Nav’ means nine and Ratri means night. These nine nights occur on equinoxes when the sun is vertically overhead at the equator. The Cosmic Mother is worshipped during these 9 days.
The number nine is closely associated with the process of Creation in the cosmic time cycle. It is considered ‘puran’ or complete. Any number multiplied by nine gives a figure that adds up to nine.
Ratri means night. The Rigveda states that creation came about when everything was covered in
the darkness of night. Navratra signifies the concept of ‘Back to Godhead’. The entire cosmic cycle cosists of three phases: Creation, Preservation and Dissolution. If one was to split each part into triads, then 3 times 3 would be 9.
She is the ‘Garbha’ (Womb) from where the Universe manifests. The word ‘Garba’ (The dance performed during Navratri) stems from ‘Garbha’ and symbolises the ‘Dance of Creation’
There are 9 cosmic wombs or Nava-yonis.
According to the Tantric concept:
56 rays proceed from the Sahasrar Chakra (Highest Chakra, on top of the head) to Mulaadhaar Chakra. (Lowest Chakra at the base of the spine) This constitutes the earth element. 62 rays in the Svadistaan Chakra (Near the sexual organs) to form the fire element. 52 rays in the Manipur Chakra (At the Solar Plexus) form the water element. 54 rays in the Anhata Chakra (Near the heart Chakra) establishes the air element. 72 rays in the Visudhi Chakra (Near the throat) pertains to the ether element. 64 in the Ajna Chakra (Center of forehead) designs the mind. These add up to 360 potencies. In a circle form, it would indicate eternity. The 360 digit adds up to nine.
The universe is composed of 36 ‘tatvas’ and there are 360 ‘tithis’ in a lunar year. Both numbers add up to 9.
The number 9 is the Highest number. After the number 9, comes the 0. In order to truly worship the Lord either become complete (with all the great qualities) like the number 9, or empty (devoid of ego, or in a state of total surrender) like the 0.