Shardiya Navratri 2023: Navratri 2023 holds a special place in the hearts of devotees as it marks the celebration dedicated to Mother Durga, a significant event in the Hindu calendar. Over nine sacred days, we worship the nine divine forms of the Mother Goddess, each with its own unique significance. What adds to the anticipation is the mode of Mother Durga's arrival, as she graces us in different vehicles every Navratri.
Shardiya Navratri, commencing in the month of Ashwin, begins on the auspicious Shukla Paksha Pratipada date. It is during these nine days that we pay homage to Maa Adishakti Jagdamba, and this festival carries immense importance in the Hindu religion. According to the renowned astrologer Dr. Anish Vyas, Shardiya Navratri for the year 2023 starts on Sunday, October 15.
In the Devi Bhagwat Purana, it is described that on the day of Mahalaya, when our ancestors return from the earthly realm, Mother Durga descends to our world with her family and companions. The choice of her vehicle during Navratri holds significance not only for the present but also for the future, as it offers insights into the upcoming year's prospects.
This year, Maa Durga will arrive riding atop an elephant, a selection influenced by the Navratri's commencement on a Sunday. The Devi Bhagwat Purana elucidates that when Navratri begins on a Sunday or Monday, the Mother Goddess chooses to ride an elephant, a sign associated with bountiful rainfall and prosperity.
While the lion is traditionally considered Mother Durga's vehicle, each year, her earthly arrival varies based on the Navratri's timing. Mata Durga arrives and departs in diverse conveyances, underscoring her adaptability. The Devi Bhagwat Purana delineates her arrivals over the seven days of the week:
If Navratri begins on a Monday or Sunday, Mother Goddess rides an elephant.
On Saturday and Tuesday, she arrives on a horse.
When Navratri's puja starts on Thursday or Friday, Mata arrives on a doli (a palanquin).
On the occasion of Navratri starting on Wednesday, she arrives on a boat.
The commencement of Navratri under specific constellations and yogas also exerts a unique influence on human life. Likewise, the choice of the vehicle on the day of the Kalash installation holds significance for individuals.
Astrologers assert that the Mother Goddess's chosen mode of transport on the first day of Navratri carries substantial meaning. This year, Mother Durga's arrival on an elephant signifies a year marked by plentiful rainfall, a prosperous agricultural season, and an increase in the country's food grain reserves. This occurrence is considered exceptionally auspicious in religious beliefs.
Maa Durga's arrival on an elephant symbolizes not only happiness and prosperity but also knowledge and economic well-being. The elephant is regarded as a harbinger of auspiciousness, foretelling a year filled with favorable outcomes. It is believed that the worshipers of Mata Rani will receive special blessings and see their endeavors bear fruit in the coming year.