Navratri 2017 dates are from September 21 to September 27, 2017. The various interpretations of Navratri lead to a single fact- the triumph of good over evil. The festival of Navratri represents the triumph of our own sattvic tendencies over our bad habits and this triumph is celebrated by the entire country in these nine colorful nights.
Navratri 2017 Dates : Significance of Navratri
The Sanskrit meaning of the word Navratri is “nine nights”. The festival of Navratri extends over nine nights and the nine forms of Devi are worshipped in Navratri.
The most popular story about Navratri is from the Markendya Purana. The sacred text narrates how Goddess Durga helped the gods by killing Mahishasura, a demon who took many different forms, including that of a buffalo. For killing Mahishasura, Goddess Durga is also known as Mahishasura Mardini.
It is important to realize the significance of the battle between the Devi and the Asuras. Although this is told in the form of a story and has religious significance, at another level it also denotes the everyday battles that we face in life. This battle is between the sattvic (divine) and tamasic (demoniac) tendencies prevalent in each one of us. Each day we make choices out of our free will that determine our mental and spiritual evolution in this cycle of life and death.
Navratri 2017 dates: 9 forms of Goddess Durga that will be worshipped
The first day of Navratri is the ‘Kalash Sthapna’ day when an earthen pot or a metal pot is kept in front of the Devi. This pot is not to be touched or moved for the next nine days. Also around the pot, grain seeds are spread, and the plants are noticed growing from the seeds for the next nine days.
The following 9 forms of Goddess Durga are worshipped:
- Devi Shailaputri (Navratri 2017 dates: September 21)
The first day is dedicated for the worship of Shailaputri. She is the daughter of the mountains or the Himalayas, and she is also sometimes known as Hemavana or Hemavati. She has a trident and lotus in both her hands and she is seen riding a bull.
- Devi Brahmacharini (Navratri 2017 dates: September 22)
The second day is the day of Devi Brahmacharini. She carries a rosary and a water utensil in both her hands. She is the goddess of happiness and peace, and she is known as the route to Moksha.
- Devi Chandraghanta (Navratri 2017 dates: September 23)
Devi Chandraghanta is worshiped on the third day. She got this name as she carries a half moon in the shape of a bell at the head. The goddess rides a lion and carries different weapons in her hands. She has a bright complexion with the third eye open on her forehead. She is known for her bravery for fighting against the demons.
- Devi Kushmanda (Navratri 2017 dates: September 24)
Devi Kushmanda is the goddess worshiped on the fourth day of Navratri. She has eight hands with weapons, and she rides a lion. She is known to be the creator of the whole universe.
- Devi Skandmata (Navratri date 2017: September 25)
The fifth day is the worship day of Devi Skandamata. She is the mother of Lord Kartikeya who is the commander in chief of the gods for wars.
- Devi Katyayani (Navratri date 2017: September 26)
On the sixth day, Devi Katyayani is worshiped. It is said that there lived a sage named Kata. Though he had a son named Katya, he craved for a daughter as the Devi. Due to his strong devotion, Devi Adi Shakti blessed him with a daughter who was named Katyayani.
- Devi Kaalratri (Navratri date 2017: September 27)
The fierce Devi Kaalratri is worshiped on the seventh day. She is dark and fearless. She has weapons in her hands with all her three eyes open. It is said that during the war, whenever the blood of the demons would drop on the earth, a new demon was born. To stop this Devi took this form and started killing the demons and drinking the blood so that it does not touch the Earth.
- Devi Maha Gauri (Navratri date 2017: September 28)
It is said that once Devi Parvati was in intense meditation for a long time. Her entire form turned into black from the energy of her Tapas. It was then Lord Shiva cleaned her, and she gained back her beauty and glory. This form of Devi Parvati is called Maha Gauri and she is worshiped now on the eighth day of Navratri.
- Devi Siddhidatri (Navratri date 2017: September 29)
On the final day or the ninth day, Devi Siddhidatri is worshiped. She rides a lion and has supernatural powers of healing. It is believed that after the war ended with the demons, Devi Siddhidatri healed the whole world with her powers that was destroyed by the demons.
It is also believed, the Lord Rama, the incarnation of Lord Vishnu killed the demon king Ravana on this very day to free Devi Sita from Ravana who had kidnapped Sita. As with most Hindu religious texts, thre is a secret behind why Devi allowed herself to get kidnapped by Ravana and why did Lord Vishnu take birth as maryada purshottam Ram.
The banishment of Sita or Sita’s agnipariksha in Ramayana is often misunderstood and actually has a hidden significance.
There is an additional philosophical significance behind celebrating Navratri. Our saints were quite intelligent and far-sighted to understand the environment and hence set a norm to celebrate Navratri. It is believed in Hindu Vedas that due to climatic changes, the energies within us also keep on changing. The positive energies are known as Sattvic while the negative energies are said to be Tamasic.
It is said that during the month of Vadraba, the energy level is naturally low and hence we are prone to fall victim to negative traits such as ego, temper and hatred. This is the reason why Ganapati Puja is performed for the first ten days. After a few days of the Puja, Shradha month is followed that helps in increasing our energy. To celebrate this victory of Sattva over Tamas, the festival Navratri is celebrated on the initial days of Ashvin.
Navratri 2017 will be celebrated in the month of September. Kalashsthapna or Ghatsthapna will be held on 21st of September that is also considered to be the first day of Navratri. After nine days of celebration, on 30th of September Vijaya Dashami or Dussehra will be celebrated.
There are four Navratri’s in a year. The one mentioned above is the Maha Navratri. The other important Navratri’s are Chaitra Navratri and Gupt Navratri.