Navratri is an Indian festival celebrating the victory of good over evil. Navratri comes from a Sanskrit word which translates to Nav meaning nine and Ratri meaning nights. It’s a celebration of nine nights in Hindu tradition. This year Sharad Navratri is starting from 7th Oct till 15th Oct. During this period of 9 days, 9 forms of Goddess, Shakti or Devi are worshipped every day.
What is Navratri?
There are 4 major Navratri that fall in a year, of which only two Navratri are celebrated. One of them being ‘Chaitra Navratri‘ which is celebrated during summers (March-April) and the other one is ‘Sharad Navratri’, celebrated during the start of winters (Oct-Nov).
In many areas of India especially North and West, people fast during Navratri. As it is the perfect time to invoke the energy of Mother Goddess and purify your body, mind and soul.
9 forms of Goddess Durga that are worshipped:
1.7th Oct 2021 - Shailaputri
2.8th Oct 2021 - Bramhacharini
3.9th Oct 2021 - Chandraghanta
4.10th Oct 2021 - Kushmanda
5.11th Oct 2021 - Skandamata
6.12th Oct 2021 - Katyayani
7.13th Oct 2021 - Kalratri
8.14th Oct 2021 - Mahagauri
9.15th Oct 2021 - Siddhidatri
What to do for Pooja Preparations?
On the first day of Navratri, Kalash Sthapana or the installation of the sacred pooja pot takes place. It’s to welcome and open doors for positivity and prosperity.
Place a picture of Ma Durga on a piece of red cloth. Spread a layer of red soil in front of the picture and sprinkle enough water to make it wet. Sow barley seeds in the soil and place an earthen pot on it. The pot should contain Ganga jal and tie a roli thread around the pot’s mouth. Place a few mango leaves in the pot, and cover it with a lid. Sprinkle a pinch of rice o the lid and place coconut wrapped in red cloth onto the lid.
Everyday Navratri Procedure
Light Diya and incense sticks. Offer fresh flowers to Ma Durga and decorate the Ma Durga picture or idol with Sindoor (vermilion), Haldi (turmeric) and Chandan (sandalwood). The soil with sown barley seeds are to be sprinkled with water every day during the Pooja. Offer the dishes prepared for the Navratri poojan at your home. Perform Aarti for Maa Durga. Distribute prasad among everyone gathered. This has to be performed every single day for 9 days of Navratri.
Kanya Bhojan on 8th Day
The eighth day of Navratri has a special significance as on this day, you invite young girls below puberty age, to your home and feed them with traditional food of chana, puri and halwa. Also, treat them with gifts. The young girls are considered to be 9 forms of Durga.
On the tenth of Navratri, the visarjan is performed which is to send off to Maa Durga respectfully. Regular pooja is performed for the visarjan. After the pooja, the water kept in the Kalash is sprinkled all around the house. The rice on the lid are fed to the birds, and the barley that is grown till the 9th day can be placed in the flower pot or under a tree in the garden.
How Navratri Poojan Is Beneficial?
Navratri pooja blesses you and your family with happiness, wealth, prosperity. Brings your mind and body to peace and brings everyone together.