As each day passes, the fervour associated with Navratri increases all the more. These larger than life celebrations and enthusiasm of the people towards their Goddess is like an extra icing on the cake.
What adds more to the celebration is the sheer devotion of mankind to the divine being and the realisation that a supreme authority is in place to take care of us and to bless us, provided we follow the righteous path .
The distinctive nine days surely surges up the daily lives and brings peace, prosperity and fortune among the devotees!
The Mythology !
On the second day of Navratri, Maa Brahmacharini is worshipped which is one of the forms taken by Goddess Durga to kill the demon, Mahishasura. She was born to Daksha Prajapati and is believed to be the unmarried form of Goddess Parvati.
The name Brahmacharini is a derivation from two words, Brahma which means the absolute reality and Charini, which means one who behaves. The deity is a complete symbol of devout austerity. She governs the planet Mars as per astrological studies .
So, according to mythology, Goddess Parvati longed to get married to Lord Shiva. However, her parents didn’t want this to happen and so tried to dissuade her. This did not deter her and she approached Lord Kama, the God of human love and erotic activities.
In all this, Lord Kama shot an arrow of pleasure towards Lord Shiva, who being in a meditative state got angry and burnt him to ashes. This too, didn’t stop her quest for Shiva.
She then began living the way Lord Shiva does and went to mountains, living the life of an ascetic. Hence, she got the name Brahmacharini and was able to draw the lord’s attention.
So, he went to her in guise and talked to her about all the negative aspects of Shiva. But she did not pay attention to these and was not at all ready to hear anything bad about him. This amazed Shiva and he accepted her and they finally got married. The goddess is also known as Uma, Aparna, Devi Yogini and Devi Tapsvini.
Importance of Ma Brahmacharini !
Maa Brahmacharini is symbolic of loyalty, knowledge and wisdom. She is considered to be the epitome of love. The deity is known for her simplicity. She wears white sari with an orange border and keeps a rosary or Japa Mala in her right hand, whereas the Kamandala adorns her left hand. She also holds Rudraksha with a serene and calm countenance.
She is worshipped on day two as it is believed that with her blessings one will keep on moving forward in their life without getting disheartened by the odds that come their way. The goddess is said to be a giver of immense emotional support and confidence. She guides one to follow a righteous and sincere path.
Maa Brahmacharini and Swadhisthana Chakra!
Swadhisthana means one’s own abode and is the second chakra which is associated with Maa Brahmacharini. This chakra contains energy and controls the varied erotic expereinces of one’s life. It reflects sensuality, joy, compassion and is a strong link to a mother’s womb.
This is considered to be an important chakra and is highly revered among the devotees who wish to seek this blessing.
The Rituals !
On the given muhurat, the kalash is kept at the designated place and puja starts with the worship of the goddess. People keep a clay pot along with layers of mud and barley seeds on which water is sprinkled .
This is followed by keeping ganga jal, supari, coins, and raw rice which has elements of turmeric. Kumkum is also used on the outer surface of the pot and other ritualistic constituents. Then the ghee lamp is lit, which is known as Akhand Jyoti and it burns for nine days throughout.
Jasmine which is deity’s favorite flower is offered along with white flowers, lotus, red chunri, bangles, kumkum, incense among others. Blue is the color of this day as it shows tranquility.
Following this, a strict nine days of fasting is observed and followed by all devotees so as to seek blessings and prosperity from each of the forms of Goddess Durga.
The second day of bhog is presented to Maa Brahmacharni who is said to be the lover of simple food. For offering, pista barfi , naivedyam, and sugar is kept. It is believed that offering sugar increases the longevity of the family members.
After presenting naivedyam, betel leaf as well as betel nut is presented to the goddess. Panchamrit is also offered along with coconut, bananas and other fruits.
While doing all these, the devotees keep praying and asking for goddesses’ grace and compassion for them and for the entire family!
Navratri is not just what is there on the outside but it's about what’s on the inside. All these days help us in giving time to ourselves and delve into our inner selves, so as to know whether we are on the right path. All the auspicious nine days gives a chance to introspect and purify oneself.
With the second day of Durgotsava, one gets to observe the immense power of love that should be instilled in all the living beings. Maa Brahmacharini symbolises that simple living is what makes our life worthwhile. She is believed to be the way to emancipation or Moksha.
These days definitely teach an important lesson of perseverance and determination that will lead us to being one with the supreme being .