Three goddesses - Durgaa, Lakshmee and Saraswatee - form a configuration which helps the human soul get rid of the Mal (impurities), gain spiritual knowledge and attain liberation or Moksh.
Durgaa is a demon killer (Kriyaa Shakti). Demons are the Taamasik (Dark) demons in our mind: Kaam, Krodh, Lobh,
Moh, Mad, and Matsarya (desire, anger, greed, delusion, pride, and envy). Once Durgaa kills these
demons, Lakshmee (Ichchhaa Shakti) takes over the mind and helps us get
rid of Raajasik Vikshep (False perception; distraction; to and fro
oscillations of the mind; gales of desire blowing in the mind) which are
hard to remove from the mind. Lakshmee helps man acquire the Will Power (Ichchhaa
Shakti) and get rid of remnants of desire and false perception by
Upaasanaa (worship). What is left is ignorance, meaning spiritual
ignorance. Removal of spiritual ignorance and spiritual enlightenment is infused by Saraswatee (Gyaan Shakti).
of impurities, desires and ignorance with the help of these three deities
is celebrated for nine days and nine nights, 3 days and 3 nights for each
deity (Nava Raatri = nine nights). It takes nine days and nine nights to
defeat these demons. Nine manifestation of Mother Goddess (Durgaa,
Bhadrakaalee, Ambaa, Annapoornaa, Sarvamangalaa, Bhairavee, Chandikaa,
Lalitaa, and Bhavaanee) are celebrated over nine nights. The tenth day is
Vijaya Dashamee - meaning victory (over the demons of the mind;
realization and emancipation) on the 10th day.
Normally this festival of Devee or Shakti is celebrated two times a year - in the
beginning of summer and in the beginning of winter. In fact there are 9
Nava Raatri in one year. (365 / 9 = approx in every 40 days of the year)
but most people only know and observe only the two Nava Raatri, one in the
beginning of the New Year, in Chaitra Maas (April) after Holee and the another one after six
months in Aashwin Maas (September-October) after Pitri Paksha.
On the ninth day of the First
Nava Raatri (Chaitra or April) is the Janm Divas (birth day) of Shree Raam or Raam
Navamee is celebrated. On the tenth day of Second Nava Raatri is celebrated Vijayaa
Dashamee, the day when ten heads of ego was brought to Earth by God (Raam) Himself.
Read more about how to celebrate Nava Raatri HERE