Navaratri (Worship of Durga’s 9 Avatars) – Significance, History, Aarti and Celebration!

Navaratri – the word is a combination of two words – nava (meaning nine) and ratri (meaning night) .i.e. Nine nights and is observed for nine days. Navaratri (Navratri or Navarathri) is a Hindu festival of Goddess Durga which is celebrated for ten days in the autumn (September, October) every year. Each of nine days signify one of the nine forms of Goddess Shakti: Durga, Bhadrakali, Jagadamba, Annapurna, Sarvamangala, Bhairavi, Chandika, Lalita, Bhavani and Mookambika. It is celebrated in different parts of India as well as abroad. Generally, there are four seasonal Navratri. It is observed that Sharada Navratri is celebrated in the honour of the divine feminine Devi Durga. The festival is celebrated in the bright half of the Hindu calendar month Ashvin, which typically falls in the Gregorian months of September and October. Sharad navratri dedicates three days each for the worship of three forms of Maa Shakti – Goddess Durga (first three days), Goddess Lakshmi (fourth to sixth day) and Goddess Saraswati (last three days).


Navaratri’s celebration time and date:

Generally, there are 4 types of Navaratri such as Sharada Navaratri (September-October), Vasanta Navaratri (March–April), Magha Navaratri (January–February) and Ashada Navaratri (June–July). Generally, Sharada Navaratri is mostly celebrated Navaratri which falls in month of Ashvin (September-October). While Vasanta Navaratri is celebrated in month of Chaitra (post-winter, March–April).


Myth and History of Navaratri Celebration:

As per celebration practices, In the eastern and northeastern states of India, the Durga Puja is synonymous with Navratri, wherein goddess Durga fights and emerges victorious over the buffalo demon Mahishasura to help restore Dharmam. In the northern and western states, the festival is synonymous with “Rama Lila” and Dussehra that celebrates the battle and victory of god Rama over the demon king Ravana. In southern states, the victory of different goddesses, of Rama or Saraswati is celebrated. In all circumstances, the common cause is the battle and victory of Good over Evil based on a locally well-known epic or legend such as the Ramayana or the Devi Mahatmya.


Significance of Each Navaratri’s Day: These nine days are especially devoted to Goddess Durga and her Significance of Each Navaratri’s Day: nine Avatars. Each day is associated to an incarnation of the goddess.

Day 1: Shailaputri

Navaratri Day 1 - Shailaputri– Significance, History, Aarti and Celebration!
Navaratri Day 1 – Shailaputri– Significance, History, Aarti and Celebration!

First day is also known as Pratipada, this day is associated to Shailaputri (literally “Daughter of Mountain”), an incarnation of Parvati.

Myth about Shailaputri’s incarnation:

This avatar of the Goddess is also known as the “Daughter of Mountain”, as she is the daughter of Himalaya. In her previous life, she was the daughter of King Daksha and wife of Lord Shiva. Hence, her name was Sati – Bhavani.

It happened that Daksha had organized a big yajna but he didn’t invite Lord Shiva. However, Sati attended the yajna. During the yajna, Daksha insulted Shiva. Unable to tolerate the insult, Sati sacrificed her life by burning herself in the fire of the yajna.

In her next life, Sati was born as the daughter of Himalaya and later on, she married Shiva. Her name was Parvati. According to the Upanishad, Parvati had even torn the egoism of Lord Indra and other gods.

It is in this form that the Goddess is worshiped as the consort of Shiva; she is portrayed as riding the bull, Nandi, with a trishula in her right hand and lotus in her left. Shailaputri is considered to be the direct incarnation of Mahakali.

Color of 1st Day:

The color of the day is red, which depicts action and vigor.


Day 2: Brahmcharini

Navaratri Day 2 - Brahmcharini – Significance, History, Aarti and Celebration!
Navaratri Day 2 – Brahmcharini – Significance, History, Aarti and Celebration!

On second day (Dwitya), Goddess Brahmcharini, another incarnation of Parvati, is worshiped.

Durga, Brahmacharini is the second form. The word ‘Brahma” means “Tapa”.

The idol of this form of Durga has a rosary in her right hand. Portrayed as walking bare feet and holding a japamala and a kamandal is placed in her left hand. This form of Durga is known for her grace and it is considered as the symbol of cheerfulness, bliss and calm.

In this form, Parvati became Sati, her unmarried self. Brahmcharini is worshiped for emancipation or moksha and endowment of peace and prosperity.

Myth about Tapacharini” or Brahmacharini’s incarnation:

In her earlier life, she was the daughter of Himvan and her name was Parvati.

One day, she was playing with her friends when Narad Muni came there and foretold that she would get wedded to a sadhu who had been her husband in her earlier life. Narad Muni also suggested that Goddess Durga should perform a penance for her would-be husband.

Parvati determined that she would wed none other than Shambhu or Lord Shiva. If this doesn’t happen, then she would not wed at all. Once she confirmed this, Parvati began observing penance. Hence she is referred as “Tapacharini” or “Brahmacharini”.

Color of 2nd Day:

The color of the day is Royal Blue which represents calmness-cum-energy.


Day 3: Chandraghanta

Navaratri Day 3 - Chandraghanta – Significance, History, Aarti and Celebration!
Navaratri Day 3 – Chandraghanta – Significance, History, Aarti and Celebration!

Third day (Tritiya) observes the worship of Chandraghanta – the name derived from the fact that after marrying Shiva, Parvati adorned her forehead with half-chandra (half-moon).

Myth about Chandraghanta’s incarnation:

Chandraghanta comes seated on a lion to fight the war with demons. She is a symbol of courage and bravery. Even the sound of her bell is something that the demons are afraid of.

This form of Goddess Durga has three eyes and ten hands. Around ten types of sword including weapons and arrows are placed in her hands.

She is the epitome of beauty and is also symbolic of bravery.

She is identified by the half-circular moon on her forehead.

Color of the 3rd day:

The color of the day is yellow.


Day 4: Kushmunda

Navaratri Day 4 - Kushmunda – Significance, History, Aarti and Celebration!
Navaratri Day 4 – Kushmunda – Significance, History, Aarti and Celebration!

On fourth day (Chaturthi), Goddess Kushmunda is worshiped. This is another Durga avatar whose residence is in the solar system is Kushmanda. Believed to be the creative power of universe.

Myth about Kushmunda’s incarnation:

This roop of Durga creates the universe and shines with brightness in all the directions just as the sun does.

Kushmanda has eight hands, with a rosary in her right hand. There are seven types of weapons placed in the other hands.

She is depicted as having eight arms and sits on a Tiger.

She is pleased when the devotees make an offering of “Kumhde”. Henceforth, she is generally known as Kushmanda.

Color of the 4th day:

Kushmunda is associated to the endowment of vegetation on earth and hence, the color of the day is Green.


Day 5: Skandmata

Navaratri Day 5 - Skandmata – Significance, History, Aarti and Celebration!
Navaratri Day 5 – Skandmata – Significance, History, Aarti and Celebration!

On the fifth day (Panchami), Skandamata, the goddess worshiped, who is the mother of Skand (or Kartikeya). She is symbol of mother’s power and strength to save her son.

Myth of the Skandmata’s incarnation:

Skanda Mata got married to Shiva. They gave birth to a son named “Skanda”. The word “Skanda” means leader of the army of gods.

Skanda Mata is known as the deity of fire. The idol of Skanda Mata seated in a lotus comes with three eyes and four hands.

She is portrayed riding a ferocious lion, having four arms, and holding her baby. Skanda is seated on her lap.

Color of the 5th day:

The color grey is symbolic of the transforming strength of a mother when her child is met with danger.


Day 6: Katyayani

Navaratri Day 6 - Katyayani – Significance, History, Aarti and Celebration!
Navaratri Day 6 – Katyayani – Significance, History, Aarti and Celebration!

The sixth form of Durga is known as Katyayani. Born to a sage, Katya and Known as the warrior goddess, she is considered one of the most violent forms of Goddess Parvati.

Myth of the Katyayani’s incarnation:

Rishi Katyayan observed penance so that he could become the father of Paramba. Finally, a daughter was born to him.

She was none other than Paramba. Katyayan named her Katyayani. She had three eyes and four hands which hold a sword and a lotus. Depicted as the Devi rides a lion.

Color of the 6th Day:

Katyayani is known for courage which is symbolized by the color Orange.


Day 7: Kalratri

Navaratri Day 7 - Kalratri – Significance, History, Aarti and Celebration!
Navaratri Day 7 – Kalratri – Significance, History, Aarti and Celebration!

The seventh form of Durga, the one who is as dark as night is Kalratri. The most aggressive form of Goddess Durga, Kalaratri is worshiped on Saptmi.

Myth of the Kalratri’s incarnation:

With her hairs unlocked and fires coming out of her nose at the time of breathing, she represents a very different form of Goddess Durga.

She had four hands. She holds a sharp sword in her right hand. On the left hand, she holds a burning torch; whereas, her lower left hand remains in such a position which reflects her fearless style. This form of Goddess Durga is known as “Shubhamkari”.

Color of the 7th day:

There is a myth that Parvati removed her fair skin to kill the demons Sumbh and Nisumbh. The color of the day is white. Her skin turns black.


Day 8: Mahagauri

Navaratri Day 8 - Mahagauri – Significance, History, Aarti and Celebration!
Navaratri Day 8 – Mahagauri – Significance, History, Aarti and Celebration!

The eight form of Goddess Durga is known as Maha Gauri. She looks as white as a conch. On eight day (Ashthami), Mahagauri is worshiped. Mahagauri is known for intelligence and peace.

Myth of Mahagauri’s incarnation:

There goes a myth that Maha Gauri’s body became filthy due to dirt and dust, while she was observing penance. It was Lord Shiva who cleaned the body with the water of the Ganges. This made her body shine as bright as lightning. Hence, she is called “Maha Gauri”.

This form of Durga has three eyes and four hands. She rides on a bull. Her lower left hand holds the “trishul”. Her lower right hand rests such that she’s blessing her devotees. Her upper right hand holds a tambourine.

The color of the 8th Day:

The color associated to this day is Pink which depicts optimism.


Day 9: Sidhidatri

Navaratri Day 9 - Significance, History, Aarti and Celebration
Navaratri Day 9 – Significance, History, Aarti and Celebration

On the ninth day of the festival also known as Navami, people pray to Siddhidaatri (Ardanareeswara). Sitting on a lotus, she is believed to possess and bestows all type of Siddhis. Here she has four hands. Also known as Saraswati Devi.

Myth of Sidhidatri’s incarnation:

This is the ninth avatar of Durga. There are in total eight siddhis. They are Anima, Mahima, Garima, Laghima, Prapti, Prakamya, Iishitva, and Vashitva.

As per Devipuran, Lord Shiva worshipped “Maha Shakti” or Siddhidatri and in return, got these Siddhis. Due to Maha Shakti’s blessings, half part of the body of Shiva look like the Goddess. Hence, he is also known as Ardhanarishvar.

Siddhidatri has four hands with holding a Shankh (Conch cell), a lotus and a Gada (mace), a Chakra and seated on lotus. This avatar of Durga is worshipped by all gods, saints, and yogis who’re willing to attain the highest spiritual strength.

Color of the 9th Day:

The Goddess blesses knowledge and fulfils one’s expectation. The color for this day is violet, which represents aspiration and power.



How to celebrate Navaratri:

Navratri is celebrated in a different way in India’s various regions. Navaratri Celebrations include Devi Durga idol installation, stage decorations, recitation of the legend, enacting of the historical tale, and chanting of the scriptures of Hinduism. For numerous people it is a time of pious reflection and fasting; for others it is a time for dancing and feasting. The nine days are also a major crop season cultural event, such as competitive design and staging of pandals, a family visit to these pandals and the public celebration of classical and folk dances of Hindu culture. It also includes a strict vegetarian diet and abstaining from alcohol and certain spices during fasting. Dances performed include Garba, specifically in Gujarat and now it has spread all over India and Indian populated other countries. Generally the festival’s nine nights are devoted to different aspects of the divine feminine principle, or shakti. Normally, first third of the festival centers on aspects of the goddess Durga, the second third on the goddess Lakshmi, and the final third on the goddess Sarasvati. Kanya Pujan is very important aspect of Navaratri. Generally, Kanya Pujan takes place on the eighth or ninth day. In this ritual nine young girls are dressed as the nine goddess aspects celebrated during Navratri and are worshiped with ritual foot washing and given offerings such as food and clothing.

On the 10th day, called the Vijayadashami or Dussehra, the Durga Idols are either immersed in a water body such as river and ocean, or alternatively the statue symbolizing the evil such as Raavan is burnt with fireworks marking evil’s destruction. Dussehra is a time to celebrate the victories of good over evil, such as Durga’s victory over Mahishasura. In some parts of India, Dussehra is associated with the victory of the god Rama over the demon-king Ravana. In North India the Ram Lila (“Play of Rama”) is the highlight of the festival. Some celebrate by erecting bonfires and burning effigies of Ravana, sometimes by stuffing them with fireworks.



Navaratri Prayers:


Durga Stuti 1:

Sarva mangala mangalye shive sarvaartha saadhike

Sharanye trayambake Gauri

Narayani namosthute



sarva mangala mangalye– To auspiciousness of all auspiciousness

Shiva -to the Good

sarvarrtha saadhike – to the accomplisher of all objectives

sharanye – to the Source of Refuge

tryambake – to the mother of the three worlds.

Gauri – to the Goddess who is Rays of Light

Naaraayani – Exposer of consciousness

Namostute- We bow to you again and again. We worship you.


Durga Stuti 2:

Ya Devi Sarvbhuteshu matrarupen sansthitah

Ya Devi Sarvbhuteshu shaktirupen sansthitah

Ya Devi Sarvbhuteshu shantirupen sansthitah

Namastasyye Namastasyye Namastasyye Namo Namah

Om Ambaye Namah

या देवी सर्वभूतेषु मातृरुपेण संस्थितः ।
या देवी सर्वभूतेषु शक्तिरुपेण संस्थितः ।
या देवी सर्वभूतेषु शान्तिरुपेण संस्थितः ।
नमस्तस्यैः नमस्तस्यैः नमस्तस्यैः नमो नमः ।
ॐ अम्बायै नमः ॥

Meaning: Chanting Durga Stuti is alike to doing meditation. It gives a unique sense of satisfaction and one feels calm after chanting it. It also drive evil energies away from one’s life and attract positive energies. It helps a person grow healthy, wealthy and prosperous.



Navaratri Aarti:


Jai Ambe Gauri Arti:

Jai Ambe Gauri maiyaa, jai Shyaama Gauri

Nishdin tumko dhyaavat, Hari Brahmaa Shivji,

Jai Ambe Gauri maiyaa, jai Shyaama Gauri


Maang sindur biraajat, tiko mrigmadko,

Ujjvalse do naina, chandravadan niko,

Jai Ambe Gauri maiyaa, jai Shyaama Gauri


Kanak saman kalevar, raktaambar raje,

Raktapushp galmaala, kanthhaar saje,

Jai Ambe Gauri maiyaa, jai Shyaama Gauri


Kehari vaahan rajat, khadg khappar dhari

sur nar munijan sevat, tinke dukhahaari,

Jai Ambe Gauri maiyaa, jai Shyaama Gauri


Kaanan kundal shobhit, naasagre moti

Kotik chandra divaakar, samraajat jyoti,

Jai Ambe Gauri maiyaa, jai Shyaama Gauri


Shumbh- nishumbh vidaare, MahishaaSur ghatia

Dhumra-vilochan naina, nishdin madmati

Jai Ambe Gauri maiyaa, jai Shyaama Gauri


Brahmaani, Rudraani tum Kamalaa Raani,

Agam-nigam bakhaani. tum Shiv patraani,

Jai Ambe Gauri maiyaa, jai Shyaama Gauri


Chaunsath yogini gaavat, nritya karat Bhairon,

Baajat tab mridanga, aur bajat damru,

Jai Ambe Gauri maiyaa, jai Shyaama Gauri


Tum ho jag ki maataa, tum hi ho bhartaa,

Bhaktan ki dukh hartaa, sukh sampati kartaa,

Jai Ambe Gauri maiyaa, jai Shyaama Gauri


Bhujaa char ati shobhit, var mudraa dhaari,

Manvaanchhit phal paavat, sevak nar naari,

Jai Ambe Gauri maiyaa, jai Shyaama Gauri


Kanchan thaal virajat, agaru kapur baati

Malketu men rajat, kotiratan jyoti,

Jai Ambe Gauri maiyaa, jai Shyaama Gauri




Aadya Shakti Ma Arti:


Jaya aadya shakti, ma jaya aadya shakti

Akhand brhamand dipavya, panave pragatya ma

Om jayo jayo ma jagdambe


Dwitiya mehsarup shivshakti janu, ma shivshakti janu

Brahma ganapti gaye, brahma ganapti gaye

Hardayi har ma

Om jayo jayo ma jagdambe


Trutiya tran sarup tribhuvan ma betha, ma tribhuvan ma betha

Daya thaki karveli, daya thaki karveli


Om jayo jayo ma jagdambe


Chouthe chatura malaxmi ma, sachrachal vyapya

Char bhuja cho disha, char bhuja cho disha

Pragtya dakshin ma

Om jayo jayo ma jagdambe


Panchame panchrushi panchami gunpadma, ma panchami gunpadma

Panchtatv tya soshiye, panchtatv tya soshiye

Panchetatvo ma

Om jayo jayo ma jagdambe


Shashthi tu narayani mahishasur maryo, ma mahishasur maryo

Narnari na rupe, narnari na rupe

Vyapaya saghale ma

Om jayo jayo ma jagdambe


Saptami sapt patal sandhya savitri, ma sandhya savitri

Gau ganga gayatri, gau ganga gayatri

Gauri geeta ma

Om jayo jayo ma jagdambe


Ashthmi ashtha bhujao ayi ananda, ma ayi ananda

Sunivar munivar janamya, sunivar munivar janamya

Dev daityoma

Om jayo jayo ma jagdambe


Navmi navkul nag seve navadurga, ma seve navadurga

Navratri na pujan, shivratri na archan

Kidha har brahma

Om jayo jayo ma jagdambe


Dashmi dash avtaar jay vijyalaxmi, ma jay vijyalaxmi

Rame ravan marya, rame ravan marya

Ravan maryo ma

Om jayo jayo ma jagdambe Ekadashi agiyar tatyanikama, ma tatyanikama Kaldurga kalika, kaldurga kalika Shama ne vama Om jayo jayo ma jagdambe


Barase kala rup bahuchar amba ma, ma bahuchar amba ma

Asur bhairav souie, kal bhairav soiye

Tara chhe tuj ma

Om jayo jayo ma jagdambe


Terase tulja rup tu tarunimata, ma tu tarunimata

Brahma vishnu sadashiv, brahma vishnu sadashiv

Gun tara gata

Om jayo jayo ma jagdambe


Shivbhakti ni aarati je koi gaye, ma je koi gaye

Bhane shivannad swami, bhane shivannad swami

Sukh sampati pashe,

Har kaileshe jashe

Ma amba dukh harashe

Om jayo jayo ma jagdambe



Nine Colors for the Navaratri and its importance:

As per tradition and beliefs, the dresses of the auspicious nine colors during nine days of navratri is helpful to get blessings from goddess Durga. Each color has different significance, which put different effect on people’s life. Please find here nine colors details here with their significance.



Royal Blue Colour:

Royal blue colour represents strong energy and calmness. By wearing this colour if devotees worship goddess then Devi Durga will bless them with wealth and cheerfulness.


Yellow Colour:

The yellow colour signifies happiness and brings hopefulness and self-assurance in life. During navratri, by wearing yellow outfits in the evening, if someone meditates then it helps in getting the positive energy.


Green Colour:

Green colour signifies the success, unconditional love and wealth. This is the colour of nature, which is very calm and gentle. If believers wear green cloths in the evening and meditate then they can improve relationship.


Grey Colour:

The grey color should be between black and white. This silver grey color shows the self-respect and connects you to divine power and provide you God protection. This color provides you knowledge to understand the hidden meaning of circumstances.


Orange Colour:

This is the colour of recognition, name and wealth, which also enhance charm in your personality. Most of the yogis wear the saffron orange colors.


White Colour:

This colour is the sign of peace, prayer, belief and strength. During navratri, the devotees who wear white cloths, Devi Maa purifies their mind and spirit. This colour gives graciousness and purity. Divine people normally wear white colour attire.


Red Colour:

Red color is the sign of the power, passion and fervor. This is the goddess’s favourite color. In most the depictions, Devi Maa can be seen in the red saari and red kumkum. Devotees should offer red roses to the deity on this day.


Sky Blue Colour:

Sky blue colour signifies vastness and belief. Light blue colour depicts respect towards nature’s beauty. This colour helps you in attaining the spiritual power. People should wear sky blue cloths and meditate in the morning to get the blessings of goddess.


Pink Colour:

The pink colour signifies the hope and fresh start. The devotees, who wear pink colour cloths and worship goddess then goddess will bless them and abolish all the sins.



Navaratri Garba or Dandia – a devotional dance form:

Navaratri Garba or Dandia is a form of devotional dance which is generally practiced to please goddess Durga during Navaratri. Navaratri is a nine-day festival devoted to Goddess Shakti. The Dandiya dance is the most famous among the youth for it holds a special significance in the Navaratris. It is the depiction of a mock fight between the Goddess and Mahishasura – the mighty demon-king. The sticks of the dance signify the sword of Durga. Usually women perform the dance as they move around the ‘mandvi’. As per the ritual, Dandia Raas is performed after the Arti i.e. worshipping the deity Durga. Generally, women wear enlarged long skirts (ghagharas) and cholis, with their head covered with odhaani; while the men wears kediyum (shirt) and vajani (trouser) with a printed scarf on their head.


Navaratri Special Bollywood Songs: We are giving a list of Bollywood’s a few songs for Navaratri and doing Garba and Dandia.

  1. Shubhaarambh! (Film Kai Po Che!)
  2. Dholi Tharo Dhol Baje! (Film Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam)
  3. Nagada Sang Dhol Baaje! (Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela)
  4. Dola Re! (Film Devdas)
  5. Radha Kaise Na Jale (Film Lagaan)
  6. Udi Udi Jaye (Film Raees)
  7. Gunji Aangna Mein Shehnai (Film Life Partner)
  8. Lahu Munh Lag Gaya (Film Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela)
  9. Rangilo Maro Dholna (Music Album Pyar Ke Geet)
  10. Saason Ki Zarurat Hai Jaise (Film Rock On!)
  11. O Sheronwali (Film Suhaag)
  12. Maine Payal Hai Chhankai (Falguni Pathak)
  13. Meri Chunar Udd Udd Jaye (Falguni Pathak)
  14. O Piya (Falguni Pathak)
  15. Indhana Winva (Falguni Pathak)
  16. Aiyo Rama (Falguni Pathak)
  17. Pankhida Tu Udi Jaje (Falguni Pathak)
  18. Chogada (Film Loveyatri)
  19. Kamariya (Film Mitron)
  20. Sanedo (Film Mitron)
  21. Rangtaari (Film Loveyatri)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *