Kanya Pujan 2018: Durga Ashtami and Navami Kanya Pujan Shubh Muhurat and Vidhi: Durga Ashtami is one of the auspicious days in Hindu religion. It is the 8th day of Durga Puja festival which is also known as Sharad Navratri or Mahashtami. Navratri (nine nights) is the festival where the devotees worship nine forms of Goddess Durga for nine days. On this holy occasion, devotees undergo fasting to show their devotion for the Goddess Durga.
Kanya Pujan 2018: Durga Ashtami (Eighth Day)
Durga Puja takes place every year in India with lots of devotion by the devotees towards Goddess Durga. This year Sharad Navratri falls on Asthami tithi of Ashvin month according to Hindu calendar (typically falls in September and October) and this year Ashtami falls on 17th October2018. Ashtami Tithi began at 10:16pm on 16th October and ended on 17th October at 12:49pm.
In some region of India, weapons of Goddess Durga are worshiped which is also known as Astra Puja.
Signification of Durga Ashtami:
In Hindu’s mythology it is associated with the prestigious battle between Goddess Durga and Devil’ Mahishasura’. They battled for nine days and it is believed that on 8th day Goddess Kali appeared from the forehead of Maa Durga to exterminate Chanda, Munda and Rakthabija (associated with Mahishasura). Therefore this day plays a significant role in Hindu’s religion, as this day signify winning against evil.
Eight Avatars (Forms) of Goddess Durga
In Durga puja ritual eight avatars of Maa Durga are worshiped known as Ashtanayikas, also elucidate differently in different states of India but those forms are various embodiment of Goddess Shakti (Durga) representing different vigour.
The eight forms (Ashtanayikas) who are worshiped in Durga Ashtami are Brahmani, Maheswari, Vaishnavi, Varahi, Narasinghi, Indrani and Chamunda.
Celebration of Mahashtami
Ashtami or Durgashtami is celebrated differently in different states of India but commonly on 8th day devotee’s wake up early and after taking bath they worship Goddess Durga with offerings such as milk, fruits, sugar etc. After that they prepare Bhog (Halwa, Puri and Chole) which they first offer to the Goddess and then they welcome five to nine unmarried young girls known as ‘Kanya’ or’ kanjaks’ in their home to honour them, as it is believed in Hindu’s religion tradition that each young girl represents Maa Durga on earth. After inviting them devotees wash their hands and feets, tie roli (holy thread) on their wrists and offer them Bhog. After rituals while girls are leaving, they also offer them sweets, fruits and small gifts to honour them.
Durgashtami is widely celebrated in West Bengal. For Bengalis , Ashtami is the most auspicious day of Durga Puja as ‘Maa Kali’ and ‘Maa chandi’ are most worshiped in West Bengal . Men, women and children wear new clothes and reach Pandals early in the morning for Pushpanjali. In evening special pujas are conducted such as Astra puja and Sandhi puja which takes place in Puja Pandals, where Maa Durga’s weapons are worshiped along with the eight forms of Goddess Durga. At evening grand Durga Arti is perfomed with beats of Dhol and Dhunuchi Dance, a traditional dance form performed by holding dhunachi (earthenware burner) with slow burning coconut husk with dhuno (purifier) sprinkled on it. Dance is performed on one of the stages during Arti which highlight the memorable evening and mesmerize to watch.