Shardiya Navratri 2019 Day 8: Goddess Maha Gauri
Navratri is the most prominent festival celebrated in Hindu tradition. It is celebrated with joy all over the world by Hindus. Durga Ashtami or the 8th day of Navratri holds a lot of importance in Navratri 2019. Navratri is celebrated in order to celebrate and worship the nine incarnations of Goddess Durga. It is known as a great way of restoring faith and belief of people in the powers of the Goddess. The eighth day of Navratri is dedicated to Maha Gauri (8th Avatar of Goddess Durga).
Goddess Maha Gauri is considered as the most graceful goddess among the Nav Durga. She is worshipped worldwide on the 8th day of Navratri Puja.
The appearance of Goddess Maha Gauri
She is considered to have a completely white complexion and thus is referred to as the name of “Gauri”. White pearl resembles her complexion. She is a follower of peace and endurance. She is portrayed as having four arms and riding a Vrishabha. Two of her right hands are in different mudras and her upper-left hand holds Trishul, and the lower left-hand carries a hand drum. She is considered to be the consort of Mahadev.
Maha Gauri Puja for 8th Day of Navratri
The eighth day of Navratri is celebrated by completing many rituals for completing the Maha Puja. Some people celebrate Kanya Puja on this day- where little girls are considered as the nine goddesses of Navratri and worshipped. Some people consider the 8th day of Navratri as a day where they can break their fasts. The eighth day of Navratri 2019 will fall on October 6, 2019.
On this day, Married women offer red cloth or chunni to goddess Maha Gauri for the long and disease-free lives of their husbands. Lord Shiva is also worshipped on this particular day. For breaking one’s fast, they need to complete the Kanjak Puja, in which Kanya Puja is done.
The nine girls are offered prasad in the form of Kheer, puri, halwa, and also some gifts. The devotees must break their fast by eating the same food as they have prepared for the nine girls.
The Legend behind Maha Gauri Puja
The story which is believed for the eighth day of Navratri puja is related to Maha Gauri and her origin. It is believed that when Goddess Parvati was 16 years old, she wanted to marry Lord Shiva. And she did penance and meditation for a very long time to get her wish fulfilled. Because of it, she had to face a lot of hardships, and her complexion turned black and really dark. This happened because of dust, heat, and starvation. Finally, Lord Shiva was appeased by her Tapasya and agreed to marry her. With the help of Gangajal water, he washed her clean. And eventually, her white clothes and her complexion started glowing again. Since then, because of her bright complexion, she started to be known as Mahagauri.
Importance of Mahagauri Puja
There are various ways by which Mahagauri Puja is celebrated in India. In some parts of the country, this day is celebrated as the day of Astra Puja, which is linked with the worship of the tools. This was done as the weapons of Goddess Durga are worshipped as a symbol of strength, boldness, and courage.
Goddess Mahagauri is known by other names too, such as Shwetambardhara, Vrisharudha Chaturbhuji, and Shambhavi. This day is celebrated with the best spirits and with complete devotion which is inclined towards Mahagauri.
On this day, Mahagauri Puja is performed and this puja is completed by worshipping both Mahagauri and Lord Shiva. The devotion and dedication towards Mahagauri are really beneficial. She always blesses her worshippers with a solution to their problems. There are various rituals that are performed during the Ashtami of Navratri puja in order to delight this deity.
Kanya Pujan is performed in various households of the country of Durga Ashtami. The goddesses are worshipped in the form of small girls who are known as Kanjaks.
- They are made to sit in an orderly way where the holy dhaga is tied on their wrists and also their feet are cleaned. A tilak is also applied to their foreheads and it is considered to be auspicious.
- They are served with prasad, which mainly consists of halwa, puri, and black grams.
- Along with the food, these Kajaks are also offered gifts and money as a token of thanks and respect as they have been considered as the Goddesses.
Maa Mahagauri Mantra
Reciting this mantra is considered to enhance the effect of Mahagauri puja:
श्वेते वृषेसमारूढा श्वेताम्बरधरा शुचिः।
महागौरी शुभं दद्यान्महादेव प्रमोददा॥
Worshipping Mahagauri on the 8th day of Navratri with the help of proper rituals will help one to lead a happy and prosperous life.