Maha Navami is the ninth day of Navratri festival and is the last day of worship before Vijay Dashami, from which day Navratri ends. On this day Goddess Durga is worshiped in different forms in different parts of the country. In 2021, Maha Navami will be celebrated on 14 October.
When is Maha Navami celebrated?
The festival of Maha Navami is celebrated on the day of Shukla Paksha Navami in Ashwin month of Indian Hindu Panchag. According to the English calendar, it falls in the months of September and October.
Spiritual significance of Maha Navami
According to mythological stories, the war of the goddess against Mahishasura, the king of demons, lasted for nine days. The power and wisdom of Goddess had conquered evil on the ninth day and Maha Navami is celebrated on the same day. Hence Maha Navami is celebrated with great fervor across the country.
Rituals of Maha Navami
On this day, Goddess Durga is worshiped as Saraswati - the goddess of knowledge. In Southern India, Ayodhya Puja is arranged and along with the Goddess, all types of instruments including instruments, machinery, musical instruments, books, automobiles are decorated and worshiped. This day is considered important before starting any new work on Vijayadashami.
In many places in southern India, children start school on this day.
Also in North and East India, Kanya Puja is also performed on this day at various places. According to this ritual, on this day nine young virgin girls are worshiped as the nine forms of Goddess Durga. During this time the feet of the girls are washed and applied with Kumkum and sandalwood paste; Also they are given new clothes and then they are worshiped by reading incense sticks and mantras. Apart from this special dishes are also made for them and devotees also give them gifts.
Whereas in eastern India, Maha Navami is considered to be the third day of Durga Puja. The day begins with a holy bath followed by Shodashopchar Puja. On this day Goddess Durga is worshiped as Mahishasuramardini, which means the goddess who killed Mahishasura. Mahishasura was destroyed on this day.
The special ritual of Maha Navami Puja is performed at the end of Navami Puja.
Other pujas conducted on this special day of Maha Navami are Suvasini puja and couple puja.
In Mysore city of Karnatak, the royal sword is worshiped on this day and processions are carried out on elephants and camels.
Apart from this, it is also believed that the worship performed on this day is equal to the worship performed on all the nine days of Navratri.
In some places, the ancient tradition of sacrificing animals on the Maha Navami is still prevalent.
In some areas of Andhra Pradesh in South India, the Batukumma festival is also celebrated on Navami. This puja is mainly performed by Hindu women and the flowers are arranged in a conical shape in seven layers and then offered to Goddess Gauri - a form of Mother Durga. This festival is dedicated to the glory and beauty of femininity. Also, women wear new clothes and jewelery on the occasion of this special day. Thus in 2021, Maha Navami will be celebrated on 14 October.
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