Nine colours of Navratri(2023) and their significance

Navaratri – Nine nights of celebrating the divine feminine

The festival represents the nine forms of Maa Durga and signifies the victory of good over evil. Each day Devi is adorned in the colour specified as per sacred texts followed in each region of India, based on the day of the week when the festival begins. Madhurya brings details on not just the virtue and spirituality behind the nine revered days, but, being a textile revival boutique, offers a glimpse on handloom weaves and colours that can be adorned on Maa Durga or worn by women for the poojas. Madhurya supports more than a thousand weavers across the country who meticulously create them on the loom for people to consider and support their effort. Each colour is dedicated to a particular form of Goddess Durga.

Colours and interpretations

Colours are a distinctive fragment of Navaratri that speak of specifics for each day. As the nine forms of Durga are represented by a particular, symbolic colour with intrinsic Vedic meanings attached, the Goddess is dressed that way, also helping devotees follow the divine dress-code to make the process of worship followed in exactitude.

Colours of Navaratri – from Madhurya
  • First day (Pratipada) – White
  • Second Day (Dwitiya) – Red
  • Third Day (Tritiya) –Royal Blue
  • Fourth Day (Chaturthi) – Yellow
  • Fifth Day (Panchami) – Green
  • Sixth Day (Shasti) – Orange/Yellow
  • Seventh Day (Saptami) – Green/Blue/Purple
  • Eigth Day (Ashtami) – Red/Maroon
  • Ninth Day (Navami) – White/Offwhite/Beige/Gold
  • Tenth Day (Dashami) – All Colours
Colours decked up for the Devi or Maa Durga or worn by devotee changes in each region celebrating Dasara.

  • Yellow: Associated with divine qualities of contentment and joy.
  • Green: For nature, growth, and energy
  • Grey: Represents intellect symbolizing diplomacy, bridging black and white.
  • Orange: For brightness, luminosity of the Sun and creativity & passion.
  • White: Denotes peace, purity and clarity.
  • Red: Shows action, passion, and vigour.
  • Royal Blue: Embodies the fierce form of the Divine Mother, showcasing in-depth perception.
  • Pink: A symbol for love, compassion and fresher perspective.
  • Purple: Purple depicts ambition, nobility, and power.
Legends & practices

Dasara being one amongst the most auspicious Hindu festivals in India, the 10-day extravaganza is observed in several regions across the country. Maa Durga is worshipped in nine different forms throughout the festivities. As per legends and tradition, Chaitra-Navaratri and Sharad Navaratri are celebrated in a year – once in the month of Chaitra (March-April) and again in the month of Sharad (September-October) – both coinciding with the start of new seasons honouring Goddess Shakti, the incarnation of Nature.

The feminine energy of the Supreme Godhead is said to manifest in three forms namely Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati, the embodiments of power, wealth and wisdom. Navaratri is basically a tribute that heralds and worships all these three forms in innumerable ways.

Hindu Dharmashastras, Vedic scriptures and hymns glorify the dignity of women. In ‘Manusmriti’ women are referred to as Shakti. It says, ‘Yatra naryastu pujyante ramante tatra devta’ – where women are honoured, divinity blossoms there.

The killing of the deceitful demon Mahishasura for which the war of nine days happened is celebrated as Navaratri. In many parts of India, especially in the South, Goddess Durga or Shakti is worshipped in the first three days followed by Goddess Lakshmi adored while the concluding three days Goddess Saraswati is honoured.

In many parts of India towards the North, Navaratri – nine nights – is celebrated as the victory of Lord Rama over the Lanka King Ravana. The story of Lord Rama is enacted for nine days as ‘Ramlila’ and on the last day, the festival concludes with burning effigies of Ravana and his brothers, Meghnad and Kumbhakaran.

The fundamental mythological reason behind the festival remains the same — the victory of good over evil. In the Eastern and North-eastern states of India, the celebration is referred to as Durga Puja. It is believed that Durga fought with Mahishasura and emerged victorious and thus the Durga Puja.

Stories from the Puranas, the concept of Navadurga

The concept of Navadurga in Navaratri refers to nine different forms of Goddess Durga, all of them having different significance. The Goddess is worshipped in nine forms and these nine nights of Navaratri are a celebration of Her Spirit in entirety. In the book ‘Parashakti – Magical Stories of the Divine Mother’ author Bhanumathi Narasimhan brings in diverse aspects of the Devi along with her specific qualities and attributes in each form.

Navadurga – Goddess Durga in her nine forms are – Shailaputri, Brahmacharini, Chandraghanta, Kushmanda, Skandamata, Katyayani, Kalaratri, Mahagauri and Siddhidatri.

Bhanumathi Narasimhan ji writes in the Chapter ‘Navadurga’ that – Goddess Durga is epitomised as the Shakti who wards off all evils. Durga also means ‘hill.’ A very difficult task is often described as an uphill task. In the presence of Durga Shakti, negative forces fade away. The Goddess is depicted with a lion or tiger as her mount, alluding to the aspect of courage and valour which is the essence of Durga Shakti.

The Navadurga are the nine aspects of Durga Shakti, which act like a shield to ward off all evils. When you encounter obstacles or mental blocks, just remembering these qualities of the Devi can help you. Especially for people suffering from anxiety, or those who doubt their abilities, or feel threatened by enmity and negativity, chanting the names of the Devis can elevate your consciousness and you can become more centred, courageous and composed.

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