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2023 Shardiya Maha Navratri | What is Sharad Navratri? Sharad Navratri Meaning

Sharad Navratri, also known as Shardiya Navratri, is a nine-day festival honoring the nine manifestations of Shakti, or the mother goddess. It falls on Shukla Paksha of Ashwin Month, usually September or October of the Gregorian calendar. Sharada means Autumn and Shardiya Navratri is the most well-known and important of all Navratris. Thus, this Navratri is also referred to as Maha Navratri.

Navratri, which literally translates to "Nine Nights," is a celebration of the nine manifestations of the Devi Adiparashakti (the Supreme Being, creator and destroyer of the elements). Even during the times of the Ramayana and Mahabharata, gods and deities observed Navratri.

According to the Hindu calendar, the main Navaratri of the year occurs during the month of Ashwin during the season (Ritu) of Sharad, hence the names 'Sharad Navratri' and 'Sharadiya Navratri'. It is believed that only during this period of the year Durga descends on the earthly plane to satisfy the wishes of all Her devotees. Hence, this is held as the most important, popular and celebrated Navratri of the year.

This auspicious festival is celebrated for nine whole days with great fervour and devotion by Hindus and its festivities are also celebrated by people of various ethnicities across India. This festival is celebrated in order to worship Goddess Durga and Her nine divine forms. Each day of Navratri is dedicated to one of the nine forms of Maa Durga and prayers are offered accordingly.

Sharad Navratri begins on the first day of Ashwin and concludes on the tenth day of Ashwin. This festival is celebrated with great devotion to Maa Durga. It is also known as Durga Puja and is primarily observed in the northern and eastern regions of India. The festivities include the worship of nine goddesses during Navratri, stage decorations, the recital of the legend, live dramas and reenactments of the plot, and the chanting of Hindu scriptures. The nine days are also an important time for crop harvesting, followed by cultural events, pandal design competitions, and stage decoration. People enjoy visiting these pandals, where daily pujas are performed until Dashm.

In addition to pandal-hopping, people enjoy classical music and folk dances, among other activities. On the final day, known as Vijayadashami or Dussehra, the statues are submerged in a body of water like a river or ocean. The statue representing evil is burned with fireworks, signifying death. Twenty days after Sharad Navratri, Diwali, or the Festival of Lights, one of the most popular and widely celebrated holidays, commences.

According to Hindu mythology, Mother Durga is revered as the one who alleviates suffering, and worshippers honor Her for her benevolence. It is said that puja performed during the auspicious Shardiya Navratri protects a person from harm or danger and aids in attaining Riddhi and Siddhi. A person who fasts genuinely during the Shardiya Navratri obtains the heavenly blessings of Goddess Durga in all the forms of material prosperity and spiritual wealth.

Women in Maharashtra and Gujarat, in particular, adorn themselves with nine different colors, one for each day of Navratri. The weekday determines the color of the day. Each weekday is governed by one of the planets or Navgrahas, and colors are assigned accordingly.

Each Avatar of Navdurga represents a unique attribute of the goddess Durga. Daily, a particular Prasad is offered to Navdurga in order to receive her blessings. Please refer to the nine distinct Navratri Prasad that are offered to the nine manifestations of Navdurga during Navratri.

During Navratri, people perform rituals in their homes or temples dedicated to various incarnations of Goddess Durga. The Navratri rituals are accompanied by mantra chanting, bhajan recitals, and shloka recitals for nine days.

Shardiya Navratri 2023 Date

Shardiya Navratri 2023 Date

Maha Navratri or Shardiya Navratri in 2023 falls between 15th and 24th October. Durga Ashtami is the most important day of Navratri. For Durga Puja in Bengal, it is the eighth day of the festival.

Puja Time and Rituals of Shardiya Navratri (Tithi)

Shardiya Ghatasthapana falls on Sunday, October 15th, 2023.

Ghatasthapana Muhurat

Date: October 15th, 2023
Muhurat: 11:44 AM to 12:30 PM IST

Significance of Shardiya Navratri

Significance of Shardiya Navratri

The Bhagwat Puran and Markandey Puran each include their own version of the Navratri legends. During the battle of Ramayana, on the eighth day of the waning moon of the Ashwin month, according to the Devi Bhagvat Puran, Lord Brahma awoke the sleeping mother goddess Durga. Durga instructed how to worship her during the nine-day Navratri festival, and Lord Rama followed her instructions at Mahanavratri. On the ninth day, on Vijaya Dashami or Dussehra, he slew Ravana.

Markandey Puran's narrative is the one you are most likely to have heard. It is about the demon king Mahishasura, who was granted immortality after worshiping Brahma. As soon as he began to torment the innocent, the Gods sought Shiva's assistance. To destroy Mahisasura, the Trinity of Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva created the female warrior Adishakti Durga. The demon king, captivated by her beauty, proposed marriage to her. The Goddess granted the request, but stipulated that Mahisasura must vanquish her in combat. The ever-proud Mahisasura accepted, and the nine-night war ensued (hence Navratri). Adishakti Durga decapitated Mahisasura at the conclusion of the ninth night, thus the name 'Mahisasura Mardini'.

Navratri commemorates the victory of good over evil, as well as how 'Shakti' was able to beat a haughty demon while the Gods of all three Lokas were afraid of the latter. A festival of dance, lights, and community, with roots in the Ramayana and Mahabharata, that celebrates a female warrior's victory over a demon and symbolizes the eradication of adversity in all its forms.

According to Hindu mythology, Lord Ram revered the holy goddess to fight and destroy the Demon King Lord Raavan. He was a symbol of good triumphing over bad. The tenth day of Maha Navratri is known as Dussehra, which is celebrated in northern India while the final Victory of Mother Durga over demon Mahisasura is celebrated with massive popular fervor in western India. Diwali, which comes next, is only celebrated after this victory has been accomplished.

Astrological Significance of Shardiya Navratri

Shardiya Navratri plays a significant role as per Hindu Astrology. Since the first Navratri of the year, the Magha Gupt Navratri which happens during the zodiac sign of Aquarius, which relates to projects, it is during Shardiya Navratri which occurs under the productive sign of Scorpio that these come to fruition, indeed this is the harvest period and marks the start of the upcoming winter season.

Shardiya Ghatasthapana Puja Vidhi

Shardiya Ghatasthapana Puja VidhiThis Ghata Sthapana marks the beginning of the whole pooja for Shardiya Navratri. Idols or statues of Maa Durga are placed on red chowkis and the Kalash is installed. Gangajal is poured over it and place flowers, mango leaves, and a roli-wrapped coconut on top. The worship of Durga begins with the lighting of a Diya in front of the goddess. It is all about invoking Goddess Durga in this procedure. Chanting the prayers and invoking Durga Maa during Navratri Puja is regarded fortunate, and it is thought that Maa Durga enters your house, enlightens it, and blesses your family. To carry out the ceremony of Navratri puja, you must give flowers, bhog, diya, fruits, and so on. The ritual ends performing Aarti and ringing bells for seeking Maa Durga blessings. Kanya puja is then performed by inviting nine girls aged 5 to 12 on the final or ninth day of Navratri and prepare meals for them. They are considered the 9 manifestation of the Goddess.

The Benefits of Shardiya Navratri Puja

Navratri puja is believed to bring prosperity and wealth to the household. Ma Durga blesses the family with health, wealth, wisdom and success.

Shardiya Navatri 2023 Dates, Devis & Observances

Shardiya Navatri 2023 Dates, Devis & Observances 15th October: Shailputri Devi represents Mother Nature
Observances: Ghatasthapana, Shailputri Puja.

16th October: Brahmacharini Devi represents Penance and Good Conduct
Observances: Chandra Darshana, Brahmacharini Puja.

17th October: Chandraghanta Devi represents Peace and Goodness
Observances: Sindoor Tritiya, Chandraghanta Puja.

18th October: Kushmanda Devi represents Empowerment
Observances: Kushmanda Puja, Vinayaka Chaturthi.

19th October: Skandmata Devi represents Salvation and Prosperity
Observances: Upang Lalita Vrat, Skandamata Puja.

20th October: Katyayani Devi represents Fierceness
Observances: Saraswati Avahan, Katyayani Puja.

21st October: Kaalratri Devi represents Anhilitation of Fears and Suffering
Observances: Saraswati Puja, Kalaratri Puja.

22nd October: Mahagauri Devi represents Purity, Serenity and Tranquility
Observances: Durga Ashtami, Mahagauri Puja, Sandhi Puja.

23rd October: Siddhidatri Devi represents Siddhis (accomplishments)
Observances: Maha Navami, Ayudha Puja, Navami Homa.

24th October: Navratri Parana or the Conclusion of the nine days.
Observances: Durga Visarjan, Vijayadashami, Kanya Puja.

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