The beginning of spring and the beginning of autumn are two very important junctions of climatic & solar influence.
These two periods are taken as sacred opportunities for the worship of the Divine Mother. It represents celebration of Goddess Durga, the manifestation of Deity in form of Shakti, Vasant Navratras, is the festival of 9 days dedicated to the 9 forms of Shakti in the spring season.
*The Story Behind the Origin of Vasanta Navaratri*
In days long gone by, King Dhruvasindhu was killed by a lion when he went out hunting.
Preparations were made to crown the prince Sudarsana. But, King Yudhajit of Ujjain, the father of Queen Lilavati, and King Virasena of Kalinga, the father of Queen Manorama, were each desirous of securing the Kosala throne for their respective grandsons.
They fought with each other. King Virasena was killed in the battle. Manorama fled to the forest with Prince Sudarsana and a eunuch. They took refuge in the hermitage of Rishi Bharadwaja.
The victor, King Yudhajit, thereupon crowned his grandson, Satrujit, at Ayodhya, the capital of Kosala. He then went out in search of Manorama and her son. The Rishi said that he would not give up those who had soughts protection under him. Yudhajit became furious. He wanted to attack the Rishi. But, his minister told him about the Rishi’s prowess and Yudhajit returned to his capital.
Fortune smiled on Prince Sudarsana. A hermit’s son came one day and called the eunuch by his Sanskrit name Kleeba.
The prince caught the first syllable Kli and began to pronounce it as Kleem.
This syllable happened to be a powerful, sacred Mantra. It is the Bija Akshara (root syllable) of the Divine Mother.
The Prince obtained peace of mind and the Grace of the Divine Mother by the repeated utterance of this syllable.
The Devi appeared to him, blessed him and granted him divine weapons and an inexhaustible quiver.
The emissaries of the king of Benares once passed through the Ashram of the Rishi and, when they saw the noble prince Sudarsana, they recommended him for Princess Sashikala, the daughter of the king of Benares.
A Swayamvar was arranged. Sashikala at once chose Sudarsana. They were duly wedded.
King Yudhajit, who had been present at the function, began to fight with the king of Benares.
Devi helped Sudarsana and his father-in-law. When Yudhajit mocked Her, the Devi promptly reduced Yudhajit and his army to ashes.
Thus Sudarsana, with his wife and his father-in-law, praised the Devi. She was highly pleased and ordered them to perform Her worship with havan and other means during the Vasanta Navaratri and she disappeared.
Prince Sudarsana and Sashikala returned to the Ashram of Rishi Bharadwaja. The great Rishi blessed them and crowned Sudarsana as the king of Kosala.
Sudarsana and Sashikala and the king of Benares implicitly carried out the commands of the Divine Mother and performed worship in a splendid manner every year during the Vasanta Navaratri.
Sudarsana’s descendants, namely, Sri Rama and Lakshmana, also performed worship of Devi during the Sharana Navaratri before the battle of Lanka and were blessed with Her assistance in the recovery of Sita.
Thus came the tradition of worshipping the Devi during the Vasant Navratri.
On this auspicious day of Ashthami, May the Goddess Devi Ma bless you and your family with good health, happiness, opportunity, prosperity and Shakti.
May all your dreams be fulfilled, May you be blessed with a year full of smiles and stay blessed forever.