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History of Nav Durga - Navratri Special . . .

 

To highlight the story of Maa durga and her divine value in Hindu mythology can never be depicted by any piece of paper or evidence.

For days long gone by, King Dhruvasindhu was killed by a lion when he went out hunting. Preparations were made to crown the prince Sudarsana. But, King Yudhajit of Ujjain, the father of Queen Lilavati, and King Virasena of Kalinga, the father of Queen Manorama, were each desirous of securing the Kosala throne for their respective grandsons. They fought with each other. King Virasena was killed in the battle. Manorama fled to the forest with Prince Sudarsana and a eunuch. They took refuge in the hermitage of Rishi Bharadwaja.

The victor, King Yudhajit, thereupon crowned his grandson, Satrujit, at Ayodhya, the capital of Kosala. He then went out in search of Manorama and her son. The Rishi said that he would not give up those who had sought protection under him. Yudhajit became furious. He wanted to attack the Rishi. But, his minister told him about the truth of the Rishi’s statement. Yudhajit returned to his capital.

Fortune smiled on Prince Sudarsana. A hermit’s son came one day and called the eunuch by his Sanskrit name Kleeba. The prince caught the first syllable Kli and began to pronounce it as Kleem. This syllable happened to be a powerful, sacred Mantra. It is the Bija Akshara (root syllable) of the Divine Mother. The Prince obtained peace of mind and the Grace of the Divine Mother by the repeated utterance of this syllable. Devi appeared to him, blessed him and granted him divine weapons and an inexhaustible quiver.

Nine forms of Shakti are worshipped during the Navaratris. The Devis worshipped depend on the tradition of the region are:

  • Durga,
  • Bhadrakali
  • Amba or Jagadamba,
  • Annapoorna devi,
  • Sarvamangala,
  • Bhairavi
  • Chandika
  • Lalita
  • Bhavan or Mookambika

The emissaries of the king of Benares passed through the Ashram of the Rishi and, when they saw the noble prince Sudarsana, they recommended him to Princess Sashikala, the daughter of the king of Benares.

The ceremony at which the princess was to choose her spouse was arranged. Sashikala at once chose Sudarsana. They were duly wedded. King Yudhajit, who had been present at the function, began to fight with the king of Benares. Devis helped Sudarsana and his father-in-law. Yudhajit mocked Her, upon which Devi promptly reduced Yudhajit and his army to ashes.

Thus Sudarsana, with his wife and his father-in-law, praised Devi. She was highly pleased and ordered them to worship her with havan and other means during the Vasanta Navaratri. Then she disappeared.

Prince Sudarsana and Sashikala returned to the Ashram of Rishi Bharadwaja. The great Rishi blessed them and crowned Sudarsana as the king of Kosala. Sudarsana and Sashikala and the king of Benares implicitly carried out the commands of the Divine Mother and performed worship in a splendid manner during the Vasanta Navaratri.

Sudarsana’s descendants, namely, Sri Rama and Lakshmana, also performed worship of Devi during the Sharada Navaratri and were blessed with Her assistance in the recovery of Sita...

One Woman, Many Roles...

 

There are many myths and legends attached to the history of Navratri:

The Mighty Demon Mahisasur worshipped Lord Shiva and obtained the power of eternity, so he wouldn’t be killed by weapons. He started to kill and harass innocent people and set out to win seven lokas. The gods sought the help of Lord Shiva, who advised the invocation of the goddess shakti. With the God’s prayers, a divine luster sprang from the heart of Load Shiva and the bodies of all the gods and formed the goddess Adhya Shakti. The Gods gave her ornaments, arms and a lion as a vehicle. She fought with the evil Mahisasur for nine long days and nights, and at last resulted in the beheading of Mahisa on the tenth. So, the nine nights for which the war was fought is called Navratri. The tenth day that brought the triumph of good over the evil is called dussera.

Sati (also known as Uma) married Lord Shiva against the wishes of her father, King Daksha Prajapati. In revenge, Daksha organized a huge yagna and invited all the gods and deities except his new son-in-law. Sati decided to attend the yagna despite Lord Shiva's attempt to persuade her not to. The King ignored his daughter's presence and publically abused Lord Shiva. Unable to bear her father’s insults, Sati committed suicide by jumping into the yagna fire. However, she was reborn and again won Lord Shiva as her groom and peace was restored. It is believed that since then Uma comes every year with her four children Ganesh, Kartik, Saraswati and Laxmi and two of her best friends or ‘sakhis' called Jaya and Bijaya, to visit her parent's home during Navratri...

 

 

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