Oct 01, 2020 Why is Navratri celebrated for nine nights?

Once upon a time, there was a little boy named Mahishasur who was born to the king of demons and a buffalo, making him a powerful part-buffalo part-demon.

He noticed that the demons and the Gods were always at odds with one and another. And he was tired of being on the losing side.

One day, he had an idea.

"Penance!"

He said to his father.

Believing that strict fasting and praying can make a person strong, he set out to do just that, and stood on one foot, under a tree, praying to Lord Brahma for many years.

His penance finally paid off.

Lord Brahma appeared before Mahishasur and asked him to make
a wish.

Mahishasur asked for immortality, but Lord Brahma nixed that one, and said try again. So he wished for what he thought was just as comparable:

"Fine, if I must die, please let it be at the hands of a woman," thinking he had cleverly found a loophole.

"Done!" said Lord Brahma, but little did he know of Mahishasur's true intentions with that kind of a power.

After wreaking havoc all around the earth, Mahishasur next set his eyes on Amravati, Indra's capital.
(Indra was the King of Gods).

One by one, each of the Gods and their weapons were defeated.
Vishnu's chakra.
Indra's thunderbolt.
All rendered powerless.

After being exiled from heaven, the Gods approached the trinity,
Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma for help.

Vishnu said, "Wait a minute... if only a woman can kill Mahishasur, then let's combine our powers to create an invincible woman. Duh."

Everything from her head to toes,
and from her weapons and clothes,
was gifted by each of the Gods.

Durga was born and ready for battle.

When Durga arrived at Amravati, Mahishasur acted like the misogynistic jerk one would expect him to be.

"You're better off marrying me than trying to kill me," he purred.

Mahishasur had finally met his match... but the kind that wanted
to lock him up, moreso than lock him down.

After Durga declined his romantic proposal, Mahishasur went straight into fight mode.

He kept changing forms to confuse Durga; he went from being a man to a lion to an elephant, etc. This went on for nine nights (although some versions claim 15 nights, FYI), until he finally assumed the form of a buffalo, when he was ultimately defeated.

And this is why Navratri is celebrated for nine nights, as the victory of good over evil. Although let's be real, almost every single Hindu holiday -- from Holi to Diwali -- is rooted in this very theme.

My takeaway?

Whether it takes you nine days or 14 years, never lose hope and the courage to fight for what's rightfully yours -- be it' your kingdom, your wife, or your freedom.

Victory favors the brave.

 

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Modi Toys is a children's brand of toys and books inspired by ancient Hindu culture. We exist to spread joy and to spark curiosity in the next generation through our innovative soft plush toys, illustrated children's books and free learning resources. Our weekly Theology Thursday series covers a wide range of topics rooted in Hinduism to help us better understand the origins of traditions, the symbolic meaning of rituals, and the stories behind Hindu holidays and festivals. The more we can understand "the why" behind this 4,000 year ancient religion, and make sense of it in this modern age, the greater we can appreciate and preserve our rich Hindu culture. While we take great care in thoroughly researching the information presented, we may occasionally get some things wrong. We encourage a healthy and open dialogue so we can learn together. Please leave a comment below or email us directly at support@moditoys.com to address any concerns. 

 

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