New Delhi [India], September 26 (ANI): The nine-day long Hindu festival of Navratri began with much fervour on Monday.
The Shardiya Navratri festival is dedicated to Goddess Durga and her nine avatars and today marks the first day of the festivity (Kalash or Ghatsthapna). The festival is celebrated with much fervour all across the country by Hindus.
Devotees flocked to the Mata Vaishno Devi Mandir atop the Trikuta hills in Jammu and Kashmir's Katra on the first day today.
The Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board (SMVDSB) has put in place all necessary arrangements to meet the heavy rush of devotees, officials said.
Similar scenes were also seen at the Mumbai Devi Temple in Mumba, where the early morning 'Aarti' was performed on the first day of the Navratri.
Visuals from Delhi's Jhandewalan temple in Delhi showed devotees offering prayers to Maa Durga.
The priest of Chhatarpur Temple Delhi while talking to ANI, talked about the significance of the festival.
"Today is the first day of Navratri, we worship in the name of Shailputri. Today, Maa Durga fulfils the wishes of those who worship her. Chhatarpur temple is not just famed in the country, but across the world. It was Sant Baba Nagpal Ji. We have done all the arrangements so that the devotees can worship the goddess, langar, security and sanitation arrangements have also been done," the priest said.
Navratri means 'nine nights' in Sanskrit. Hindus observe a total of four Navratris throughout the year. Only two of them, Chaitra Navaratri and Shardiya Navaratri see widespread celebrations, as they coincide with the beginnings of the seasons.
From Ashwin Shukla Paksha's Navami until the Pratipada, Shardiya Navratri is observed. While the holiday is celebrated with great fanfare across the nation, distinct traditions are more commonly practised in different states.
This year, Navratri will last nine days, starting on September 26 and concluding on October 5.
The festival of Navratri honours the defeat of the demonic Mahishasura and the triumph of good over evil. Because of Mahishasura's unwavering devotion to him, Lord Brahma bestows the gift of immortality upon him at the beginning of the narrative.
The blessing did, however, come with one stipulation: only a woman would be able to overcome him. The demon began terrorising people on Earth because he didn't think any woman would be strong enough to overcome him. Gods were unable to halt him.
Since Mahishasura was to be demolished, Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu, and Lord Shiva pooled their efforts to create the goddess Durga. They gave her a number of weapons. Ten days passed during Maa Durga and Mahishasura's conflict. However, Maa Durga was able to overcome him when he at last transformed into a buffalo.
During the nine-day Navratri festival, devotees worship Maa Durga's nine incarnations in order to obtain her blessings. There is a goddess manifestation linked with each day of Navratri. During these nine days, people maintain ritualistic fasts, recite shlokas dedicated to each goddess, wear new clothing, offer bhog, and clean their homes. In their prayers, they ask the goddess for her favour in order to have prosperous, joyous, and fulfilled lives.
Ramlila is organised extensively during Navratri in North India, particularly in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Haryana, Gujarat, and Madhya Pradesh. During the Ramlila, the tale of Lord Ram's triumph over Ravana is acted out. The effigies of King Ravana are burned on Dussehra to commemorate the triumph of good over evil.
In fact, on the tenth day of Navratri, also known as Vijayadashami, a large procession is organised during which clay figurines of Maa Durga are ceremoniously submerged in a river, sea, or ocean. Popular places to do this practice include West Bengal, Odisha, Assam, and Bihar. The most significant day for Maa Durga's worship is thought to be the day of Durga Visarjan.
Numerous dances, including Garba and Dandiya Raas, are performed during the nine-day festival. While Dandiya Raas involves dancing with dandiya sticks to the beat of the music, Garba is a traditional dance in which participants clap their hands and move in a circle while making rhythmic gestures.
In India, Navratri is celebrated in a wide range of ways. Ramlila, a celebration in which scenes from the Ramayana are performed, is organised in North India, mainly in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Bihar, and Madhya Pradesh. The burning of King Ravana's effigies marks the conclusion of the story on Vijayadashami. (ANI)