Navratra is made of two words, ‘Nav’ which means nine and ‘Ratri’ which means night. Thus, the meaning of word Navrtra is a festival that goes on for nine days and it is considered highly auspicious. This is the period where a devotee perform Upasana, Aradhana and worship nine forms of goddess durga, namely:
1. Shailputri 2. Brahmacharini 3. Chadraghanta 4. Kushmanda 5. Skandmata 6. Katyayani 7. Kalratri 8. Mahagauri 9. Sidddhidatri.
As per the Hindu calendar, Navratra is celebrated 4 times in a year. The first two are celebrated with great show and pomp and they are known as PrakatNavratra.
The other two are called Gupta or secret Navratra. They are:
Process of worshiping in Navratra:
Navratra provides great moral and spiritual strength. The devotees of Maadurga who worship with complete dedication get enlighten, prosperity and wealth. The grace of MaaDurga removes all sufferings from their life.
NavratraStaphana / Ghat:
On the first day, KalashStaphana or GhatStaphana is done. The meaning of word Ghat or Kalas is pot which is made of copper or clay, and Staphana means establishment. In the process of GhatStaphana, the Ghat is filled with water and is placed over Vedi of Sand. Also, in the sand seeds of Barley are sown which grows into Jaware by the end of Navratra. They would grow up to four of five inches in height. Jaware are also the Prasad for the devotees and his family members. On the Kalash, Mango leaves and coconut are covered with a piece of cloth. The main purpose of Ghat is to pray.
Whom to Worship or Chant in Navratra:
During thedays of Navratra, worship of Goddess Durga is done and Path of DurgaSaptsahtis. Other paths that could be done are:
The Jaap of Mantra could be on the basis of your choice. You may jaap Mantra for wealth, for removing problems from your life, for power, for getting suitable life partner or for protection.
KumariPujan is done on the Eighth day of Navtratra or on the Ninth day. On this day, nine girls not more than nine years old are fed and given dakshnana.
The puja material established during NavratraStaphana are immersed in the nearby pod or lake. The Prasad of Jaware are given to the family members. With the Utthapan, the worship of Navratra comes to an end.