Navaratri is an ancient Sanatana Dharma festival. It is the time when energies in the whole Universe and inside every human are rearranged.
Navaratri lasts nine days and is celebrated twice a year – in spring and in autumn. Every year the date of Navaratri changes, as per Indian tradition it is calculated in Moon calendar. The name “Navaratri” itself is translated as nine nights (“nav” – nine, “ratri” nights). It is a very favourable time for spiritual practice, meditation and praying.
Navaratri is a period of female energy (shakti). In the tradition of Sanatan Dharma ("eternal spirituality" in Sanskrit) this time is devoted to various forms of female energy, that is, Goddesses. It is one of the oldest traditions, showing particular respect to the source of female divinity. Each day of the Navaratri prayers are devoted to a different form of Goddess. At the same time, a different aspect of the Goddess guards a specific period of Navaratri.
This way Navarati encompasses all aspects of our lives – courage and resolution, material power and the power of knowledge.
Navaratri culminates and ends on the ninth day. In spring Navaratri it is the festival called Ramnavmi. According to the legend, the great prince Rama, in Sanatana Dharma worshipped as an incarnation of God, was born on this day. In Treta Yuga, King Dasharatha had a son. When the sage Vasishtha saw him, he understood at once that a very pure soul with many divine qualities had been born, thus named him Rama.
The great labours of prince Rama are known by epic poem “Ramayana”. Rama became a perfect example for all the people who want to live upholding the principles of spirituality. The poem was written by the sage Valmiki, Rama’s contemporary. Thousands of years later, the epic poem is still the source of inspiration and faith for the people aspiring spirituality all over the world.
During the autumn Navratri, the ninth day is the Navmi festival, and in the tenth the Dashakhra is noted as Vijay dashahra. That is the day of the victory of Lord Rama over the king of Lanka demon Ravana, the victory of good over evil.
The ninth day of Autumn Navaratri is the festival of Navmi. This festival as well symbolizes inner struggle that is taking place in each of us - a struggle in which determination, courage, spiritual knowledge and wisdom defeats the negative qualities of the ego: ignorance, laziness, anger, greed.