Indian Festivals

Navratri Puja Vidhi

 

Navratri, the Festival of Nine Nights, is celebrated in honour of the Supreme power Shakti. The festival is celebrated for nine nights twice in a year. The first Navratri falls in the month of March-April and are known as Chaitra Navratri. The other are celebrated in the month of September-October and are called Sharad Navratri. During these nine days, we conduct Puja in the praise of the deity. Here is the method for performing Navratri Puja.

Rituals for performing Navratri Puja

Navratri puja is very simple and not very complicated. One can easily observe the fast; even if one cannot observe the fast he can simply recite mantra "Om Ang Haring Kalim Shree Maha Durgay Namah". One must carefully work upon his/her aahar (food), vyavhaar (behaviour) and acharan (character) during these sacred days.

Aahar - One should always avoid non vegetarian foods and consuming "Satvik" food like fruits, Kutu Ka Aata, Singara Ka Aata, Curd and Potatoes is considered to be auspicious. Usage of Onion and Garlic should be avoided.

Vyavhaar and Acharan - During Navratri festival all devotees should worship Maa Durga with spiritual emotion.

Get your house cleaned and ready. You are inviting Goddess into the home. Usually this is done on the Amavasya, a day before the beginning of Navratri.

On the first day of the Navaratri, a small bed of mud (taken from any auspicious place) is prepared in the puja room of the house and barley seeds are sown over it. On this Bed a Kalash made of Earthen/ Copper is kept and filled with water. Above the pot a bowl filled with rice is kept. A dry Coconut wrapped with mango leaves is then kept over this Kalash. This Kalash is believed to be a symbolic form of Goddess Durga. By keeping Kone invocate the goddess in the Kalash.

On the tenth day, the shoots are about 3 - 5 inches in length. After the puja, these seedlings are pulled out and given to devotees as a blessing from god. This Kalash must not be touched during the nine days. One diya is lit close to this Kalash which is supposed to burn endlessly for nine days. This is known as Akhand Jyoti.

Many people believe that the length of the Shoots determines the Quantum of income that they will have in coming six months. This belief could have been because India is basically an agrarian economy wherein the productivity of the land determined one's income.