Well! As ‘chaitra’ or ‘bansanti navratras’ are going on and everyone around me is keeping fasts and giving me some really “Oh! Really you don’t keep fasts?awww” sort of looks.So I couldn’t help but pondered about it and eventually I am sharing an atheist (Actually nahh! M trying to be cool. I do believe in God. It’s just I don’t put my heart and soul into rituals) point of view or better take it a very ‘IT’ point of view from a non fasting, non following,non traditional and every such ‘non’ type of girl….
I’d like to start with the meaning of navratri ‘Nav’ means nine and ‘Ratri’ means night so basically it is night nights of celebrations during which nine forms of goddess Durga is worshipped.
Now it just not chaitra or shardiya (dussehra ) navratras but originally 5 types of navratras are celebrated in a year.
1) Chaitra or Basanti Navratra (March-April )
2) Ashadha or Gupt Navratra (June-July)
3)Sharadiya or Ashvin or Dussehra (Sep – Oct )
4)Paush Navratra (Dec-Jan)
5) Magha or Gupt Navratra (Jan-Feb)
These are all celebrated based on lunar calendar and at the beginning of a new season. Like ‘chaitra navratras’ commence beginning of spring and likewise ‘sharadiya navratras’ commence beginning of winters.
Even though I deny any such existence of Goddess Amba ( means power) and assume her one of the three crore Gods and Goddess of Hindu religion.Then too, there are some very solid facts which I can’t deny and they really emphasize the importance of this divine power.
Devoted to the worship of shakti (that powerful,auspicious energy which runs the world! Yeah, you can also take it as that kinetic or potential or any sort of energy required to do any work which you read in physics ) I don’t think anything else would have been more important to our ancestors worth celebrating five times a year than this divine ‘Shakti’ herself.
This shakti is conceptualized as divine Goddess Durga which is considered very sacred and powerful goddess all across the country and also in our neighborhood countries like Nepal and Pakistan (you heard it right in Pakistan too).
The worship dates back to prehistoric times even before the dawn of vedic ages. Now that is something as even in vedic ages there were not much of gods/goddessses around and goddess Durga is worshipped like prehistoric times….holy ***! Man she must be something.
Few whole chapters of entire Rigveda and Samveda are dedicated to worship and appreciation of goddess shakti. ‘Devi Sukta’, ‘Isha Sukta’, ‘Ratri Sukta’ are all her praises described in detail in these vedas.Now we all know what Vedas are to Hindu religion….cult man!
Now it’s very interesting that goddess had been invoked in every single mythical war which have eventually defined our whole existence like ‘mahabharat’ or ‘ramayana’.
So if you see, then every major authenticated documentation of Hindu mythology since the prehistoric times mentions her and all the big big gods ( rama,krishna, brahma etc ) worship this divine power before their battles(and they win too!)
Now I don’t think something like this can be fake. There must be a great significance of these navratras especially dedicated to worship of devi before the start of any season.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CHAITRA & SHARDIYA NAVRATRAS
Now these are the two most popular navratras celebrated all across the country and rest are mostly considered ‘gupt’ and basically observed by ‘ tantrics’ for obtaining power etc.
Now the difference lies just in the time of celebrations and origin. The chaitra navratras have been celebrated long before sharadiya navratras. It was initiated by King Sudarshana of kosala (Lord ram’s land later) in spring along with his wife sashikala (very interesting story behind the puja) and the same puja was performed by his descendant Lord Rama during winters as he needed her divine blessings during the war against ‘The mighty Ravana’. So, the Chaitra navratras are basically the original navratras but now Dusshera is more popular due to popularity of Lord Rama and sheer number of his followers.
Well, everything is same except as the usage of ‘Ghat'( Kalash) for ‘Bodhan'( awakening of Goddess Durga) as Lord Rama performed ‘AkalBodhan’ (untimely awakening of Goddess) due to his dire need during war.
LAST BUT NOT THE LEAST
Really hats off to the spirit of fasting but my dear faster just keep these things in mind and celebrate these divine days happily.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Have curd.
- Avoid fried food which actually include fried sabudana and aloo or papad.
- Eat roasted makhanas or nuts on frequent intervals just to save yourself from acidity.
Most importantly don’t nag non fasters and enjoy your own fasting 😉
So Happy happy!! Happy Navratras.
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