Navaratri 2022: Know How Goddess of Shakti – Maa Durga is Worshiped Across India
The nine-day long Shardiya Navaratri 2022 festival dedicated to the Goddess of Energy- Maa Durga, and her nine incarnations, has started today. The festival is celebrated nationwide auspiciously as people come out on streets to witness decorated Durga puja pandals.
The joy of Durga puja can be observed from the Kutchh region in the west to Kolkata in the east and from Jammu in the north to Mysuru in the south. The festival has significance not only in India but also at the global level. Recently, UNESCO added West Bengal’s Durga Puja celebration to its Intangible Cultural Heritage list.
Significance of Durga Puja
According to scriptures, the festival is intended to worship Maa Durga (wife of lord Shiva) and her nine Avatars (incarnations) known as Navdurga. Navaratri is a Sanskrit term that stands for nine nights. People belonging to the Hindu culture believe that Durga Maa comes to her maternal home from Kailash mountain to meet her children. That’s why devotees prepare their homes to welcome goddess Durga.
As per the Saka calendar, four Navaratri come in a year. Among these, people celebrate only two: Chaitra Navaratri (in April) and Shardeya Navaratri (in October). The celebration of these two Navaratri also marks the beginning of two seasons. Thus, to pray for the good harvest of their crops, farmers devote themselves to worshiping the protector of their fields and crops.
Timeline of Shardeya Navaratri 2022
As mentioned in the Saka calendar, Shardeya Navaratri starts from the Pratipada tithi (first date) of Ashwin Shukla Paksha and lasts until the Navami tithi (ninth date). The festival of Dussehra commemorates the festival of Durga puja and marks the tenth day of Shukla Paksha of Ashwin month. In addition, people celebrate Dussehra as a symbol of the victory of good over evil.
According to the Hindu mythology, on the tenth date of Ashwin Shukla Paksha, lord Rama defeated the demon king of Ceylon (Sri Lanka). On Dussehra, devotees flock to streets to witness the immersion of Maa Durga idols in holy water spaces. This year, the tenth day or Dussehra falls on October 5.
Also Read: Creative Navaratri Decoration Ideas for your Home
How To Pray During Durga Puja?
Across the nation, devotees worship nine incarnations of Maa Durga to receive her blessings. They maintain ritualistic fasts, recite shlokas dedicated to each goddess, wear traditional dresses, offer Bhog (holy food), and clean their homes. On the very first day of the celebration, devotees place a Kalash in their homes’ worship area. And, with each day’s recitation in their house’s sacred areas, they ask for the goddess’s blessing to have a prosperous, joyous, and fulfilled lives.
In addition to preparing pandals for Maa Durga idols, devotees celebrate the festival by learning the ideals of lord Rama. People spread the principles of lord Rama through Ramleela, and by burning the effigies of Ravana, Kumbhakarna and Indrajeet (Meghnad) on the date of Dussehra.
The festival of Navaratri is also popular for its dance culture as people enjoy Garba – a folk dance- with their friends and family members. Especially for Garba, devotees wear the traditional and colourful outfit- Chaniya Choli.