chaitra navratri essentials

Chaitra Navratri

According to the scriptures, it is believed that Maa Durga was born on the day of Chaitra Navratri, and Brahma created the earth at her request. On the very first day of Chaitra Navratri, the sun's ray fell on the earth. Therefore, the Hindu New Year begins on this day. There are two Navratri every year - Chaitra Navratri and Ashwin Navratri. The beginning of the summer season in Chaitra Navratri. And at this time, nature is ready for a big change.

What is Chaitra Navratri?

It starts on the Shukla Paksha Pratipada according to the Hindu festival calendar and ends on Rama Navami. According to the Ramayana, Lord Rama worshipped Goddess Durga in the month of Chaitra. It is believed that the blessings from this puja led her to victory in the battle with Ravana. For this reason, Chaitra Navaratri is celebrated all over India, especially in Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. In Maharashtra, the festival starts in Gudi Padwa, while in southern states like Andhra Pradesh, it starts in Ugadi.

Chaitra Navratri is the most important Navratri in which all the nine forms of the Goddess are worshipped. Every day is dedicated to a particular form of the Goddess and each form is invoked by prayer, mantra, delicious dishes and dedication of offerings. There are nine different forms of Goddess which is why it is called Navratri i.e. nine nights. Goddesses are prepared by a devotee with special ornaments and clothes for nine days. In Shringar, Maa is adorned with cholas, garlands of flowers, necklaces and new clothes.

  • Shailputri

In her first form, Goddess is known as 'Shailputri'. She is the first Durga among the Navadurga. She was named 'Shailputri' due to being born as a daughter of the mountain Himalayas. Defects related to the moon (Chandra grah) are eliminated by worshipping them.

  • Brahmacharini

Goddess Brahmacharini is prayed on the next day, that is the second day, of the Navratri. She had to do severe austerity(Tapasya) to get Lord Shiva as her husband. For this reason, she is known as Brahmacharini. The worship of goddess Brahmacharini reduces the bad effects of Mars (Mangal grah).

  • Chandraghanta

The third form of Maa Durga is named Chandraghanta. She is worshipped on the third day in Navratri. Her forehead has half shaped moon from which she gets her name. Worshipping this goddess removes the evil effects of the planet Venus(Shukra grah).

  • Kushmanda

On the fourth day of Navratri puja, the Goddess Kushmanda is worshipped. It is believed that she created the universe with her mild laughter. She has eight arms. The evil effects of the sun(Surya grah) can be avoided by worshipping Maa Kushmanda.

  • Skandamata

The fifth form of Maa Durga in Navratri is Goddess Skandamata. It is believed that her blessings can turn anyone knowledgeable. Being the mother of Skanda Kumar Karthikeya, she gets her name as Skandamata. Her worship reduces the bad effects of the planet Mercury(Budh grah).

  • Katyayani

The sixth day is dedicated to Maa Durga's Katyayani form. Devotees get wealth, work and salvation easily by worshipping her. Maharishi Katyayan did the austerity of mother Bhagwati with a desire to get a daughter. Then Devi was born as a daughter to his house. By which she got this name.

  • Kalratri

Mother Kalratri is worshipped on the seventh day of Durga Puja. By worshipping Kalratri, the doors of all the siddhis of the universe are opened and all the demonic powers are destroyed. The name of the Goddess represents her formidable power.

  • Mahagauri

The eighth form of Maa Durga is known as Mahagauri. Her form is considered to be eighth.

She is also called Shwetambardhara because all her jewellery and clothes are white.

Worshipping this goddess reduces the bad effects of Rahu.

  • Siddhidatri

Goddess Siddhidatri is worshipped on the ninth day of Navratri worship. On this day, all those who do spiritual practice, attain fruitful results with spiritual devotion. Lord Shiva also attained all these accomplishments by the grace of Siddhidatri. Maa Siddhidatri controls the planet Ketu.

Many devotees keep fast for the entire nine days. Devotees offer prayers to the Mother Goddess throughout the day. Chanting mantras, meditating etc. along with fasting in Navratri is considered auspicious.

How to do Chaitra Navratri Puja?

  • Kalash: Kalash installation is considered to be the most important aspect on the first day of Navratri. It is kept in a place of worship or temple for the purification and prosperity of the house.
  • Akhand Jyoti: The light of Navaratri signifies peace for the person and their family. That is why it is necessary that you burn a ghee lamp before Navratri Puja. It helps in reducing the negative energy of your house and increases emotional satisfaction among the devotees.
  • Sowing Barley: During Navratri, people sow barley seeds in their homes. It is believed that barley was the first crop after the creation. The first crop in spring is also barley. That is why it is also used in the Navratri Puja Havan.
  • Reading Durga Saptashati: Durga Saptashati is a symbol of prosperity, wealth and peace. Reciting Durga Saptashati during the nine days of Navratri is considered very auspicious.
  • Kanya worship: Kanya worship is an important aspect of the worship of the Mother Goddess. Devotees have a tradition of offering young girls flowers, cardamom, fruits, sweets, adornments, clothes, homemade food. These young girls are seen as a representation of the goddess herself.

What To Do In Chartri Navratri

  • Take satvik food. Avoid eating garlic and onion in these nine days.
  • During this time, you should not cut either nails or hair.
  • Meat and alcohol should not be consumed.
  • Clean your house and avoid mess.
  • The person fasting should not consume grains during the nine days. In the fast, you can eat kuttu flour, Samari rice, water chestnut(singhaade) flour, saaboodaana, rock salt, fruits, potatoes, nuts, peanuts, etc.
  • According to Vishnu Purana, one should not sleep during the daytime while doing Navratri fast.
  • After installing the Kalash, the house should not be left empty.
  • While worshipping Maa Durga on Chaitra Navratri, avoid using black and blue coloured clothes.
  • Avoid speaking foul words or lies to anyone for nine days of Navratri.

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