NAVARATHRI BACKGROUND

Navaratri or the nine nights are part of the famous ten-day Dasara festivities, which is celebrated on a grand scale in Mysore. After the completion of nine nights of worship, the 10th day is celebrated as the Vijaya Dasami day, the day of victory. The Vijaya Dasami falls on the auspicious 10th day of the bright fortnight of Asvayuja Sudhdha, generally in the months of September-October. It is also called the Maharnavami Habba or the celebrations of great nine nights.On each day, Goddess Devi is worshipped in her different forms. Navaratri or Dasara is being celebrated from ages. It can be traced in the two great epics, Ramayana and Mahabharata. Sri Rama, an incarnation of God Vishnu, celebrated it by taking out his hidden weapons after worshipping the Devi. The Mahabharata epic princes or the five Pandava princes took out their hidden weapons and worshipped it before going for the famous war, the Mahabharata war. This is marked as the Ayudha Pooja Day. The celebrations can also be traced historically also. There are clear evidences of the grand celebrations organised during the famous Vijayanagar kings (14th century). The Mysore Maharajas, kings of the Yadu Dynasty, have continued the tradition. Not only kings and rulers, even the common man celebrates the Dasara in a great devotional and religious manner, with prayers and worship. Even today, the present Prince, Srikanta Datta Narasimharaja Wodeyar, celebrates the feast for 10 days in the same old tradition, like his ancestors and as prescribed in the sacred works.