Ayudha Puja to Maha Navami: The ninth day of the festival Navratri is called Maha Navami and is the last day of worship before Vijaya Dashami or Dussehra,
That ends the nine-day worship period of Goddes Durga. This year, Maha Navami comes on 7 October (today) for largest states in India.
- The ninth day of the Hindu festival-Navratri is named Maha Navami and is the final day of prayer before Vijaya Dashami, the day that ends the Hindu festival of Navratri.
- This year, Maha Navami happens on 7 October for most states in India.
- On the day of Navami, Goddess Durga celebrated in different forms in many parts of the country, but most states celebrate Maa Saraswati and Maa Siddhidatri
In these nine days, devotees across India celebrate the nine forms of Goddess Durga–1. Shailaputri, 2.Brahmacharini, 3.Chandharghanta, 4.Kushmanda, 5.Skandamata, 6.Katyayani, 7.Kalratri, 8.Mahagauri and 9.Siddhidathri. On Navmi, while most maximum people worship Maa Siddhidatri, some devotion Maa Saraswati—the Goddess of knowledge and wisdom.
The exciting thing about the nine-day favourable period is celebrated in many ways by different areas across India.
Puja timings for Navami
According to the Hindu calendar, Maha Navmi comes in the Shukla Paksha (the period of the waning moon) of Ashwin month. Whereas according to the English calendar, it usually falls in September or October. As per the laws, Durga Puja on Maha Navami starts with Mahasnan and Shodashopachar Puja.
Navami Tithi begins: 10:54 AM on Oct/06/2019
Navami Tithi ends :12:38 PM on Oct/07/2019
Significance and background
As per Hindu belief, Goddess Durga’s fight with the demon king Mahisasur continued for nine days. On a ninth day, Durga was successful in taking the king of demons. On this day, Durga is revered as Mahishasuramardini, meaning the Goddess who destroyed Mahishasur-the buffalo demon. On Maha Navami, Durga Maa made her last assault on beast Mahishasura, and the following morning, on Vijayadashami, triumphed over him.
Vijayadashami also celebrated as Dussehra, which means taking or destroying – thereby saying the victory of good over evil. In a separate fantastic event, Lord Rama won demon king Ravanna also on the same date.
Rituals of the festival
The nine-day festival celebrated with much enthusiasm and passion by Hindus crossed the country, especially parts of North, West India. The 9th day of Navratri is known as Navami and holds particular importance in several households. Every state in India has a distinct name and custom for Maha Navmi.
1) In Southern India, followers perform Ayudha Puja or ‘Astra Puja’ with the tools and machinery, instruments, vehicles, musical instruments, stationery and all devices that help one get their livelihood. Even though most South-Indian states including Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Telangana, AP,
Celebrate it Ayudha Puja to Maha Navami. There are small variations of worship system in every country.
2) In Northern India, Eastern India, ‘Kanya Pujan’ or ‘Kanjak‘ is made. Nine young unmarried girls who haven’t hit adolescence are loved this day as nine forms of Goddess Durga. They are called home for a feast and opened gifts. Some observe the custom of Kanjak on Ashtami or the eighth day of Navratri too.
3) In many states, people still sacrifice animals like sheep and goats on this day, but the practice has stopped mainly on humanitarian-grounds. Now, people offer-pumpkins to the Goddess, keeping with the tradition.
4) In West Bengal, the day marks the close of Durga Puja festival. The rituals that begin on Shashthi and Navami is the last day of the festival. On Dashami, the statues of the Goddess are taken away for visarjan (immersion into natural water bodies).