Festivals & Fasts

Vasanta Navaratri

Vasanta Navaratris

Spring Worship on Nine nights of Durga, the Divine Mother Goddess

Nava means nine andRatri means nights. Navaratri is celebrated four times a year as goddess worship - in winter, spring, summer and autumn. The spring and autumn Navaratri are for everyone, whereas the winter and summer Navaratri are known as gupt or secret Navaratris. These are celebrated in specific goddess temples only.

Vasantha means spring. The goddess Durga is celebrated alone during these dates and this is an important festival for her devotees. This festival is celebrated on her orders. Swami Sivananda says in his book, "Hindu Festivals and Fasts", people should worship the divine mother for both spiritual and material blessings. She encourages us to follow a righteous path like Shree Rama and follow the example set by them.

Goddesses Durga is worshipped by meditating on her image, chanting her mantra Om Dum Durgaye Namah at least 108 times daily during the festival and fasting during the day. People attain her divine benediction.

Ram Navami- the birth of Shree Rama

These nine nights are also celebrated by the devotees of Shree Rama and is considered the spiritual new Year as on the 9th night Shree Rama, the incarnation of Lord Vishnu was born. Shree Rama was the embodiment of Dharma and an example of a perfect man. On the day of Ram Navami, Shree Rama's birthday is celebrated with great festivities.

During these nine nights, Ramayana is chanted in Sanskrit and the devotees fast during the day.

The Sacred mantras for Rama are:

  • Om Shree Ramaye Namah.

  • Om Shree Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram.

  • Om Shri Rama Rama Rameti, Rame Rame Manorame;
    Sahasrenama tattulyam, Rama Nama Varanane.


by Komila Sutton

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