Navratri is a festival of nine days in which 9 forms of Goddesses are worshipped on each day. It is culturally devoted to Goddess Durga, an exemplar of Shakti or the cosmic energy. Sharad Navratri is observed in the month of September/ October. The Navratri festival is widely celebrated throughout the country with full enthusiasm and joy. During this 9 day festival of Navratri, the 9 manifestations of Goddess Durga are worshipped. Each manifestation of Goddess Durga exemplifies a distinctive virtue and is believed to accord spiritual and worldly fulfillment.
Sharad Navratri commences on the first and ends on the tenth day of the bright half of the lunar month, Ashwin. Sharad Navratri festival is dedicated to Maa Durga and celebrated with tremendous zeal and enthusiasm, especially in Northern and Eastern India. The tenth day is often referred to as ‘VIJAYADASHAMI’ or ‘DUSSEHRA’.
Sharad Navratri Date In 2024
Navratri starts in the Ashwin month or the Sharad month. Sharad Navratri will be starting from 3rd October 2024. During the festival of Navratri, people worship Maa Durga perform Navratri Puja in their house or in shrines epitomizing different manifestations of Goddess Durga.
Significance of Sharad Navratri
Sharad Navratri is the most important festival among all the 5 Navratri of the year. It is called Maha Navratri and is celebrated in the month of Ashivina as per the Hindu calendar. It is celebrated in all parts of India on a very big scale including Gujarat and West – Bengal. Sharad Navratri is the autumnal celebration of a good harvest. Goddess Durga is the symbol of Shakti and is worshipped with great ardor. Durga Maa is considered as the strongest deity in the Hindu culture. This time of the year is considered very auspicious, and people tend to begin new events and buy new clothes, vehicles, etc. Hindu devotees all over the world pray, fast and offer satvik delicacies to Brahmins.
Importance of Sharad Navratri
Sharda Navratri holds a place of great importance. It signifies the faith and belief of people in the power of the goddess. Goddess Durga has been worshipped since ancient times. It is believed that Lord Rama worshipped Goddess Durga to attain victory against Ravana. There have been many mythological stories depicting the glory of the goddess. It is also believed that observing Navratri fast for nine days as per the rituals blesses the person with prosperity and happiness. During this nine-day festival chanting of mantras, renditions of bhajans or holy songs accompany the Navratri Puja rituals for nine consecutive days.
How to Celebrate Sharad Navratri
- Goddess Durga is worshipped in the initial 3 nights of Navratri. During this period, the power and energy of Goddess Durga are adored.
- Each night is devoted to a different form of Goddess Durga. On the 1st night of the festival, Goddess Kumari is worshipped, who stands for the girl child.
- People chant Durgasaptashati Paath daily and seek the blessings of the goddess to get rid of poverty, sorrow, and fear.
- On the 2nd night of Navratri, Goddess Parvati is worshipped who is the incarnation of a young woman. All the evil inclinations are defeated through the committed destructive aspects of Goddess Durga.
- On the 3rd day, Goddess Kali is worshipped who signifies the woman who has arrived at the level of maturity.
- Some people only eat fruits and drink milk during the entire nine days and nights, and avoid onion and garlic.
- Fasting is not compulsory and even after a few years if the devotee feels that he or she is not capable of continuing fast during Navratri, he or she can discontinue also.
- If possible try to light a Jyot in front of Goddess Durga's statue throughout the nine days and nights.
- People do not wear black clothes during this period and avoid leather goods with them.
- People worship young girls and feed them with sweets and different types of traditional and delicious food items. They consider them a form of Goddess Durga.
- Since it is believed that Goddess is fond of red flowers and red color, so one can wear clothes in red and yellow color.
- In West Bengal, men and women celebrate Navratri festival as Durga Pooja and worship huge idols of Goddess Durga.
- In Gujarat, people perform a traditional dance which is known as Garba almost throughout the night. They wear colorful dresses and mostly Indian traditional dresses are preferred.
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Navratri / Durga Puja Vrat
Method of Observing Navratri / Durga Puja Vrat (Fast)
- First of all, clean the house as you are inviting the goddess-mother in your house by sprinkle Ganga water in it.
- Now, clean and wash the barley to remove any insects or impurities and soak them in water for 15-30 minutes and then put this barley or ‘jau’ on the top of the mud.
- Set up the altar, spread the red cloth on it and place the idol or picture of Maa Durga.
- Now, spread all the puja items near the altar, place the clay pot with soil and sprinkle water. The Ghat Sthapana must be done during the right Muhurat consulting the panchang.
- Fill the Kalash with Gangal Jal or clean drinking water. Place it on the lid of the Kalash.
- Light the lamp and incense sticks in front of the deity, and pray to them with full devotion.
"Om Aing Hreeng Kleeng Chamundayai Vichai"
Aarti Shri Durga ji Ki
Jay ambe gauri, maiya jai shyama gauri |
tumko nishidin dhyavat, hari brahma shivri || Om jay.......
mang sindur virajat, tiko mrigamad ko|
ujjval se dou naina, chandra vadan niko || Om jay.......
kanak saman kalevar, raktambar raje |
rakta-pushp gand mala, kanthan par saje || Om jay.......
kehri vahan rajat, khadg khappar dhari |
sur-nar-muni-jan sevat, tinke dukh hari || Om jay.......
kanan kundal shobhit, nasagre moti |
kotik chandra divakar, sam rajat jyoti || Om jay.......
Shumbh nishumbh bidare, mahishasur ghati |
dhumra vilochan naina, nishidin madmati || Om jay.......
Chand mund sanhare, shonit bij hare |
madhu kaitabh dou mare, sur bhay hin kare || Om jay.......
Brahmani rudrani, tum kamla rani |
agam nigam bakhani, tum shiv patrani || Om jay.......
Chausath yogini mangal gavat, nritya karat bhairon|
bajat tal mridanga, aru bajat damru || Om jay.......
tum hi jag ki mata, tum hi ho bharta |
bhaktan ki duahkhahatrta, sukh sampatti karta || Om jay.......
bhuja char ati shobhit, var mudradhari |
manovanchit fal pavat, sevat nar nari || Om jay.......
Kanchan thal virajat, agar kapur bati |
shri malketu men rajat, koti ratan jyoti || Om jay.......
shri amba ji ki aarti jo koi nar gabe |
kahat shivanand swami, sukh sampati pave|| Om jay......
We, at Indian Astrology, wish you all a very happy and prosperous Sharad Navratri. May Goddess Durga bestow upon you peace, happiness, and good health.
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