The idol of Deity Durga devi or Mahakali is installed on the 1st day of Navratri (1st day of the Hindu lunar month of Ashwin) and the festival of Navratri is celebrated for 9 days. In this article, we will see how Durga devi came to be known as ‘Mahishasuramardini’.
Long time ago, there was a demon named Mahishasur. He used to trouble the people very much. Once, he fought with Deity Indra, defeated Him and took over his throne. On defeating Deity Indra, he developed an immense pride and started behaving disrespectfully with everyone. As the outrage of Mahishasur started increasing day by day, all the Deities gathered together and prayed to Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh (Shiva) and pleaded them to solve this problem and to teach Mahishasur a lesson.
The three Deities came together. They combined all their energies and created a new kind of energy, the Devi (Goddess). The Devi’s face was formed by Shiva’s energy, Her hands were formed by Vishnu’s energy and Her three eyes were formed by the energy of Agni (Fire). In this way, every Deity formed one body part of the Devi and thus, Durga devi was born. All the Deities gave their weapons to Her. Shiv gave Her the ‘trishul’, Vishnu gave Her the ‘sudarshan chakra’ and Indra gave Her the ‘vajra’.
Thus, the ultimate powerful Durga devi who was formed by combining the energies of the three Deities, took a destructive form to kill the demon Mahishasur. An intense battle took place between Durga devi and Mahishasur for 9 days. Durga devi killed Mahishasur with Her trishul and hence, she came to be known as ‘Mahishasuramardini’, which literally means ‘Slayer of Mahishasur’. We celebrate the festival of Navratri for 9 days to rejoice the victory of Durga devi over Mahishasur.
Children, now you know why we celebrate the festival of Navratri. Then what do you feel about the ‘dandiya’ and ‘garba’ programmes that are organised nowadays during this festival? Is it right to dance in an uncultured manner on the loud music of movie songs during the festival? Don’t you think that the festival must be celebrated with bhav (spiritual emotion) and faith towards Durga devi? You can awaken the people and your friends about this and thus educate them about our Hindu Dharma.