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29
Sep
2019

Navratri Legends

Mahishasura, the mighty demon worshipped Lord Shiva and obtained invincible power. According to a Puranic legend, the mighty demon Mahishasura defeated the gods and their king,Indra. They then approached Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwar, who decided to destroy the demon. Therefore, all the gods, including the Hindu Trinity, united their supreme powers and created a divine being called Ma Shakti or Durga, the Warrior Goddess

Equipped with lethal weapons and riding a ferocious lion, the Goddess in all her awesome majesty, destroyed the evil one without much ado. The 10th day, on which the goddess killed Mahishasura, is celebrated as Dusshera or Vijayadashami as the victory of good over evil. Dussehra (tenth day) is one of the significant Hindu festivals, celebrated with pomp and fervor all over the country.

On the Vijaya dashami day, colossal effigies of Ravana, his brother Kumbhkarna and son Meghnadh are placed in vast open spaces. Rama, accompanied by Sita and his brother Lakshman, arrive and shoot arrows of fire at these effigies. The result is a deafening blast, enhanced by slogans of triumph.

In burning the effigies the people are asked to burn the evil within them, and thus follow the path of virtue and honesty. On this day in the famous Ramlila grounds in Delhi, huge effigies of the ten-headed demon king Ravana, Meghanath, his son, and Kumbhakarna, his brother, stuffed with explosive materials are torched by an arrow to symbolize the ultimate triumph of good over evil.

Legend of Sati
According to a story in the Hindu mythology, King Daksha of Himalayas was blessed with a beautiful and virtuous daughter, named Uma. She wished to marry Lord Shiva. In order to tie the wedding knot with the god, Uma worshipped him and pleased him. Consequently, Lord Shiva married Uma. One fine day, Uma, now the consort of Lord Shiva, wished to take part in a Yagna conducted by her father. Since her father was not in good terms with him, Lord Shiva refused her to witness the Yagna.

When she turned up at the Yagna, her father - King Daksha - insulted Lord Shiva. Unable to withstand the insult, the angry Uma decided to end her life by jumping into the agni kund. Soon after doing this, she was united with the eternity. Therefore, Uma came to be known as Sati. Sati was reborn again. In the second birth, Sati married Lord Shiva and the divine couple lived happily, thereafter. It is believed that Sati comes to stay with her parents for nine days, every year. This is celebrated as Navratri.

Other Legends
A story says that in the ancient times, the Kshatriyas abstained from taking part in any warlike activities during the monsoon season. Once the season was over, they made a fresh start with their war activities. Therefore, before their commence their new activities, they would worship different avatars of Ma Durga, the Goddess of Warriors, for nine whole days, which is now celebrated as Navratri.
A popular legend associated with the celebration of Navratri is the story of Lord Rama, who wanted to rescue his wife Sita, from the demon king- Ravana. To freed her from the clutches of the demon king, Lord Rama worshipped Goddess Durga in her nine different forms, for nine days, so that he gets all the strength and power to kill Ravana. All the nine days became Navratri and hence, celebrated every year. On the tenth day, Rama killed Ravana and that day is called Vijayadashmi or Dussehra.

 

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