Navaratri is a Hindu festival during which different aspects of the supreme goddess Durga or Shakti are adored by performing Puja. The word Navratri is a combination of two Sanskrit words: nava (meaning nine) and ratri (meaning night). The festival extends over nine days and nine nights. Navratri signifies the victory of good over evil. People across various parts of India perform the Navratri Puja in their homes to celebrate the festival and seek blessings from the supreme goddess.
When is Navratri Puja perfomed?
According to some Hindu holy texts, Navratri puja can be done at four different points of time in a year. However, the most popular time for doing Navratri puja is during the autumn season. According to the Hindu calendar, Navratri falls in the bright half of the month of Ashvin. As per the Gregorian calendar, it falls in the months of September and October.
Why Nine Days and Nine Nights?
Navratri is dedicated to worshipping nine manifestations of Shakti. On each day, a different form of the goddess is worshipped. During this period, the supreme goddess is worshipped to invoke her as a destroyer of all evils and impurities and seek her blessings for all-round success in life.
Navratri Puja Vidhi
In order to perform the Navratri puja at home, one has to follow certain particular steps and rituals. Outlined below are the Navratri puja vidhi:
- Place a framed picture or idol of Durga in a sanctified area of your home
- Adorn the picture or idol with a marigold flower garland
- Offer uncooked rice mixed with turmeric, vermillion (sindoor), red flowers, and belpatra
- Take a clay pot filled with mud taken from a clean area
- Sow seeds of barley in the pot
- Perform ghat sthapana or kalash sthapana by enshrining the kalash
- Fill the kalash with pure and clear water
- Add coins and betel nuts and place mango leaves at the mouth of the kalash
- Tie a red thread around the neck of the kalash
- Place a coconut wrapped in red cloth and fastened with red thread on top of the kalash
- Offer prayers to the goddess and request her to reside in the kalash for the next nine days
- Light lamps and incense sticks in front of the kalash and the idol or picture
- Sprinkle holy water
- Light the akhand deep or an oil lamp and ensure that it remains burning throughout the nine days of the puja
- Invoke the goddess by chanting 'Durga Stuti' and 'Durga Kavach'
- Perform aarti
- Sing songs to glorify the goddess
- Offer bhog of sweets, fruits, and homemade Navratri recipes
- Distribute the bhog as Prasad among the family members and others present during the puja
Things to remember during the Navratri puja period
There are certain things that you must keep in mind if you are performing the Navratri puja in your home. They are:
- Do not touch the kalash for the entire period of nine days
- The puja is to be performed along with chanting of proper mantras and slokas
- The garland placed around the picture or idol must be changed every day
- The puja is to be done at the same time during each day of Navratri
- The kalash and barley pot must be placed near the idol or image of Goddess Durga
- Water must be sprinkled on the barley pot every day for the nine days
Why do you need a pandit for Navratri Puja?
A pandit can guide you with core puja procedures like laying the bed for growing barley and kalash sthapana. With the help of a pandit you can make sure that the puja vidhis are followed meticulously. Do get in touch with us if you need a pandit or pujari or priest to perform puja for you. We can be reached at [email protected], or on +91 9538602626.
Let your Navratri days be blessed ones.
Feature Image Source: patrika.com