The festival of Navratri has special significance among Hindus, with nine days entirely dedicated to Maa Durga (Goddess Durga) and her nine incarnations. There are four Navratris in a year, out of which two are Gupt Navratris. But only the Navratri of Chaitra and Ashwin months are more popular. Ashwin Navratri is also known as Maha Navratri. One reason for this is that this Navratri falls just before Dussehra as it ends on the day of Dussehra. The one that falls after Pitru Paksha is known as Sharad Navratri. Sharad Navratri begins the day after the Pitru Paksha ends. During these nine days, devotees worship nine forms of Goddess Durga. It is believed that this festival marks the victory of Maa Durga over a demon named Mahishasura. Hence, she is called Mahishasuramardini, which means the destroyer of Mahishasura. It is believed that the demon had the combined powers of Brahma (the creator), Vishnu (the protector), and Shiva (the destroyer), a story of which will be discussed down below. The worship of different forms of the Goddess Durga during the nine days of Navratri is also seen as the worship of Shakti.
Sharad Navratri 2022 Start Date:-
Sharadiya Navratri 2022 will start from 26 September and end on 04 October 2022.
Story of Shardiya Navratri
There are two stories of celebrating the Navratri festival in the scriptures. According to the first legend, there was a demon named Mahishasura who was a great devotee of Brahma. He pleased Brahma with his penance and obtained a boon. According to the boon, no god, demon, or any human living on earth could kill him. After receiving the boon, he became very merciless and started creating panic in the three worlds. Disturbed by his terror, the deities together with Brahma, Vishnu, Mahesh gave birth to Durga in the form of Mother Shakti. There was a fierce battle between Maa Durga and Mahishasura for nine days and on the tenth day, Maa Durga killed Mahishasura. So, the tenth day of Navratri is celebrated as the victory of good over evil.
According to another legend, Lord Shri Ram worshiped the Durga for nine days before invading Lanka and going for a war with Ravana. Pleased with his devotion, the mother blessed Shri Ram to attain victory in Lanka. On the tenth day, Lord Rama defeated Lanka king Ravana in battle and killed him, and conquered Lanka. This day is celebrated as Vijayadashami.
Dates of each day of Shardiya Navratri 2022
- 1st day - 26 September 2022 - Shailputri is worshipped
- 2nd day - 27 September 2022 - Brahmacharini is worshipped
- 3rd day - 28 September 2022 - Worship of Chandraghanta and Kushmanda
- 4th day - 29 September 2022- Worship of Skandmata
- 5th day - 30 September 2022 - Worship of Katyayani Devi
- 6th day - 01 October 2022 - Worship of Kalratri Devi
- 7th day - 02 October 2022- Day of Mahagauri Puja
- 8th day - 03 October 2022 - Worship of Siddhidatri
- 9th Day - 04 October 2022- Dashami Navratri Parana/Durga Visarjan
The Shardiya Navratri shows the stages of Goddess Parvati’s life. The nine goddesses that we worship in Navratri are:
- Shailputri: Being the daughter of the mountain king Himalaya, Goddess Parvati is also called Shailputri. Certainly, the first knowledge mother Parvati got is from her father. She is celebrated and worshiped on the first day of Navratri.
- Brahmacharini: Brahmacharini means when she found Shiva through penance. She is revered and worshiped on the second day of Navratri. She symbolizes that one day every woman has to leave her father’s house and go to her husband's house.
- Chandraghanta: Here, Goddess Parvati has a moon-shaped tilak on her head. It symbolizes that now she is the mother of all creatures. By worshiping her, the seeker automatically gets the siddhis arising from the Manipura Chakra and gets freedom from worldly troubles. She supports her husband Shiva, who has a similar moon on his head. It signifies how every wife has to assist her husband in the same way.
- Kushmanda: She is called by the name of Kushmanda Devi due to the creation of the universe from her abdomen. She is worshiped and adored on the fourth day of Navratri. Worshiping Kushmanda destroys all the diseases and sorrows of the devotees.
- Skandmata: Kartikeya, the son of Mother Parvati, is also named Skanda, that is why she is called the mother of Skanda. She is worshiped on the fifth day of Navratri. By invoking her, the accomplishments that arise from the awakening of the Vishuddha Chakra can be automatically achieved.
- Katyayani: When Maa Parvarti was pleased with the penance of Maharishi Katyayani and after he was consumed in the fire of Yagya, she was born as a daughter to her, hence she is called Katyayani. She is celebrated and worshiped on the sixth day.
- Kalratri: Goddess Parvati is the destroyer of all kinds of troubles, that is why it is called Kalratri. According to Devi Bhagavata Purana, Maa Kalratri removes planetary obstacles with Abhaya boon. Along with this, one gets freedom from unexpected crises.
- Mahagauri: When she turned black due to severe penance, Shiva was pleased and washed her body with the holy water of Gangaji, then she became very radiant like an electric light. Since then she was named Mahagauri. Every woman who performs her fast, fasting, and acts of religion is called Mahagauri. Even impossible tasks become possible by worshiping this form of Durga.
- Siddhidatri: This is the 9th form of Mother. She gives all kinds of blessings to the devotee who is completely dedicated to her, that is why she is called Siddhidatri. Likewise, the family members who keep taking the blessings of their mothers and do not make them sad in any way, then they get accomplishment and success in every sphere of life.
How to do Navratri Puja?
Before starting the Navratri Puja, it is necessary to establish the Kalash. It is said that without the establishment of the Kalash, the full fruit of worship is not attained. The establishment of Kalash has special significance in the worship of Navratri. It is believed that the Kalash sthapana is considered to be the form of Vishnu. Therefore Ghatasthapana or Kalash establishment is done before Navratri. It is also necessary to take care of the auspicious time to establish the Kalash. Before setting up the Kalash, clean the temple, and after that lay a red cloth. A copper or clay urn is then established, which is kept at the same place for 9
consecutive days. Fill the Kalash with Ganga water or clean water. Now put betel nut, perfume, durva grass, akshat, and coin in this water.
After this, place 5 Ashoka leaves on the sides of the Kalash and cover the Kalash with a lid. Wrap a red cloth or red sardine on a coconut. Wrap some money in it with a chunni or cloth. Now tie the coconut and cloth with Raksha Sutra or Moli. After preparing it, place a barley pot (in which you are sowing barley) on the post or the ground. Now place some soil on it containing barley and then coconut on the lid of the pot. Your Kalash has been set up. Few things to keep in mind:
- Take a bath early in the morning and wear clean clothes.
- Keep the Kalash in the worship room of your house and tie a sacred thread around the earthen pot.
- Chant the mantras and request Mother Durga to accept and reside the Kalash for nine days.
- Offer flowers, fruits, incense, and lamps to the Kalash.
- Recite Devi Mahatmyam and chant holy mantras.
Importance of Kalash and Barley Seeds
According to religious texts, the Kalash is considered a symbol of happiness, prosperity, and good luck. It is said that Lord Vishnu resides in the mouth of the Kalash. Rudra in the throat of the Kalash and Brahma in the root. At the same time, divine powers reside in the middle of the Kalash, so it is necessary and auspicious to establish the Kalash on the auspicious days of Navratri. During the establishment of the Kalash, barley is sown around the Kalash.
According to the scriptures, barley represents Brahma. It is said that since the old time, the tradition of offering barley during the Havan in worship has been continued. Apart from this, it also symbolizes the food that we should respect, which is the form of Brahma. It is believed that the barley which is sown during Navratri progresses, gives the blessings of the mother. It is said that if barley sown during Navratri sprouts within 2 to 3 days, then it is considered as a good sign. According to astrologers, the upper and the lower half colors of the barley indicate how the coming year will be for the devotee. That is, having barley of this color means that in the coming year, half the time will be good and half the time will be full of troubles. Apart from this, if the color of barley is green or has become white, then it means that the coming year will be very good.
Benefits of Keeping Navratri Vrat
According to the beliefs, keeping the fast during Navratri purifies the mind, body, and soul. During Navratri, we can purify our mind, body, and soul by fasting for 9 days. Fasting these days gives special results. Due to this not only increasing weight can be controlled, but many types of diseases occurring in the body can also be prevented. If fasting is done properly for nine days in Navratri, then it can have many positive results. In the daily hectic lifestyle, unnecessary and uncontrolled eating affects your entire routine and other things. In such a situation, you can organize this lifestyle and diet plan during Navratri fasting. Normally, we may not be able to consume fruits and juices every day with discipline, but during fasting, we do not have any other option. Therefore, consuming plenty of fruits and juices at this time will benefit you.
Eating fruits, dry fruits will also make a difference in your skin and the quality of hair will be better. Fasting not only gives you physical benefits but also gives you spiritual peace and also solves mental stress and other problems. Fasting is a complete package of physical, mental, and spiritual peace. During fasting, you do not get to pay much attention to food and drink other than fruit, thus consuming more fluids. In this way, the lack of water in your body is also fulfilled and the skin remains hydrated. Taking fruits and beverages during fasting helps in flushing out the toxic and harmful substances present in the body. With 9 days of fasting, changing lifestyle, and eating habits will increase your beauty as well as health.
Precautions to take in Shardiya Navratri
Fasting is very important in all four Navaratri. While we know why it is important, there are certain precautions that one must take in order to avoid any bad omen. Let discuss 9 mistakes that should not be made during Navratri:
- Do not cut beard, nails, hair.
- Do not make mistakes in worship. However, it is not possible for everyone to be completely right all the time. So, at the end of the puja, apologize to the mother for any unintentional mistakes.
- Do not consume meat, alcohol, tamasic food, etc during the Navratri.
- Do not use abusive words. That is, do not do any work abusing anyone, insulting anyone, saying harsh words, etc. Since Navratri cleanses your mind and soul, it is better to not indulge in such bad practices.
- Do not keep your body and your house dirty. Keep the house clean and take bath daily during Navratri.
- Do not sleep during the day. One should not sleep during the day during Navratri. If you have been awake all night for puja, you can sleep. However, do consult a pundit for this.
- Grains and salt should not be consumed in food. Do fasting by eating fruits or dry fruits. Since Navratri Vrat is a form of penance, eat only when you are hungry.
- The rule of fasting should not be broken. That is, if once if you have taken a resolution too fast for nine days, then do not break it in the middle. However, in case of illness or due to some very important reason, you can break the fast by seeking a blessing from the mother.
- One should never worship Maa Durga after having food, drinking milk, or juice. Worship of the deity is not done after having a meal. First, offer the meal to them and then consume your food.
In Navratri, the mother is worshiped according to the scriptures. According to the belief, the fast observed on these days gives amazing results. Although there is a tradition of fasting for 9 days in Navratri, some people keep fast only on the first day, Ashtami and Navami. Fasting brings physical, mental, and religious benefits. According to the beliefs, keeping the fast during Navratri purifies the mind, body, and soul.