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Fascinating Legends Behind the Celebration of Navratri

By Anandi Makhija

Updated - Oct. 9, 2023 4 min read

Navratri is a time for celebration, so let's learn about its history! Did you know that Navratri has its own Bollywood movie plots? That's right, the drama, appeal, and mystic charm of Navratri have inspired countless Bollywood films. But what about the real story behind Navratri?

Well, there are a few different legends, each with its own unique twist.


Legend of the Mighty Mahishasura 

Image Courtesy: India Today

Mahishasura, a demon so bad, he made the devil blush. He was so powerful, he thought he could conquer the whole world. But the Trinity of Shiva, Brahma, and Vishnu were not having it. They created a divine warrior, Goddess Durga, to put him in his place. Mahishasura was smitten with Durga's beauty. He proposed to her, but she was not interested. She had a better idea: she would only marry him if he could defeat her in battle. Mahishasura was confident in his abilities, so he accepted the challenge. The battle raged for nine days and nine nights. Durga was fierce, but Mahishasura was no slouch either. Finally, on the tenth day, Durga emerged victorious. She decapitated Mahishasura, and the world was saved from his tyranny. These nine days of battle came to be known as Navratri, and the tenth day, the day of Durga's victory, is called Vijayadashmi. It is a day to celebrate good over evil, and the power of women. So, next time you're celebrating Navratri, remember the story of Mahishasura and Durga. It's a reminder that even the most powerful evil can be defeated, and that good always triumphs in the end.



The Legend of Daksha 

Image Courtesy: Wikipedia

Once upon a time, there was a king of the Himalayas named Daksha. He had a beautiful and virtuous daughter named Uma, who was a huge fan of Shiva. Uma worshipped Shiva so much that he finally came down from heaven to marry her. Daksha was not happy about this marriage. He thought Shiva was a bit of a weirdo, and he didn't want his daughter to be married to him. So, Daksha decided to throw a big party, but he didn't invite Shiva.n When Uma found out that her father hadn't invited her husband to the party, she was furious. She stormed into the party and jumped into the fire pit, sacrificing herself in protest. After that, Uma was known as Sati, which means "she who is true." And every year during Navratri, Sati comes back to her parents' house to visit, bringing her kids Ganesh, Kartik, Saraswati, and Laxmi, as well as her besties Jaya and Bijaya.



The Legend of Rama and Ravana

Image Courtesy: Astrotalk

Ravana, a wicked demon, had abducted Sita, the wife of the righteous prince Rama. To defeat Ravana and rescue his wife, Rama sought the blessings of the mighty goddess Durga. Rama worshipped Durga for nine nights, and on the tenth day, he was finally granted the strength to slay Ravana. This day is celebrated as Vijayadashami, or the victory of good over evil. So, if you're ever feeling down and out, just remember the story of Rama and Ravana. With the help of the divine, even the most seemingly impossible challenges can be overcome.



The legend of Sati

Image Courtesy: Vedic Feed

Once upon a time, there was a girl named Sati who was the daughter of a king. She fell in love with a god named Shiva, but her father didn't approve of the match. He threw a big party and invited all the gods and goddesses, except for Shiva. Sati was hurt, so she went to the party anyway. Her father was rude to her and Shiva, so Sati burned herself to death. Shiva was so mad that he destroyed the party and killed her father. Then he carried Sati's body around and cried for a long time. The other gods and goddesses were worried that Shiva was going to destroy the world, so they asked him to stop crying. Shiva agreed, but only if they cut Sati's body into 51 pieces and scattered them all over the world. These pieces became holy places where people worship the goddess Sati. Navratri is a time when Sati's spirit comes back to visit these places. Hindus celebrate Navratri by worshiping Sati in all her nine forms.



Here’s praying this Navrati brings you happiness, health and good fortune!



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