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‘The mythology behind the Navaratri festival’: Story by Dhriti Agrawal, Apeejay School, Nerul

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According to Hindu mythology, once upon a time there lived a demon named Mahishasur who meditated for thousands of years. Impressed with his devotion, Lord Brahma decided to grant him a wish. Mahishasur chanced upon this opportunity and asked Lord Brahma to bless him with the divine power and strength to overcome all his opponents and thereby ensuring super invincibility and freedom from death.

His plan worked since Lord Brahma had to keep his promise and had no choice but to grant him his wish. Upon getting this boon, Mahishasur set out to unleash his wrath on the world. He destroyed everything and everyone whom he thought was a threat to him.

Soon he began chasing the sages away and would disrupt their rituals. All the sages were terrified with him and decided to put an end to this. They approached Lord Brahma to help them with a solution.

Lord Brahma discussed this issue with all the other lords and they worked out a plan. Using their combined powers, all the lords created Goddess Durga and blessed her with their immense power and intelligence so that she could kill Mahishasur.

The mighty Sudarshan Chakra was gifted to her by Lord Vishnu, a Kamandal was offered by Lord Brahma. She got a quiver full of arrows from Lord Varuna, while Lord Yama gave her a powerful septor. Lord Indra gave her powers of a thunder, Lord Vishwakarma gave her an axe and Airavat, the white elephant gave her a bell which would confuse the demon. Finally Lord Shiva offered her a dangerous trident (Trishula) to cut of the demon’s neck.

She rode on a fierce lion and armed with all the weapons and powers from various Gods, Maa Durga went on to battle Mahishasur.  After a battle which lasted 9 days, she finally overpowered and killed him bringing an end to all his evils.

It is because of this great victory of Good (Maa Durga) over Evil (Mahishasur) that we celebrate the festival of Navaratri spanning over a period of 9 days which culminates on 10th day with Dussehra.

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