It is Navratri time and as is known it calls for fasting, rituals, garba, festivities, flower decorations and what not, all in the honour of the supreme mother goddess of Hindus, Goddess Durga. These nine days of worshipping and ceremonies bring in a lot of positive energy and purity.Just like during every other occasion, be it a wedding or any celebration, flowers play a significant role in Hindu worshipping too. In Hindu religion, it is believed that flowers serve as great mediums through which one can communicate to god.Similarly, flowers play a crucial role during Navratris too. Let’s find out more on the significance of flowers attached to these holy nine days.
OFFERING FLOWERS AS PER THE DAYS
As per the Hindu scriptures, Tamasic, Rajasic and Sattvic are the three major aspects of life. Navratri is the time to honour these aspects and their divine source, Goddess Durga. Even flowers have been distinguished on the basis of their origin, colour, fragrance and shape, and are categorized into Tamas, Rajas and Sattva.
Out of the nine days of Navratri, for the first three days one should worship Goddess Kali in order to transcend the Tamasic or devilish nature that one may have. Offering Tamas flowers like China rose, Ketaki etc to the goddess can be a good option during these days.
The next three days should be spent in worshipping Goddess Lakshmi so as to get over the Rajasic or turbulent nature one may possess. Rajas flowers like Red lotus, Trumpet flowers etc should be your choice of offering to the divine goddess.
Worshipping Goddess Saraswati during the last three days of Navratri can help cultivate and strengthen Sattvic tendencies and Sattva flowers like Jasmine, White lotus etc can be the best offering to the holy goddess.
IMPORTANCE OF GARLANDING THE GODDESS
Ever wondered why we always garland our goddess during Navratris or, as a matter of fact, on any other day too? It is said that the colour and fragrance of flowers attracts the Tejtattva or the ‘fire principle waves’ from the atmosphere towards the goddesses’ idol thereby awakening Devittatva or the ‘goddess principle’ within it. Thus, a divine principle is transferred to the whole house where the idol is placed in. This tattva or principle purifies the whole house including the souls of people residing in it. Garlands made out of Marigold flowers are considered the most auspicious and hence are most often used in garlanding of the goddesses during Navratris.
LOTUS: THE ‘OFFICIAL’ FLOWER OF NAVRATRI
Lotus can rightly be called one of the most beautiful flowers of the world. This divine looking bloom is holiest of all the flowers for Hindus and is symbolic of the true soul of an individual. It also symbolises prosperity, beauty and fertility. It is considered auspicious to offer this flower to the goddesses during Navratri as each one of them has a special connection with this flower. While Goddess Durga was adorned by a garland of lotus flowers by Varuna, Goddess Saraswati is associated to the white lotus. Goddess Lakshmi sits on a full-bloomed Lotus flower andholds a lotus in her right hand. She is often called by names associated to or inspired by Lotus such as Padmini which means ‘possessing Lotus’ or Padmesthita which means ‘standing on Lotus’.
We cannot deny the importance of flowers during Navratris as offering flowers to our goddesses is considered an important part of Hindu worship. It is, however, advisable to offer flowers with mild smell as compared to those with strong or no smell. Besides this, mutilated flowers should be strictly avoided and only fully blossomed ones should be chosen for something as holy and sacred as ‘Navratri Puja’. May Goddess Durga bless us all with health, wealth and prosperity this Navratri. JAI MATA DI!