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Navaratri 2017: Puja Vidhi Timing and Significance

Navratri is the nine-day festival dedicated to Devi Durga by Hindus all over India. The nine days represent the nine manifestations of Goddess Durga. Navratri comes from the Sanskrit word “nava” denoting nine and “ratri” which is night. During this festival of nine nights, the nine forms of Shakti (also known as Navdurga) are worshipped across the country.

Shardiya Navratri is a nine-day festival dedicated to Devi Durga. It is starting on 10th October, 2018 (Wednesday) and ending on 19th October, 2018 (Friday). The nine days represent the nine divine manifestations of Goddess Durga. Navratri comes from the Sanskrit word nava denoting nine and ratri which means night. During this festival of nine nights, the nine forms of Shakti (also known as Navdurga) are worshipped across the country.

As mentioned in Vedic literatures such as Shakta and Vaishnava Puranas, the festival of Navaratri ideally happens four times a year.
Navaratri Time Significance
Magha Navaratri Magha Month (Jan-Feb) Precursor to Spring or Vasant Navaratri
Vasanta Navaratri (Chaitra Nav.) Chaitra Month (Mar-Apr) Welcoming the spring season
Ashada Navaratri Ashadha Month (Jun-July) Welcoming the monsoon season
Sharada Navaratri Ashvin Month (Sept-Oct) Welcoming the Autumn season

Out of these Navaratris, the Sharada Navaratri is the most celebrated one. The ancient Brihat Dharma Purana recounts the story of how the ten forms of Devi (Dus Mahavidyas) first originated. According to this legend, Sati the daughter of the powerful Daksha, had married Shiva against her father’s wish. In order to spite his son-in-law, Daksha organised a Yajna (fire sacrifice) to which he invited all the gods and divine personalities except Lord Shiva. Sati heard about her father’s yajna from Narad Muni and asked Shiva’s permission to attend. Shiva, seeing through Daksha’s insult, bade her not to go. Sati became so furious that her body turned black and assumed the form of Goddess Kali. To prove to Shiva her real Self, Sati assumed other forms of the Divine Mother. The world shook under the weight of her anger and Shiva tried to flee, but wherever he went, the ten forms of Divine Mother stopped him in every direction. These ten forms are called Das Mahavaidyas.

What To Do On Navaratri:

Celebrated at the start of the autumn season, Shardiya Navratri is the most important Navratri and is called Maha Navratri or Great Navratri. It generally falls on the first day of the bright fortnight of the lunar month of Ashwin. One can worship the nine manifestations of Goddess Durga on these nine days. These nine forms are: Shailputri, Brahmcharni, Chandraghanta, Kushmanda, Skandamata, Katyayani, Kalratri, Mahagauri and Siddhidatri.

Navratri festival is the most auspicious time for worshipping these forms of Goddess Durga. The tenth day of this festival is called Vijayadashami or Dussehra (Dasara) when the idols of Durga are immersed in water. Although Navratri festival is celebrated all over India, festivities reach their peak in Gujarat, Maharashtra and southern parts of Karnataka, where people celebrate Sharad Navratri with the Garba dance. In West Bengal the last four days of Sharad Navratri are celebrated as Durga Puja. It is believed that Durga, the divine mother, had destroyed the evil forces of the demon Mahisashura during this time.


Navratri Pujas

Navratri Durga Puja Vidhi and Puja Samagri

Puja Samagri which is used for Navratri Puja includes:
• Photo or Idol of Goddess Durga of Navdurga • A clay pot with soil • Barley seeds • Kalash • Coconut
• Red cloth • Five Leaves from Mango tree • Flower garland • 10 Coins • Chowki
• Sacred Thread (Moli) •  Akshat (raw colored rice) • Incense • Chunri • Oil Lamp
• Naivedya • Roli for Tilak • Puja Plate • Bell • Flour
• Durga Saptshati book • Ganga Jal • Supari (Areca nuts) • Paan (Betel leaves) • Cloves
• Cardamom • Kumkum (vermilion) • Gulal    

The Navratri puja is to be conducted at a particular time each day. Sunrise is considered to be the best time for performing the puja. Sthapana of the idol and the Kalash with mango leaves and coconut are done on the chowki during the very first day. It is also a ritual to sow barley seeds in a clay pot and water it. Prayers are offered to Maa Durga and an Aarti is conducted. During each day of Navratri the devotees must recite the Durga Saptshati. Kanya puja is performed on the ninth day of Navratri. Kanya Puja is the tradition where 9 girls (who haven’t reached sexual maturity) represented as the nine manifestations of Maa Durga are revered and fed.

Important Dates for Navratri Durga Puja Festival 2017

Navratri begins on the 1st of September in 2017. The important dates, the pujas to be performed and the colors to be worn on specific days are as given below.

1st Day of Navratri : Ghatasthapana / Pratipada (10th Oct, 2018) : Goddess Shailaputri Maa
Shailputri Mata
Tithi - Pratipada
Ritual - Ghatsthapana, Chandra Darshan
Goddess Worshipped - Shailaputri (Daughter of Mountain)
Offerings to the Goddess - Ghee
Color to be Worn on the Day -Yellow
Chakra - Muladhara (Root)
Chakra Color - Red
Shailaputri Maha Puja
2nd Day of Navratri : Dwitiya (11th Oct, 2018) :  Goddess Bharmacharini Maa
Shailputri Mata
Tithi - Dwitiya
Ritual - Dwitiya, Brahmacharini Puja
Goddess Worshipped - Brahmacharini
Offerings to the Goddess - Sugar
Color to be Worn on the Day - Green
Chakra - Swathisthana (Sacral)

Chakra Color - Orange
Brahmacharini Maha Puja

3rdDay of Navratri : Tritiya (12th Oct, 2018) : Goddess Chandraghanta Maa
Chandraghanta Maa
Tithi - Tritiya
Ritual - Sindoor Tritiya, Chandraghanta Puja, Varad Vinayaka Chauth
Goddess Worshipped - Chandraghanta
Offerings to the Goddess - Milk
Color to be Worn on the Day - Grey
Chakra - Manipura (Solar Plexus)
Chakra Color - Yellow
Chandraghanta Maha Puja
4th Day of Navratri : Chaturthi (13th Oct, 2018): Goddess Kushmanda Maa
Kushmanda Maa
Tithi - Chaturthi
Ritual - Upang Lalita Vrat
Goddess Worshipped - Kushmanda
Offerings to the Goddess - Malpua
Color to be Worn on the Day - Orange
Chakra - Anahata (Heart)
Chakra Color - Green

Kushmanda Maha Puja
5th Day of Navratri : Panchami (14th Oct, 2018): Goddess Skandamata Maa
Skandamata Maa
Tithi - Panchami
Ritual - Skandamata Puja
Goddess Worshipped - Skandamata
Offerings to the Goddess - Bananas
Color to be Worn on the Day - White
Chakra - Vishuddha (Throat)
Chakra Color - Blue
Skandamata Maha Puja
6th Day of Navratri : Shashti (7th Oct, 2018) : Goddess Katyayani Maa
Goddess Katyayani Maa
Tithi - Shashthi
Ritual - Katyayani Puja
Goddess Worshipped - Katyayani
Offerings to the Goddess - Honey
Color to be Worn on the Day - Red
Chakra - Ajna (Third eye)
Chakra Color - Yellow
Katyayini Maha Puja
7th Day of Navratri : Saptami – (16th Oct, 2018) : Goddess Kaalratri Maa
Kaalratri Maa
Tithi - Saptami
Ritual - Saraswati Awahan, Kalaratri Puja
Goddess Worshipped - Kaalratri
Offerings to the Goddess - Jaggery Dishes
Color to be Worn on the Day - Royal Blue
Chakra - Sahasrara (Crown)
Chakra Color - Violet
Kaalratri Maha Puja
8th Day of Navratri : Ashtami (17th Oct, 2018): Goddess Maha Gauri Maa
Maha Gauri Maa
Tithi - Ashtami
Ritual - Saraswati Puja, Durga Ashtami, Mahagauri Puja, Sandhi Puja
Goddess Worshipped - Maha Gauri
Offerings to the Goddess - Coconut
Color to be Worn on the Day -Pink
Chakra Color - White

Mahagauri Maha Puja
9th Day of Navratri : Navami / (18th September, 2018) : Goddess Siddhidatri Maa
Siddhidatri Maa
Tithi - Navami
Ritual - Maha Navami, Ayudh Puja, Navami Homa
Goddess Worshipped - Siddhidaatri
Offerings to the Goddess - Grains
 Color to be Worn on the Day - Purple
Chakra Color - Pink
Siddhidatri Maha Puja
10th Day : Dashmi Dussehra (19th Oct, 2018) Pink
Tithi - Dashmi
Ritual - Navratri Parana, Durga Visarjan, Vijayadashami
Vijaya Dashami Dussehra Puja

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