Navratri – Religious Significance and Puja Vidhi
Navratri is a festival popularly known as the festival of dance and worship. The term Navaratri literally means nine nights at Sanskrit; Nava meaning Nine and Ratri significance nights. During these nine days and nights, nine kinds of Shakti/Devi i.e. feminine divinity are worshipped. The nine-day festival of Navratri is held in honor of the nine manifestations of Goddess Durga.
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The spiritual significance behind the celebration of Navratri is that the nine days are divided and devoted to the Trinity of God worshipped in a feminine form.
In Hindu mythology the festival is hugely famous across the world as the victory of goodness over evil since the Goddess Shakti (Maa Durga) killed buffalo – headed demon, Mahishasura following a long battle of nine days and nighttime around the tenth day, which is celebrated because Vijaya Dashmi Such adoration into Mother Goddess is unique to Hinduism.Also dusshera is celebrated on the same day as Lord Rama with all the blessings of Maa Durga has won over Ravana. The festival also marks the coming of winter period, a time when nature experiences several climatic fluctuations. Goddess Shakti from the nine kinds, Maa Shailputri, Maa Brahmachaarini, Maa Chandraghanta, Maa Kushmaanda, Skanda Maa, Maa Kaatyayani, Maa Kaalratri, Maa Mahagauri and Maa Sidhidaarti is worshipped during these two days for good heath, wealth, wealth, knowledge and auspiciousness.
Rituals for acting Puja through Navratri
Navratri puja is extremely simple and not very complicated. One can easily observe the quick; even if one cannot observe the fast he can easily recite mantra “Om Ang Haring Kalimg Shreeng Maha Durgay Namah”. An individual must carefully operate upon his/her aahar (meals), vyavhaar (behaviour) and acharan (character) throughout the time of Navratri.
Aahar – One should always avoid non vegetarian foods and “Satvik” foods such as fruits, Kutu Ka Aata, Singara Ka Aata, Curd and Potatoes should be consumed. Usage of Onion and Garlic must be avoided.
Vyavhaar and Acharan – During Navratri festival all devotees should worship the female deity with spiritual emotion (bhav)
Here is your Way of performing Navratri Puja
Get your home cleaned and prepared. You’re inviting Goddess into the home. Usually this is done on the Amavasya, a day before the beginning of Navratri.
On the very first day of the Navaratri, a small bed of sand (obtained from any auspicious place) is ready in the puja room of the home and barley seeds have been sown over it. On this Bed a Kalash made of Earthen/ Copper is kept and filled with water. Above the pot a bowl full of rice is retained. A dry Coconut wrapped with blossom leaves is then kept over this kalash. This Kalash is believed to be a symbolic form of Goddess Durga. By maintaining kalash one invocates the goddess at the Kalash.
On the very first 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 near to this Kalash that’s assumed to burn endlessly for nine days. This is known as Akhand Jyoti.
Lots of folks believe that the period of the Shoots decides the Quantum of earnings that they will have in forthcoming months. This belief could have been because India is basically an agrarian economy wherein the growth of the land decided one’s income.
The afternoon starts with a recital of Sanskrit hymns from the devotees; they offer prayer to the goddess. Kumari Puja or the worship of little girls as the mother goddess is a distinctive part of these rituals observed in several of conventional and family pujas.
The festival of Navratri culminates in Mahanavami. On this day Kanya Puja is performed. Nine young girls representing the nine kinds of Goddess Durga are worshiped. Their feets are washed as a mark of respect for the Goddess and then they’re offered food mainly consisting of kala chana, halwa and poori together with coconut bits and dakshina (currency) and Red chunri is offerd to the kanjaks.
Following the two days of Puja, on Dashami, the last day also known as Vijaya Dashami, the images of Goddess Durga are carried in processions round the area by the devotees and finally are immersed in a nearby lake or river.
Colors of Navratri
Durga Navratri is the most sacred and most celebrated festival season in India that has a unique heritage of colours. Colors also play a very important role during this festival. People should select colors according to every aspect of Devi. The colors signify the nine avatars or incarnations or manifestations of Goddess Durga Maa.
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