Why We Celebrate Navratri ?
In Indian month – Ashwin Shukla pakhya it is consider as Aswin Navratri which is celebrated not only in India but across the world. In ancient times Ashwin Navratri was consider as New Year in Hindus later Chaitra Mass – Shukla Pakhya Pratipada – mean 1st day of Chaitra month was also consider and celebrated as New Year.
Now a question arise as why Navratri is consider so auspicious ? In Navratri Lord Rama – King of Aayodhya once keep fasting and worshiped Lord Durga – the Adishakti on eve of navratri .
When Lord Rama was struggling to fight and invade Shri Lankapati Shri Ravana , it seem to rama very tough to defeat him on both political and spiritual ground , hence on recommendation of his Guru,Lord Rama started devotion of Adi Shakti.
During the spiritual rites was going on , one day it was a procedure to offer 108 lotus to Maa Durga , hence Shri Rama started reciting mantras and offer lotus one –by-one . Ravana get to know the ritual through its Maya-shakti so he stole 1 lotus through his evil power. Thus when Shri Rama completed 107 mantras and offer 107 lotus , he found one lotus is missing.
He get surprised as how 1 lotus get missed. After thinking for movement he realized that people of Bharat ( previously India was known as Bharat Varsha ) called him “Kamalnayan” ( one who has Eyes like Lotus hence termed as Kamalnayan ) thus without thinking further he took one knife to cut his eye and when he was on a point to cut his eye ,Maa Durga get manifested in front of him and stop him from cutting his eye and asked him : What do you want ? I am extremely delighted on your devotion ,Upon this Lord Rama ask for blessing to defeat Shri Ravana in war .
On side when Ravana get to know about this incident ,he immediately call upon meeting of his scholars and Brahmin to take advise as how to beat Rama. Upon the advise of Brahmins ,Ravana started Laksha-Chandi Path ( recitation of 1 Lacs slokas of Chandi- Durgasapta Sathi ) and Yagya .
The ardent devotee of Shri Rama , Shri Hanuman when get to know that even Ravana is performing Lakhya Chandi Yagya with thousands of Scholars-Brahmins , he went to the spot in form of Brahmin and stated : Oh ! Great Brahmins , you re doing good job , I would like to tell you that if you recite one specific mantra in Durga Pooja , she will be happy and manifest herself at earlier. Upon this words Brahmin got eager and ask : What is that mantras ?
Hanuman : ‘Bhruti Karni ‘– hence Brahmins started reciting Bhrutu-Karni ( who create barrier in life) instead of Bhruti Harani ( one who removes obstacles/hindrances ), hence upon the continue recitation of such mantras , Maa Durga got angry on Ravana and manifest in front of Brahmins and Ravana and curse him that his whole family and generation will be destroyed sooner.
Later Shri Rama started war on auspicious day of Navratri and on 10th day of Navratri ,Shri Ravana was killed in war against Shri Ravana.
In Gujrat Navratri celebrations are also a fertility rite. The farmers have reaped the crop. The cutting has been done. They dedicate the crop to the the MOTHER DIVINE, sing paens to HER, to bless them in furthering their lineage. The symbol used all suggests fertility. The pot in which the diya is kept
Is called Garbhi also meaning womb. The light of the akhand diya in the Garbi is the foetus
Listen to the folk songs aka Garbas full of innuendo of love, progeny, protection of the lineage.
Thank you Naresh for the info .