First English newspaper in Jammu and Kashmir

The nine-day Hindu festival of Navratri kicked off with great fervor on Monday.

The Shardiya Navratri festival is dedicated to Goddess Durga and her nine avatars and today marks the first day of the festival (Kalash or Ghatsthapna). The festival is celebrated with great fervor across the country by Hindus. Devotees flocked to the Mata Vaishno Devi Mandir atop the Trikuta Hills in Katra in Jammu and Kashmir on the first day of the day.

The Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board (SMVDSB) has put in place all necessary arrangements to accommodate the heavy influx of devotees, officials said.

Similar scenes were also seen at the Mumbai Devi temple in Mumba, where the first morning ‘Aarti’ was performed on the first day of the Navratri.

Visuals of Delhi’s Jhandewalan Temple in Delhi showed devotees offering prayers to Maa Durga.

The priest of Chhatarpur Temple Delhi, while speaking to ANI, spoke about the significance of the festival.

“Today is the first day of Navratri, we worship in the name of Shailputri. Today Maa Durga grants the wishes of those who worship her. Chhatarpur temple is not only famous in the country, but in the whole world. It was Sant Baba Nagpal Ji. We have made all necessary arrangements for devotees to worship the goddess, langar, security and sanitation measures have also been taken,” the priest said.

Navratri means “nine nights” in Sanskrit. Hindus observe a total of four Navratris throughout the year. Only two of them, Chaitra Navaratri and Shardiya Navaratri see widespread celebrations, as they coincide with the start of the seasons.

From the Navami of Ashwin Shukla Paksha up to the Pratipada, Shardiya Navratri is observed. While the holiday is celebrated with great fanfare across the country, distinct traditions are more commonly practiced in different states.

Navratri Timeline 2022:

This year, Navratri will last for nine days, starting on September 26 and ending on October 5.
History of Navratri 2022:
The Navratri festival honors the defeat of the demonic Mahishasura and the triumph of good over evil. Due to Mahishasura’s unwavering devotion to him, Lord Brahma grants him the gift of immortality at the beginning of the story.

The blessing, however, came with a stipulation: only a woman would be able to defeat him. The demon started terrorizing people on Earth because he didn’t think a woman would be strong enough to defeat him. The gods couldn’t stop him.

Since Mahishasura was to be demolished, Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva joined forces to create Goddess Durga. They gave him a number of weapons. Ten days passed during the conflict between Maa Durga and Mahishasura. However, Maa Durga was able to defeat him when he finally transformed into a buffalo.

Meaning of Navratri 2022: During the nine days of the Navratri festival, devotees worship the nine incarnations of Maa Durga in order to obtain her blessings. There is a goddess manifestation related to each day of Navratri. During these nine days, people maintain ritual fasts, recite shlokas dedicated to each goddess, wear new clothes, offer bhog, and clean their homes. In their prayers, they ask the goddess for her favor in order to have a prosperous, joyful and fulfilling life.

Ramlila is widely organized during Navratri in North India, especially in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Haryana, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. During the Ramlila, the story of Lord Ram’s triumph over Ravana is enacted. Effigies of King Ravana are burned at Dussehra to commemorate the triumph of good over evil.

In fact, on the tenth day of Navratri, also known as Vijayadashami, a grand procession is held in which clay Maa Durga figurines are ceremonially immersed in a river, sea or ocean. Popular places to do this practice include West Bengal, Odisha, Assam and Bihar. It is believed that the most important day for the worship of Maa Durga is the day of Durga Visarjan.

Navratri Celebrations 2022:
Many dances including Garba and Dandiya Raas are performed during the nine-day festival. While Dandiya Raas involves dancing with dandiya sticks to the rhythm of music, Garba is a traditional dance in which participants clap and move in a circle while making rhythmic gestures.

In India, Navratri is celebrated in different ways. Ramlila, a celebration in which scenes from the Ramayana are acted out, is held in northern India, mainly in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh. The burning of the effigies of King Ravana marks the conclusion of the story on Vijayadashami. (ANI)