mythology, Lord Sri Ram, the seventh incarnation of Lord Vishnu, was also born on Chaitra Navratri.
Maa Durga is also known as Aadi Shakti and has the status of the most ancient divine power in Hinduism, because Maa Durga was born to destroy evil. So, worshiping Maa Durga in Chaitra month develops positivity.
This is the reason why this important festival of Chaitra Navratri is celebrated all over India in such a grand way.
How Chaitra Navratri is celebrated- The Customs and Traditions of Chaitra Navratri
There is a significant way to celebrate this festival of Chaitra Navratri dedicated to Maa Durga, which makes it different from other festivals.
The festival is celebrated with great fanfare in the northern states of India like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana. At the same time, the Gudi Padwa festival begins in Maharashtra along with Chaitra Navratri.
The first day of Chaitra Navratri is also called Pratipada (Padwa). From this day, Fairs and religious programmes are organized in the temples of Maa Durga.
Since the beginning of Chaitra Navratri, a large number of devotees come to Maa Durga temples for darshan (Prayers) and in Shaktipeeths and famous Devi temples, this number reaches millions.
In the meantime, many devotees perform custom of fasting on the first and last day of Chaitra Navratri, while a nine-days difficult vow (Fasting or Vrat) is also followed by many devotees.
For Navratri Pujan, different disciplines and methods are prevalent in every sphere. Whereas, there are some practices, which are equally followed all over India.
Kalash Foundation and Barley Sowing
On the first day of Chaitra Navratri, kalash (urn) is set up in houses. This is done because the kalash (urn) is considered to be a symbol of happiness and prosperity, splendor, Ceremonies.
Before the kalash is established, people wear clean clothes and then worship Maa Durga and set up the Navratri urn and worship Maa Durga by burning deep (Diya or Earthen lamps) and incense.
Similarly, on the occasion of Chaitra Navratri, the Monolithic light of Desi Cow ghee is also lit by many devotees in their homes.
At the same time, one of the most important works is done by the people during Chaitra Navratri Pujan. It is to sow barley (Jowar). For this, a little soil is spread around the kalash by the people with the kalash installation and barley is sown inside the soil.
There is a very interesting point behind doing so and most of us do not know the reason behind it. There is a belief that when the world started; the crop that was first produced was barley.
That is why barley is used in every important work of worship and religious lessons. In addition, the first crop to be produced in the spring is also barley. That is why it is offered as Chadhawa (an offering) to Maa Durga.
At the same time, it is believed that at Navratri beginning, the barley seeds, which were sown as offerings to Mother Durga near kalash, indicate the future.
If this barley is growing rapidly, it is believed that there will be peace and prosperity at home. If the barley is withered or the growth is very slow, it indicates an ominous event in the future.
Kanya Pujan has special significance in Navratri festival. The devotees of Maa Durga specially worship the Kumaris on the day of Ashtami or Navami. Under this, 9 virgin girls are called at home with full respect and provided with dakshana and offerings after meals.
According to beliefs, Kanya Pujan gives many special benefits like wealth, property, happiness and prosperity, etc. During The Kanya Pujan, it is practiced to present fruits, sweets, makeup items, clothes, sweets and pudding, black gram and whole dishes to girls.
Nine days of Chaitra Navratri Prasad and Bhog
Nine days of Navratri, are dedicated to nine forms of Aadi Shakti. Each of these goddesses should be offered with some different Bhog (Offering).
If the nine forms of the Goddess are offered according to the order mentioned, the special blessings of Chaitra Navratri Pujan is received.
First day- This day is known as Pratipada (Padwa) and is dedicated to goddess Shailputri. On this day, we must offer bananas to the goddess in the Bhog offered.
Second day- This day is known as Sindhara Dauj and is dedicated to Mata Brahmacharini. On this day, we must offer Desi Cow ghee in the reverence of the Goddess Brahmacharini.
Third day- This day is known as Gauri Teej or Saujanya Teej and is dedicated to Goddess Chandraghanta. On this day, we must offer Salted Butter in the reverence of the Goddess Chandraghanta.
Fourth day- this day is known as Varad Vinayak Chauth, this day is dedicated to Mata Kushmanda. On this day, we must offer mishree in the reverence of the Goddess Kushmanda.
Fifth day- This day is known as Lakshmi Panchami and this day is dedicated to Goddess Skandamata. On this day, we must offer kheer or milk in the reverence of the Goddess Skandamata.
Sixth day- This day is known as the Yamuna Chhath or Skanda Sasthi, the day is dedicated to Goddess Katyayini. On this day, we must offer Maalpua as a divine offering (Bhog) to the Goddess Katyayini.
Seventh Day- This day is celebrated as Maha Saptami and this day is dedicated to Goddess Kaalratri. On this day, we must offer honey to the Goddess Kaalratri as a Bhog.
Eighth day- this day is known as Durga Ashtami and this day is dedicated to Mata Mahamauri. On this day, we must offer a jaggery or coconut as a divine offering to the Goddess Mahagauri.
Ninth day- this day is known as Navami or Ram Navami and this day is dedicated to the Goddess Siddhidatri. On this day, we must offer paddy pudding as a divine offering to the Goddess Siddhidatri.
Modern Tradition of Chaitra Navratri
There has been no significant change in the way of celebrating Chaitra Navratri so far. However, the festival has now been celebrated on a much larger scale than before.
The earlier people used to have a nine-day vow to express their reverence for Mother Durga on the occasion of Chaitra Navratri and used only to use things like light falhaar and milk and curd.
But nowadays people have started fasting like pretentiousness in the name of fasting because during the fast, a large number of fruits and flowers, fritters and all kinds of dishes are eaten by the people. Which eliminates the true meaning of fasting.
However, fasting does not mean that nothing should be eaten at all, but if the vow is followed by enjoying all kinds of dishes, there is no specific justification. So if we want to maintain the historical and scientific reasons of Navratri, we must adhere to its traditional form.
Importance of Chaitra Navratri
Chaitra Navratri has been given special importance in the Puranas, which is considered to be the basis of self-purification and liberation.
The worship of Maa Durga at Chaitra Navratri eliminates negative energy and infuses positive energy around us.
At the same time, this festival of Chaitra Navratri is also very important in astrological and astronomical terms as the sun enters the Aries, this change of sun affects every Zodiacs and from this day the New Year’s Panchag calculation begins.
These nine days of Chaitra Navratri are considered so auspicious that in these nine days, if you want to start a new task, you don’t need to wait for a particular tithi you can start any new work at any time during the entire Chaitra Navratri.
At the same time, there is a belief that a person who worships Maha Durga in Chaitra Navratri without any greed is freed from this bond of birth and death and attains salvation.
Scientific Reason of Chaitra Navratri
In one year, there are four treaties in the sun’s parikrama period. The treaties of these seasons often cause many physical diseases. Out of these four treaties, two come at the time of the Chaitra and Ashwin Navratri.
At this time, the special procedure that we follow to keep our body and mind healthy and clean is called Navratri.
Many people keeps fast on these nine days or takes a special type of cousine.
This action brings out the impurities of our body and by following the Sattvik diet, we are also free from all the disorders caused by climate change in the body and also fill our body with Ascending thoughts and positive energy.
History of Chaitra Navratri
The festival of Chaitra Navratri is of great importance in Hinduism. On the first day of this day, Chaitra Shukla, the Hindu New Year begins. Many mythological stories are also prevalent in Chaitra Navratri.
According to one of the legends, lord SriRam had worshipped goddess Durga in Chaitra Month to slaughter Ravan in the Ramayan period. So pleased that the goddess gave him the blessings of Vijayshree.
At the same time, according to many such mythology, Lord Sriram was born on the ninth day of Chaitra Navratri, so this day is also known as Ram Navami.
During Chaitra Navratri, there is a unique confluence of climate and sun impacts. Which works to further enhance its importance. In these nine days, all impurities of the body are removed through special food and fast rearing and new energy and positivity are infused in the body.
That is why the evidence to celebrate this special festival of Navratri is even earlier than the Vedic era. It is recognised that this festival of Navratri is being celebrated since the prehistoric period.
That is why Navratri festival is considered to be one of the most ancient festivals of Hinduism.
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