Navratri Durga Puja 2014

Navratri Durga Puja 2014

Ya Devi Sarva Bhuteshu Shakti Rupen Sansthita
Namah Tasmai Namah Tasmai Namah Tasmai Namo Namah

Worshipping the Mother Goddess

The Sharda Navratri Puja begins on September 25, 2014, on the first day of the bright half of the moon in Ashwin.

MahamahishmardiniThe progenitors of human kind offer Sacred Speech to their sacrificial fires in order to feed the Gods and Goddesses. Pleased, the Gods and Goddesses give blessings of prosperity and progeny to the humans. But enter the Demons who attempt to stop the articulation of Sacred Speech in order to defeat the Gods (starve them, for example). The Gods and Goddesses come together as the One that they really are, manifested as the Mother Goddess Herself, whose true nature is Creation or Sacred Speech, Itself, and this Durga Ma slays the slothful Demon of Dumbness. This is “analogy” which is not fixed in time.

Observing the Navratra fast while performing the sacred rites of The Mother Goddess for nine days – bestows Her blessings upon the devotee. Navratri is a festival in honor of nine embodiments of Goddess Durga. During this sacred period, devotees establish murtis or images of Goddess Durga at puja places in sanctified areas of their homes.

During these nine days, nine manifestations of the Goddess Durga are prominently invoked, and all Her names are recited.

After making the fasting resolution, we construct an altar made from earth into which we sow Barley seeds. We then ritually place a Kalash, a womb-like water vessel, on the altar. We worship our family or personal manifestation of the Mother Goddess, placing Her murti or image on or next to the kalash. We chant the Durga Saptashati, which consists of seven hundred mantras coming from Markandeya Purana. Worshiping Durga Saptashati cures many incurable diseases and fulfills wishes of devotees. In addition, the following Mantra can be recited:

Ya Devi Sarva Bhuteshu Buddhi Rupen Sansthita
Namastubhyam Namastubhyam Namastubhyam Namo Namah

Navratri 2014 — September – October Dates

Mahalaya – September 24, 2014

Chandi Stotram is recited as an invocation of Goddess Durga, that she may descend to Earth, and allow us to have Her darshan, as she has throughout the cycles of time for protection of the Gods & Goddesses as well as for the protection & prosperity of humankind. Even the Gods & Goddesses honour Her and invoke Her at this time. This day concludes our period of honouring our ancestors, with a morning tarpan, and begins the period of worshipping the Devi.

She vanquishes the demons, the bad spirits, and that which obstructs Dharma and its performance.

Navratri Day 1 – September 25, 2014 – Ghatsthapana

Pratipada – Kalash Sthapana – worshipping Shailaputri Devi

Shailaputri Ma

Shailaputri Ma

Pratipada of Ashwin Shukla Paksha (first day of the bright lunar fortnight in month of Ashwin). On the first day of Navratra, after purification with Ganga Jal, the kalash is established in a ritual known as the ghat sthapana or kalash sthapana. Sand of seven colours are mixed and an altar is prepared on which the Kalash is established. In this puja, all the nine planets, Gods and Goddesses invoked and invited to sit in the Kalash. Seven types of sands, betel-nut and coins are offered it is decorated with five types of leaves. Seven types of Barleys and grains are sown below the Kalash which are harvested on Dashmi date. All the Gods and Goddesses are worshipped for nine days with the murti of Goddess Durga in the middle. On the right side, there may be Ganesh and Mahalakshami, and on the left, Kartikeya and Goddess Saraswati.

Many devotees also plant barley in clay pots and place next to images of the Mother Goddess. Establishing the kalash maintains the auspiciousness of the period during the fast. It is said to be a form of Lord Ganesha and worshipped first of all the Gods. The Kalash is established before beginning the fast, filled with holy water, and covered with a coconut, and then the akhand jyoti deepa of Bhagawati Devi.

Shailaputri Devi
Shailaputri, also known as Parvati or Hemavati, is the first form of Goddess Durga to be worshipped. ‘Shail’ means mountain and ‘Putri’ means daughter. Parvati, the daughter of King of the Mountain, Himavan, is called ‘Shailaputri’. She rides a bull, holding a trident and a lotus flower in her hands.

The Goddess was born as Sati to the King Daksha, a son of Brahma. Sati was a stoic devotee of Shiva, who had done severe penance to win her Lord’s heart and married him. King Daksha had organized a Mahayagna in which all the Gods except Shiva was invited.  Sati the Mahayajna despite Shiva’s warnings, and when Daksha insulted her divine husband, Sati sacrificed herself to the yagna fire. After that, she took birth as the daughter of Himavan and was called Shailaputri.

Navratri Day 2 – September 26, 2014 – Chandra Darshan

Dwitiya Tithi – Worshiping Brahmacharini Devi embodiment of the Mother Goddess

Brahmacharini MaOn the dwitiya tithi, Brahmacharini is worshipped. She is the Yogini, the ascetic practising tapas. Hibiscus and Lotus flowers are used to garland Mata Brahmacharini as Mata likes this two flowers very much.

She is also known as Tapashcharini, Aparna and Uma and is the second form of Shakti. Here Brahma means tapas. Brahmacharini is one who practices tapasya. The form of Brahmacharini is majestic, personifying love and loyalty. She holds a mala in her right hand and kamandal in her left.

Rishi Narada predicted on seeing her palm that she would marry Lord Shiva because she was Sati, the wife of Shiva in her previous birth, and that she would have to perform penance to know Him in this birth too. During her tapas, she gradually reduced food intake finally giving up all food and water. She practiced the most severe form of tapasya and was thus known as Brahmacharini.

Navratri Day 3 – September 27, 2014 – Sindoor Tritiya

Tritiya Tithi – Worshiping of Chandraghanta Devi embodiment of the Mother Goddess

Chandraghanta_sm_1On the third day, Chandraghanta, is worshipped. She removes the problems and little demons of life. Chandraghanta Devi is called the Goddess of spiritual and internal power. She has ten arms and three eyes, and Shiva’s crescent moon on her forehead, She has golden complexion and is ready for war. She wears a mala of bells which terrifies demons, as they attempt the silencing of bells, of articulation.She rides a tiger and protects Her devotees, gives peace and bestows ultimate good.

Navratri Day 4 – September 28, 2014 – Varad Vinayak Chaturthi and Lalit Panchami

Chaturthi Tithi – Kushmanda Devi embodiment of the Mother Goddess

Kushmanda Ma

Kushmanda Ma

Mother Goddess Kushmanda Devi is worshipped on the fourth day of the Moon, of Ashwin month. She has eight arms and is also called Ashtabhuja Devi. Her name is derived from Ku-Usma-Anda. `Ku` means `a little`, `Usma` is warmth, heat or energy and `Anda` means the cosmic egg “Brahmanda” or the universe. Her body shines like the glowing sun. In her seven hands she holds the kamandal, bow, arrow, lotus, a jar of amrit, discus, and mace. She holds a mala of lotus seeds in her eighth hand, which brings all kinds of accomplishments to Her devotees, a mala capable of bestowing the eight Siddhis and nine Nidhis. She rides a lion. Sorrows are eliminated, and life span, name, strength and health are blessed by Kushmanda Devi.

Navratri Day 5 – September 29, 2014 – Upang Lalita Vrat

Panchami Tithi – Skandamata Devi embodiment of the Mother Goddess

Skandamata Devi

Skandamata Devi

The mother of Kartikeya, Skandamata Devi, is worshipped on the fifth day. Her blessings grant the wishes of Her devotees and bring peace and prosperity home. She has three eyes and four arms. Her two hands hold lotuses while she displays mudras of defence and ashirvad with her other two. She rides a lion.

Legend has it that demon Tarakasur pleased Brahma with extreme penance and asked for immortality. Brahma refused and asked him to wish for something else. Tarakasur being very clever asked for a boon that only the son of Lord Shiva could take his life. Tarakasur thought Lord Shiva would never discard his vow of celibacy, so there would be no son and he would never die. When all the Gods asked Shiva for help, he married Parvati and had Kartikeya who later killed the demon Tarkasur.

Navratri Day 6 – September 30, 2014 – Saraswati Awahan in some regions

Shashthi Tithi – Katyayani Devi embodiment of the Mother Goddess

Katyayani Ma

Katyayani Ma

The Rishi Katyayana worshipped the Mother Goddess so as to have Adi Shakti, Herself, incarnate as his daughter. She granted this to the Rishi, after being invoked by all the Gods to incarnate with all the powers of all the Gods, to stop a demon who had invaded Heaven itself. Katyayani Devi, born at the hermitage of the Rishi Katyanana on the 14th dark lunar fortnight in Ashwin, is worshipped on the sixth day of Navratra. Rishi Katyayana made puja to Her on the 7th, 8th, & 9th shukla paksh (bright fortnight), and She, as Amba Devi, slew the demon Mahishasura on the 10th. She has three eyes and four arms. One left hand holds a weapon, the other a lotus. She rides a lion. Worshipping Her selflessly makes the devotee powerful and grants victory over enemies, and leads to fulfilment of the four goals – Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha.

Navratri Day 7 – October 1, 2014 – Saraswathi Puja – Maha Lakshmi Puja

Saptami Tithi – Worshipping Kalratri Devi embodiment of the Mother Goddess

Kalratri Ma

Kalratri Ma

Destroyer of darkness and ignorance, Kalratri Devi is worshipped on the saptami tithi. She is also known as Shubhamkari, and gives blessings riddhi siddhi. This is auspicious for Tantric sadhana. Her face is as dark as night surrounded by wild luxuriant hair. Of Her four hands, the left two ones hold a cleaver and a torch, and the right two are in the mudras ashirvad and suraksha. Her three eyes emanate lightning, and flames appear from her nostrils. She rides a donkey.

Goddess Kaalratri slew the demon, Raktabeej, who could multiply from every drop of his blood which fell on the ground. Kaalratri Devi drank the blood before it could reach the ground and vanquished him. She grants Her devotees peace and courage.

Saptami Tithi is holds a place of great importance in Durga Puja. From this day onwards, the gates of Durga Mata are opened for public view and the devotees gather in large numbers for Her darshan.

Navratri Day 8 – October 2, 2014 – Saraswathi Puja ends – Mahashtami – Annapoorna Parikrama

Ashtami Tithi – Worshipping Mahagauri Devi embodiment of the Mother Goddess

Mahagauri Ma

Mahagauri Ma

Mahagauri Devi, Durga’s eighth manifestation, is an eight-year old child with complexion as fair as a conch, the Moon and the jasmine flower. Her clothes and ornaments are white and pure. She has three eyes and four arms. Her right upper hand is in the mudra of abhaya and right lower hand holds a trident in it. The left upper hand holds a tambourine and the lower one is in ashirvad mudra. Parvati, Gauri, covered by the dust of millenniums that settled on Her while making tapas, Shiva bathed her in Ganga Jal, making her shine and sparkle like lightening. She became known as Mahagauri. Tradition has it that a woman worships Mahagauri Devi for her husband’s longevity as unmarried females might obtain a suitable groom. She is known as a joyous Devi, who some devotees even think of as Santoshi Mata.

Navratri Day 9 – October 3, 2014 – Saraswati Visarjan – Mahanavami

Navami Tithi – Worshipping Siddhidatri Devi embodiment of the Mother Goddess

Siddhidatri Ma

Siddhidatri Ma

Mata Siddhidatri is worshipped on the ninth or final day of Navratri. ‘Siddhi’ means ‘perfection’ or ‘accomplished’. She has four arms in which there is a chakra in her right lower hand and a mace in the upper. She holds a conch in Her left lower hand and a lotus in her upper hand a lotus. She may be seated on a lotus flower or riding a lion. She removes the effects of adverse planetary positions and is a Healer of all disease. Even Lord Shiva’s siddhis are granted by Mata Siddhidatri Devi and realizing this, the Gods, Goddesses, and Rishis were able to have the darshan of Ardhanarishwar, Shiva’s body, having as its left side – Maha Shakti. Siddhidatri Mata grants extraordinary powers to Her devotees, as well as the ‘26 wishes’.

Navratri ends on ninth day with a ritual of kanya puja. On the Ashtami or usually on the Navami of Navratra, 9 small girls and a boy of age less then ten years are to be fed and given dakshina. Boys are considered the guise of a Bhairav. It is also auspicious to perform a havan on the day or night before kanya puja. They should also be given prasad of the germinated barley. Devotees of the Mother Goddess feed the young girls dishes like halwa, puri, channa, rice kheer and with other bhog like batasha, sakriya, mishri, and coconut. Along with some dakshina, one may also give them beautiful clothes, jewelry or other gifts. To enhance prosperity, one may let the pulled out barley spouts remain wherever money is kept in the house, or at least where financial books are kept. The holy water from the kalash may be sprinkled liberally around the home. The coconut is distributed to all, as the prasad of Ma Durga..

October 4, 2014 – The tenth day is celebrated as Dasara or Vijaya Dashami.

Sarva Mangal Mangalye Shive Sarvadh Sadhike Saranye Trayambake

Gauri Narayani Namostute

Navratri Stuti

Mangal ki Seva Sun Mere Deva Haath Jod Kar Tere Dwar Khade, Paan Supari Dhwajaa Nariyal Le Jwala Tere Bhet Dhare.

Sun Jagdambe kar na Vilambe Santan Ki Bhandaar Bhare, Santan Pratipali Sadaa Kushaali Jai Kaali Kalyani Kare. Mangal Ki…..

Buddhi Vidhata Tu Jagmata Mera Kaaraj Siddhi Kare, Charan Kamal ka Liya Aasraa Sharan Tumhari Aan Pare. Mangal ki….

Ab Jab Peer pare Bhaktan Par Tab Aay Sahay Kare, Santan Sukhdaye Sadaa Sahayi Sant Khade Jayakaar Kare. Mangal ki….

Bar Bar Tai Sab Mohro Taruni Roop Anoop Ghare, Mata Hokar Putra Khilave Kahi Bharya Bhog Kare. Mangal ki….

Santan Sukhdayi Sada Sahayi Sant Khade Jayakaar Kare, Santan Sukhdayi Sada Sahayi Sant Khade Jayakaar Kare. Mangal ki….

Brahma Vishnu Mahesh Sahsafal Liye Bhet Tere Dwar Khade, Atal Sinhasan Baithi Mata Sir Sone ka Chatra Firey.

Bar Shanichar Kumkum Varano Jab Lau kanth Kar Hukum Kare, Khadag Khappar Trishul Haath Liye Rakt Beej ko Bhasma Kare.

Shumbh Nishumbh ko Kshan me Mare Mahishashur ko Pakad Dale, santan Sukhdaye Sadaa Sahayi Sant Khade Jayakaar Kare. Mangal ki….

Aaditawar Aadi ko Beera Jan apane Ko Kasht hare, Kop Hoykar Daanav mare Chand Mund Sab Choor Kare.

Jab Tum Dekho Daya Roop Hoy Pal me Sankat Door Kare, Soumya Swabhav Dharayo Meri Mata jan Ki Araj Kabool Kare.

Singh Peeth Kar Chadhi Bhavani Atal Bhavan Me Raaj Kare, Brahma Ved Padhe Tere Dvare Shiv Shankr Ji Dhyan Dhare.

Indra KrisknaTere kare Aarti Chanwar Kubere Rahe, Jay Janani Jay Matu Bhavani Atal Bhuvan me Rajya Kare.

Free versions of Durga Saptashati are available at gitapress or astrojyoti and a decent commentary in English is available here.

Read the story of Mahishasura Mardini, how Durga Ma slays the demon Mahishasura and triumphs evil.

If you wish to get more intimate with the nine manifestations of Durga, you can read more here.