Religion

Navratri: Number, Groups and the feminine power 

Navratri: Day 1 – 10th Oct 2018.

Every year in summer (Indian Month Chaitra) and at the beginning of winter (Indian Month Ashwin), Indians celebrate 9 days festival, however the 9 days celebration of Ashwin month is much more popular and celebrated in almost all parts of India and Indian subcontinent. This festival is known as Navaratri, literally means Nine- Nights.

During these Navaratri days we will hear many Numbers and groups like Navaratri, Ashta Matrika, Nava Durga, Ashta Siddhi, Dasha-Hara, Tri-Devi, Panch-kanya, Sapta-Sindhu etc.

During this Navaratri festival I bring a series of Blog exploring relationship of Numbers, groups and the various Indian conceptual behind each term.

Today we will explore what is meaning of Navaratri its relevance and importance.

In Sanskrit Nava mean Nine, Nava also means new, in the context of Nava-ratri it’s taken as nine. This festival of Ashwin or Sharad Navaratri is dedicated to fertility.

Nine is a number represented or 9 months, whenere a mother carries the baby in her womb. The pain, care, suffering and then extreme pain of labor, and in the 10th month comes new life.

This is what represented by 9 days and nights of Navaratri, and Dasha-hara is the new beginning.

This concept is represented by various symbols like”Ghata” or “Garbha”, the name Ghata or Garbha literally means womb. This is a festival to pay tribute to that unbound feminine energy through the nine days and nights of fasting, celebrating or just by chanting the names of Mother.

In Gujrat Garbha/Garba is used to represent it. In Many parts of India Ghata is used to represent this feminine energy, Durga Pujo is celebrated in Bengal, Bommai Golu in Tamil Nadu, Punjab and North India do “Kumari Poojan”- worship of young girls, In Telangana“Batukamma Panduga” is made which is like a pot made out of flowers.

Let us salute every “Mother” her pain and pleasure of creating a new life. As in Matru Panchakam its said – आस्तां तावदियं प्रसूतिसमये दुर्वारशूलव्यथा नैरुच्यं तनुशोषणं मलमयी शय्या च सांवत्सरी । एकस्यापि न गर्भ-भार-भरण-क्लेशस्य यस्याः क्षमो दातुं निष्कृतिमुन्नतोऽपि तनयः तस्यैः जनन्यै नमः ।।

The acute pain endured by the mother at the time of delivery, the distaste towards food and the resulting emaciation of the body during pregnancy, the year-long period after delivery, during which the bed was dirtied by the baby – let all these be. But the hardship that the mother endures in carrying the fetus throughout pregnancy, can never be compensated the least by a son, even if he is great and famous. Salutations to that mother.

 

Compiled by :Dr Sandeep Sadanand Chaugule

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