Tue, 20 Aug, 2019

Dashain: Significance of Nauratha

By Anish Thakuri

Picture Courtesy: Nikita Gautam

The biggest festival of Nepalese people, Dashain, is at the door. From tomorrow onwards, the country will officially enter into the dynamic period of this dynamic festival. Entire atmosphere will be jollified with the fragrance of this beautiful festival. The melodious Dashain dhoon, colorful kites in the sky, swing in several places, new clothes, delicious meat items, stunning tika and daksina, everything will start. It sounds really exciting, right?

But since the country has hit backs from strong earthquake in April and is now suffering from India's unofficial blockade, this time the festival is expected to be a little miserable as compared to previous Dashain.  Nonetheless, it is our biggest festival. No matter what, we must try to forget all those burdens and celebrate our festival with full joy and happiness!

We all have been celebrating this festival from our childhood. So, I think all of us already know what we do in Dashain, how we celebrate Dashain, right? But, do we really know WHY we do all those rituals in Dashain? Do we know the religious importance behind those activities? I think meager number of folks of our generation knows about it. So today, as far as I know, I will try to portray all kinds of religious facts behind the importance of nine days, that is, about the ‘Nauratha’ of Dashain.

If we brush up on our mythology, the Nauratha has been regarded as the nine days of victory. During these nine days, Goddess Durga had made empathic victory over the king of demons, the Mahishasura.  So, we worship the supreme Goddess in different forms on these nine days. Nauratha is divided up into three sets of days.  On the first three days, Goddess is invoked as Durga, the supreme of power in order to destroy all our impurities and evils. On the next three days, she is worshipped as Goddess Laxmi, the mother of wealth. She is responsible for showering power on our never ending wealth. On the final three days, she is adored as mother of wisdom, the Saraswati, in order to enlighten the knowledge and overall success in our life.

It is clear that we worship Goddess Durga in different facets on these nine days. Now, let’s get to know the importance of each day. It is believed that Goddess Durga assumes to have a new character and new look on each day. So, she is worshiped under nine different names, one on each day.  During the first six days, the pooja celebration is limited.  From the seventh day, that is, from the day of Foolpati, the pooja takes a peak in everyone’s home.

First Day On this day, Goddess Durga takes the form of ‘Shailputri’, who is considered as the daughter of the Himalayas. She is a form of Shakti, the spouse of Lord Shiva.

Second Day On this day, Goddess Durga is known as 'Brahmacharini'. Her name is a derivative of the word 'Brahma', which means 'Tapa'. She is also a form of Uma or Parvati, a form of 'Mata Shakti'.

Third Day On this day, the Goddess is worshipped as Chandraghanta. She is the representation of beauty and bravery.

Fourth Day On this day, we worship Goddess as ‘Kushmanda’, who is believed to have created the entire universe by her laugh.

Fifth Day On this day, the Goddess is in the form of Skand Mata, who is the daughter of Skanda, the chief warrior of Gods’ army.

Sixth Day On this day, the Goddess is in the form of Katyayani. She has three eyes and four hands and stays seated on her vehicle lion.

Seventh Day On this day, the Goddess is worshipped as 'Kalratri'.  Kalrati is as dark as a dark night. She has four hands, she is meant to make the devotees fearless.

Eighth Day On this day, the 'Mata Rani' is worshipped as 'Maha Gauri'. She looks extremely beautiful with her body full of precious ornaments.

Ninth Day On this day, Durga is worshipped as Siddhidatri. It is believed that she consists of all the eight siddhis. She lives on lotus and is worshipped by all the Rishis-Munis, Siddhas, Sadhakas and Yogi.

At last, I would like to conclude this article by leaving this famous Sanskrit Slok.

sanskrit slok