Navratri Legends

The colorful nine-day festival of Navratri is associated with different legends in different parts of the country. Few legends are mentioned below.

Victory over Demon Mahishasura

A popular legend behind Navratri says the story of the Demon Mahishasura, who acquired invincible powers by worshipping Lord Shiva. Soon, he turned extraordinarily tyrant and started killing innocent lives on Earth and set out to win the seven lokas (seven worlds). He entered Swargaloka (Heaven) and harassed the living creatures and Devas (Angels). His arrogance was uncontrollable, and Devas pleaded Lord Shiva to save them from the mighty Demon.

The Trinity — Lord Shiva, Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu and all the other Gods united their supreme powers and created the divine Goddess Shakti. The Warrior Goddess is an embodiment of the accumulated energy of all divine forces and was given a variety of weapons to kill Mahishasura. The Goddess entered into a war with him which lasted for nine days and on the tenth Day, Devi Shakti slew Mahishasura and saved the Swargaloka. These nine nights of war is celebrated as Navratri and the day of the triumph is observed as Vijayadashami. Therefore, Navratri is highly revered throughout the country to venerate the victory of good over evil forces.

Uma or Sati

Legend of Uma or Sati

Another legend in the Hindu Mythology depicts the story of Uma, a highly pious and virtuous daughter of King Daksha of Himalayas. She wished to marry Lord Shiva and observed deep penance to obtain the boon from the Supreme God. Consequently, Lord Shiva agreed to marry her. Upon seeing Shiva’s appearance dressed with tiger skin and skull garland around his neck, King Daksha broke off their relationship after marriage.

Once, King Daksha organized a Yagna for which he invited all his daughters and did not invite Lord Shiva. However, Uma attended the Yagna but got infuriated when King Daksha insulted her husband. The furious and heart-broken Uma sacrificed her life in the Yagna fire and bagged the name Sati. Sati was reborn again and married Lord Shiva. It is believed that Sati comes to stay with her parents for nine days in a year, which is called as Navratri.

Legend of Rama and Ravana

Another legend behind Navratri relates to the great Hindu epic Ramayana. Lord Rama wanted to save his consort Sita from the grasp of the demon King Ravana. To acquire more power, Rama worshipped Mother Durga in nine forms for nine days, and on the tenth day, he killed Ravana. These nine days of worship became Navratri and the day of the victory is revered as Vijayadashami. This story also signifies the victory of good (Rama) over evil (Ravana).

Story of Kshatriyas

A story from the ancient times says that the Kshatriyas (Warriors) refrained from taking part in any war during monsoon season to restore their energies and start afresh later. Once the monsoon is over, they worship Ma Durga, the Warrior Goddess, for nine days to obtain immense strength and valor. These nine days are now worshipped as Navratri.