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Durga Ashtami
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Durga Ashtami 2019: Date, Muhurat Timing, Benefits of Durga Puja

Of all the Ashtamis, Durga Ashtami (6th October 2019, Sunday) is the most auspicious and providential one. It is also known as Maha Ashtami. Durga is the chief deity or Shakti as per the philosophy of Shaktism and manifests in Her ten forms known as the Mahavidyas. On this day, devotees worship Her as well as Her weapons therefore the day is also known as Astra Puja. In many parts of India, it is known as Vira Ashtami; ‘Vira’ means heroism. Durga displayed Her divine beauty to the celestials and inconceivable heroism while fighting the demons such as Mahishasura.

Particular Date & Day Time starts Time ends
Tithi Oct. 5 (Saturday) 9:50 AM  
Tithi Oct. 6 (Sunday)   10:54 AM

Of all the days of Navratri or Durga Puja, the eighth day is regarded as Durgashtami, or Durga Ashtami. There are believes and stories shared by some communities that Goddess Kali appeared on this day from the forehead of Mother Durga and crushed Chanda, Munda, and Rakthabija, the servants of Mahishasura.

On this day devotees offer worships to Sixty Four Yoginis and Ashta Nayikas (eight Shaktis or powers). They are all are worshiped during the Durga Puja rituals. The Ashta Nayikas are eight incarnations of Shakti. These eight Shaktis are Brahmani, Maheswari, Kaumari, Vaishnavi, Varahi, Narasinghi, Indrani and Chamunda.


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What to do on Durga Ashtami: How to celebrate?

On this day, Ashtami Puja is performed in order to please Goddess Durga. In this puja, nine earthern pots are placed in the centre and worshipped. The ritual is said to invoke the nine shaktis of Durga.

  • After morning bath during the Brahmamurat (4 AM – 6 AM), one should wear clean clothes.
  • They should set up a picture or an idol of Goddess Durga. A red colored ‘Dupatta’ or Saree should be offered to the deity along with Durga Saptshati book, Holy Ganga water in a Kalash, mango leaves, Roli, Moli, fresh grass, sandalwood, coconut, rice grains, supari, betel leaves, cloves, cardamom, kumkum (vermillion) and gulal.  (More about these items in Puja Kit)
  • After that, pray to Goddess Durga with Dhoop, Roli, kumkum, flowers, rice grains, and diya.
  • Halwa Puri and chana should be offered to Her along with sweets. After this take some flowers and chant:

सर्वमङ्गलमाङ्गल्ये शिवे सर्वार्थसाधिके ।
शरण्ये त्र्यम्बके गौरि नारायणि नमोऽस्तु ते ॥

Sarva-Manggala-Maanggalye Shive Sarvaartha-Saadhike |
Sharannye Tryambake Gauri Naaraayanni Namo stu Te

Meaning: Obeisance to You O Narayani Who is the Auspiciousness in All the Auspicious, Auspiciousness Herself, Complete with All the Auspicious Attributes, and Who fulfills All the Objectives of the Devotees (Purusharthas - Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha), Who is the Giver of Refuge, With Three Eyes and a Shining Face; Salutations to You O Narayani.”

After reciting the mantra, offer the flowers. At the end, recite ‘Durga Chalisa followed by Durga aarti.

Traditionally, a group of young, female children (five, seven, nine, and eleven) and a boy below seven are invited into the home. Devotee Householders honor them by washing their feet, worshiping them and feed them with sweets and other prasadam of Goddess Durga.

Why do they feed nine girls?

After fasting during the festival time, young girls and a boy are invited to the devotees' houses, where their feet are washed and fed with blessed food (prasadam/ Ashtami bhog). The Ashtami bhog includes puri, chanaa and halwa, khichdi, papad, payesh, chutney and rasgulla without onion and garlic.  Each of these young girls called as kanjaks epitomizes the shakti (energy) of Durga on Earth. After feeding the young girls and the boy and presenting them with gifts, devotee householders break their fast. It is said that Goddess Durga is pleased when these children are honored and fed.

Rudraksha bead:
One can also wear a bracelet of Durga. The bracelet comprises Nine Mukhi Rudraksha bead ruled by Goddess Durga Herself. 9 mukhi Rudraksha represents Goddess Durga (Shakti). She is Manifestation of Kali (protection), Saraswati (Knowledge) and Mahalaxmi (Wealth). Wearer is blessed with energy, powers, Dynamism, fearlessness, knowledge and abundance.

Durga Idols of Panchdhatu:
Durga idols of Panchdhatu can be installed for worship. Panchdhatu, as per Shilpa Shastra, is an alloy of gold (Au), silver (Ag), copper (Cu), Brass and lead (Pb) as the major constituent. It is believed these metals attract cosmic energies during worship.

One can also wear Durga locket for protection

Wearing Durga Bracelet keeps the wearer off all the negative energies including black magic.

Durga Yantra when installed at home or office neutralizes the atmosphere.

Spiritual Items associated with Durga Ashtami

Durga Idols Durga Idols

Durga idols of Panchdhatu can be installed for worship. Panchdhatu, as per Shilpa Shastra, is an alloy of gold (Au), silver (Ag), copper (Cu), Brass and lead (Pb) as the major constituent. It is believed these metals attract cosmic energies during worship.

Durga Mala Durga Mala

Discover a range of unique Durga mala made of 9 Mukhi Rudraksha ruled by Goddess Durga Herself. Best for those seeking energy, powers, dynamism, fearlessness, knowledge and abundance in their personal and professional life.


Durga Pendants and Lockets Durga Pendants and Lockets

One can also wear energized Durga locket for protection from negative energies, black magic and more.




 
Durga Bracelets Durga Bracelets

Wearing Durga Bracelet keeps the wearer off all the negative energies including black magic.





Durga Yantra Durga Yantra

Durga Yantra when installed at home or office purifies the atmosphere of all negative energies.





Special Durga Pujas Special Durga Pujas

Durga Puja and Yajna on this day is highly recommended. Goddess Durga is worshipped for courage, success and prosperity. She symbolizes strength, morality and protection. Benefits include protection and relief from diseases, attraction of suitable outcomes, self-confidence and courage and blessing of Durga.




Article Written by Neeta Singhal

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