The word Navratri in Sanskrit means Nine (Nava) Ratri (Nights). As per Hindu Lunar Calendar, Navratri falls during two important seasons of a year – spring and winter.
Chaitra Navratri falls on the month of Chaitra (March–April) and observed during the waxing phase (Shukla Paksha) of this month. It marks the start of the New Year in Hindu lunar calendar. It is also known as Ugadi, Gudi Padwa and has many different names in different parts of India. This year, Chaitra Navratri will be from 18th March 2018 to 26th March 2018.
Chaitra Navratri is also known as Vasantha Navratri and is celebrated with pomp and splendour in India. It is a festival dedicated to Goddess Shakti or Durga. Vasantha or Spring is the season when nature is at its full bloom, birds build nests, animals come back from hibernation, the earth is laden with lush green grass, all plants and trees are seen with bright leaves and colorful flowers. It is during the auspicious time of Chaitra Navratri that prayers are offered to the cosmic divine mother.
Nine Manifestation of Shakti
Navaratris are 9 day long observances with each day dedicated to different forms of Goddess Durga or Shakti. According to Markandeya Purana, Lord Brahma revealed to Sage Markandeya about the Nine Powerful manifestations of Shakti or Durga. The Nine incarnations of the cosmic Divine Mother are Shailaputri, Brahmacharini, Chandraghanta, Kushmanda, Skandamata, Katyayani, Kalaratri, Mahagauri and Siddhidatri. These nine manifestations of Shakti are worshipped as “Nava-Durga”.
Significance of Chaitra Navratri
The cosmic manifestation of the omnipresent energy of the universe is Goddess Durga or Shakti. She is the energy behind the creation, preservation and destruction. During Chaitra Navratri, we worship the different aspects of this energy for blessings of prosperity, abundance, longevity and mental peace. Rituals performed to propitiate the Goddess are abishekams or hydrating ceremony, homa or fire ritual, mantra chanting and visiting temples of the Goddess.
Chaitra Navratri 2018 Muhurata and Dates
Navratri Day 1
18 March 2018, Sunday, Tithi-Shukla Paksha Pratipada, The auspicious time / muhurta for Kalasha Sthapana and Pooja is from 06:28 a.m to 07:44 a.m. and during the Abhijeet muhurta in the afternoon 12.11 p.m. to 12.54 p.m. The goddess of the first day is Shailaputri.
Mantra – Om Hreem Shri Shailaputri Durgaaye Namaha
Navratri Day 2
19 March 2018, Monday, Tithi-Shukla Paksha Dwitiya, The goddess of the second day is mother Brahmacharini.
Mantra – Om Hreem Shri Brahamacharini Durgaaye Namaha
Navratri Day 3
20 March 2018, Tuesday, Tithi-Shukla Paksha Tritiya, The goddess of the third day is Goddess Chandraghanta.
21 March 2018, Wednesday, Tithi-Shukla Paksha Chaturthi, Day:, The goddess of the fourth day is Devi Kooshmaanda.
Mantra -Om Hreem Shri Kushmanda Durgaye Namaha
Navratri Day 5
22 March 2018, Thursday, Tithi-Shukla Paksha Panchami, Day:, The goddess of the fifth day is mother Skandamata.
Mantra – Om Hreem Shri Skanda Mata Durgaaye Namaha
Navratri Day 6
23 March 2018, Friday, Tithi-Shukla Paksha Shashthi, Day:, The goddess of the sixth day is Goddess Kaatyayani.
Mantra – Om Hreem Shri Katyayani Durgaaye Namaha
Navratri Day 7
24 March 2018, Saturday, Tithi-Shukla Paksha Saptami and Ashtami, Day:, The goddess of the seventh day is devi Kaalaratri.
Mantra – Om Hreem Shri Kaala Ratri Durgaaye Namaha
Navratri Day 8
25 March 2018, Sunday, Tithi-Shukla Paksha Ashtami and Navami, Day:, The goddess of the eighth day is devi Mahagauri.
Mantra -Om Hreem Shri Maha Gauri Durgaaye Namaha
Navratri Day 9
26 March 2018, Monday, Tithi-Shukla Paksha Dashmi, Day:, The goddess of the ninth day is mother Siddhidaatri.
Mantra -Om Hreem Shri Siddhidatri Durgaaye Namaha
Benefits of worship
According to Mantra Maharnava, Fire rituals or homa to Goddess Durga and offering of lotus flowers during this holy Vasantha Navaratri is extremely auspicious. Her blessings confer prosperity, accumulation of wealth, success in business and career, progress in all spheres of life, fulfilment of desires and victory over enemies. Navratri is the best time to clear your karmic backlog and move forward. It is believed that people observing fasts on this auspicious day are blessed with all good things in life. Astrologically, individuals having any kind of affliction due to the planet Rahu, or affected by Pitru dosha are immensely benefited by worshiping of Goddess Durga during Navratri. Those facing obstacles in marriage can overcome the delay by observing fast and offering prayers during this Navratri.