(Image courtesy The Nirula Family Art Trust, artist: Abhishek Singh.
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Chaitra or Rama Navaratri begins on the first day of the vedic month of Chaitra or Chait--March-April this year. It ends on the ninth day (Rama Navami). This is the blessed Appearance Day of Sri Rama--the Warrior King avataar of the Supreme Godhead. Lord Rama appeared in order to rid the planet of evildoers and re-generate spiritual super karma practices for the benefit of all.
Navaratris celebrate the nine nights dedicated to the nine forms and aspects of Durga Devi, the proximate generator-maintainer of the material universe. The planetary zone of existence where we live is known as 'devi-dhaam'--the place of Durga--the guardian of the binding-karma-based material 'fortress' or 'durga'.
There are two major navratris in a year:
The Chaitra or Rama navratri in March-April, and Sharad navaratri in the month of Asvin: September - October. This last is also known as Mahanavaratri. These are most auspicious periods for accessing Divine blessing and opulence energies.
Lord Rama is celebrated in both Navaratris
Sri Rama is an expansion of the Supreme Godhead, Source of all sources, and is always accompanied by his consort Sri Sita devi and younger brother Lakshman and His eternal devotee Sri Hanuman.
Lord Rama is the kingly embodiment of benign royal protection, honor, compassion and selfless public service. His life and deeds are an exemplary lesson, encouraging all to live a life dedicated to the service of the Divine. He shows how to fulfill one's rightful work and duties in spiritual consciousness, whether as a king in a palace or then living the life of a wandering warrior in the forest according to changed circumstances.
Sri Rama shows that in all situations one must deal with what life presents us with dignity and dependence on Divine protection and support.
Respecting the material UniverseAlthough a personal expansion of the Supreme Divine, Lord Rama also demonstrated that while in the zone of Devi dhaam, respect is to be given to the administrator deva and devis of the universe, including Durga devi and her consort Lord Shiva.
To learn more about Durga Devi and Mahanavratri, click on the link below.