Navratri 2012

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Navratri in 2012 will start on Friday, the 23rd of March and will continue for 9 days until Sunday, the 1st of April.

Navratri - Festival of Nine Nights
Navratri is a festival of Hindus celebrated with devotion, love and fervour all over India. It is also called as Navratras. The mood of Navratri is very colourful & unique. It incorporates veneration along with commemoration by means of song and dance. Navratri basically means "Nine Nights" ("Nav" meaning nine and "Ratri" meaning nights). These nights are devoted to the reverence of Goddess Durga (Maa Durga) who exists in many forms and is the manifestation of the absolute energy that pervades the Universe. During these days and nights prayers are offered to Mother Goddess. For the devout these days are the sacrosanct for it is during these days when Goddess Durga takes a stock of her devotees and grants all blessings, removes ills and evils and ensures unproblematic life for her devotees.

Navratri is celebrated twice in a year:

Navratri in September/October - called the Sharadha Navratri is the more famous one as it is for householders. This year the Navratri poojas will start on Wednesday, the 28th of September and will continue for 9 days until Thursday, the 6th of October Navratri in March-April period is called Vasantha Navratri which is good for attaining success in endeavours. Lord Rama celebrated this to attain spiritual power to accomplish His Incarnation purpose - that of slaying Ravana.

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Schedule of Navratri March - April 2012

23 March 2012 – Navratri – Festival of the nine nights begins.

Navratri's each night is dedicated to one form of Goddess Durga. That is every ratri of the Navratri corresponds to worship of different forms of Maa Durga.

This embraces Maa Shailputri, who was the daughter of Parvatraj Himalaya (King of the Mountain), wife of Lord Shiva and mother of Ganesha and Kartikeya;

Maa Brahmachaarini-, who gives the message of pure love to the world;

Maa Chandraghanta, who establishes Justice and wears crescent moon on Her head;

Maa Kushmaanda, who provides the basic necessities to the world;

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Skand Maa, who gives the gift of differentiation of right from wrong to the world;

Maa Kaatyayini, who persistently battles against the evil and deceitful entities;

Maa Kaalratri, who killed Raktabeej ( a demon who produce a demon from every drop of blood that fell from his body. Goddess eventually licked the blood before it could reach the ground and hence conquered him);

Maa Chaamunda, who killed two demons--Chanda and Munda and restored tranquility;

Maa MahaGauri who also liberate the world of evil forces;

Mata Sidhidaarti, who is a treasure house of Mystic Powers (Yantra Tantra) and Knowledge (Gyaan).

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Some may also say that the nine days are divided and devoted to the Trinity of God worshipped in a female form in which for three days Maa Durga (Goddess of valor) is worshipped, for three days Maa Lakshmi (Goddess of Wealth) and three days for Maa Saraswati (Goddess of Knowledge and Art). On the fifth day, that is, Lalita Panchami books are gathered, lamp is lighted to invoke Saraswati. The eighth and ninth day, Yagna (sacrifice offered to the fire) is performed to honour heavenly Goddess and bid her farewell.

This period of Navratri also allows for recitation of sacred scriptures such as Durga Sapshudi from Markanday Puran. This narrates how Goddess Durga was blessed and provided with weapons by our Trinity of Gods to annihilate Maheshasur, the demon who had forced Gods to leave heaven and take refuge on earth. Musical recitations (Kirtans) by famous musicians are offered for the benefit of the Goddess and devotees.

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