What is Navratri
Navratri is the auspicious period mostly celebrated twice in a year (another two types are not widely celebrated which fall during the month of Magh or February- March and Ashadh or June-July and are termed as Gupt Navaratri) during which maa Durga is worshipped by the followers of Hindu religion. When this period falls in summers in the month of Chaitra or March-April it is called Chaitra Navratri and when it falls during winters in September-October it is termed as Shardiya Navratri. As per hindu calander this period starts immediately after pitra Shradh from pratipada (1st day) of Shukla Paksha of Ashwin month till ninth day. The tenth day is celebrated as Vijay Dashami (Dussehra). During these nine days various forms of deity Durga are worshipped. Navratri is a Sanskrit language word meaning” Nine Nights”. This festival is celebrated with much fanfare in eastern India, specially Bengal State and Western India, specially in Gujarat state. There are different methods of celebration in different parts of India and the world.
Shardiya Navratri 2021 (Winter Season)
1st: Pratipada- October 7, 2021 (Thursday) for maa Shailaputri
2nd: Dwitiya- October 8, 2021 (Friday) for maa Brahmchaarini
3rd: Tritiya- October 9, 2021 (Saturday) for maa Chandraghanta
4th: Chaturthi- October 9, 2021 (Saturday) for maa Kooshmanda
5th: Panchami- October 10, 2021 (Sunday) for maa Skandmata
6th: Shashthi- October 11, 2021 (Monday) for maa Katyayini
7th: Saptami- October 12, 2021 (Tuesday) for maa Kalratri
8th: Ashtami- October 13, 2021 (Wednesday) for maa Mahagauri
9th: Navami- October 14, 2021 (Thursday) for maa Siddhidatri
How to Worship during Navratri
1st day : Navratri Start Date
Preparations: Those who want the blessings of maa Durga for health, prosperity and peace, should start the Navratri Puja in a planned manner.
The first step is to establish an earthen pitcher (Ghat Sthapana) before starting Puja.
Ghat Sthapana: Get a new small earthen pitcher, fill it with water mixed with holy Ganga water (gangajal), cover it with fresh mango tree leaves and keep a coconut with threads (as used in Puja) over it. The coconut should be wrapped in red colour new cloth and the cloth is tied with the help of sacred thread of red colour ( Mauli).
Second step is to prepare an earthen pot filled with sand. Sow the barley seeds in this pot. All these items are usually available at a Puja store near by.
Third step is to prepare an idol or picture of maa Durga which could be brought fresh from market or the existing in the house may be used.
Fourth step is to make a suitable place in the house for the worshipping for next few days. Once set up these items should not be moved during the Navratri Puja. As per vaastu consideration the place should preferably be located in the north east area of the house when measured from inside of house.
Fifth step is to clean the place, spread a red colour clean cloth used as the base and set up all above items properly.
Sixth step is to get ready for worshipping. The whole family may assemble for prayers after taking bath. They should call upon all Devgana (all Gods and Godesses) to take their place at this place into the pitcher. Call upon maa Durga to be present for rest of the Navratri at your place (This is called avvahan). Virtually believing that all deities have taken their places, the prayers may began.
Before starting prayers, lighten up a lamp with pure ghee. Either keep the lamp in a plate to move in circulatory motion during chanting of prayers or use a lamp with handle to do puja. Offer flower garlands to the deities. Make arrangement for Dhoop for scent.
Prayer of maa Durga
Different prayers are recited at different places for maa Durga. One prayer prevalent in most of the parts of India is as follows:
Jai Ambe Gauri, Maiya Jai Shyama Gauri
Tumko Nisdin Dhyavat, Hari Brahma Shivari. Om Jai Ambe Gauri
Maang Sindoor Virajat, Tiko Mrigamad Ko, (maiya tiko mrigmad Ko)
Ujjval Se Dou Naina, Chandravadan Niko. Om Jai Ambe Gauri
Kanak Samaan Kalevar, Raktambar Raje, (maiya raktambar raje)
Raktpushp Gal Mala, Kanthan Par Saje. Om Jai Ambe Gauri
Kehari Vahan Rajat, Khadag Khapar Dhari, (maiya khadag khapar dhari)
Sur-Nar-Munijan Sevat, Tinke Dukhhaari. Om Jai Ambe Gauri
Kaanan Kundal Shobhit, Nasagre Moti, (maiya nasagre moti)
Kotik Chandra Diwakar, Rajat Sam Jyoti. Om Jai Ambe Gauri
Shumbh-Nishumbh Bidare, Mahishasur Ghati, (maiya mahishasur ghati)
Dhumra Vilochan Naina, Nisdin Madmati. Om Jai Ambe Gauri
Chand-Mund Sanhare, Shonit Beej Hare, (maiya shonit beej hare)
Madhu-Kaitabh Dou Mare, Sur Bhayaheen Kare. Om Jai Ambe Gauri
Brahmani, Rudrani,Tum Kamla Rani, (maiya tum kamla rani)
Agam Nigam Bakhani,Tum Shiv Patrani. Om Jai Ambe Gauri
Chaunsath Yogini Mangal Gavat,Nritya Karat Bhairu, (maiya nritya karat bhairu)
Bajat Taal Mridanga,Aru Baajat Damaru. Om Jai Ambe Gauri
Tum Hi Jag Ki Mata, Tum Hi Ho Bharta, (maiya tum hi ho bharta)
Bhaktan Ki Dukh Harta, Sukh Sampatti Karta. Om Jai Ambe Gauri
Bhuja Char Ati Shobhit, khadag khapar Dhari, (maiya khadag khapar dhari)
Manvanchhit Fal Pavat,Sevat Nar Nari. Om Jai Ambe Gauri
Kanchan Thal Virajat, Agar Kapur Baati, (maiya agar kapur baati)
Shrimalketu Mein Rajat, Koti Ratan Jyoti . Om Jai Ambe Gauri
Shri Ambeji Ki Arati, Jo Koi Jan Gaave, (maiya jo koi jan gaave)
Kahat Shivanand Swami, Sukh-Sampatti Pave. Om Jai Ambe Gauri
Maa Durga Aarti in Hindi
मां दुर्गा की आरती
ॐ जय अम्बे गौरी, मैया जय श्यामा गौरी
तुमको निसदिन ध्यावत हरि ब्रह्मा शिव री। ॐ जय…
मांग सिंदूर विराजत, टीको मृगमद को (मैया टीको मृगमद को)
उज्ज्वल से दोउ नैना चंद्रबदन नीको। ॐ जय…
कनक समान कलेवर, रक्ताम्बर राजै (मैया रक्ताम्बर राजे)
रक्तपुष्प गल माला, कंठन पर साजै। ॐ जय…
केहरि वाहन राजत, खड्ग खपरधारी (मैया खड्ग खपरधारी)
सुर-नर मुनिजन सेवत, तिनके दुःखहारी। ॐ जय…
कानन कुण्डल शोभित, नासाग्रे मोती (मैया नासाग्रे मोती)
कोटिक चंद्र दिवाकर, राजत समज्योति। ॐ जय…
शुम्भ निशुम्भ बिडारे महिषासुर घाती(मैया महिषासुर धाती)
धूम्र विलोचन नैना निशदिन मदमाती। ॐ जय…
चौंसठ योगिनि मंगल गावत नृत्य करत भैरों (मैया नृत्य करत भैरों)
बाजत ताल मृदंगा अरू बाजत डमरू। ॐ जय…
भुजा चार अति शोभित खड्ग खपरधारी (मैया खड्ग खपरधारी)
मनवांछित फल पावत सेवत नर नारी। ॐ जय…
कंचन थाल विराजत अगर कपूर बाती (मैया अगर कपूर बाती)
श्री मालकेतु में राजत कोटि रतन ज्योति। ॐ जय…
श्री अम्बेजी की आरती जो कोई जन गावै (मैया जो कोई जन गावै)
कहत शिवानंद स्वामी सुख-सम्पत्ति पावै। ॐ जय…
After this Aarti, request maa Durga to bless the family with peace, prosperity and any other wish. Use food, dry fruits, fresh fruits, sweet etc to offer to the deity. This prasaad may be distributed among the family members and others as the blessings of maa Durga.
This Aarti should be done in morning as well as in the evening every day till Navratri period is over.
Similar procedure is to be adopted for all days of Navratri.
Fasting during Navratri
Some devotees prefer to keep fast during the period of Navratri. The number of fasts depend on the capacity, resources and interest of the devotees. Popular systems are to keep at least two fasts (either first and last or last two) or to keep all the fasts. Some people celebrate Ashtami (the 8th day of Navratri) and some celebrate Navami (the 9th day of Navratri) to end their fasts.
How to observe Navratri fasts
During fast, the devotee should freshen himself/ herself, take bath and do maa Durga Puja with devotion. He/ she should not eat anything during the day to observe fast. In the evening, he/ she should prepare food by using only potato, rock salt, sweet potato, radish, milk or curd, Barnyard Millet ( called as vrat ke chawal/ Sama rice/ svak ke chawal/ samvat rice etc.), Tapioca (potato like vegetable more prevalent in South India), Tapioca Sago ( Sabudaana), buckwheat flour (kuttu ka atta), water chestnut flour (singhade ka atta), oil etc. Some people also use turmeric (haldi) and tomato. Where there is no availability of various items as mentioned above, the people also use bottle gourd for making curry vegetables.
Those who need to eat at shorter intervals may use tea (not coffee), potato chips, sabudana chips, groundnuts, dry fruits, milk etc to satiate their hunger. In any case, the traditional method used in any family may be followed.
How to end Navratri fast
On the celebration day, Ashtami or Navami, little girls are invited to the house for taking their blessings as the blessings from maa Durga. For this purpose normally the girls upto the age of 10-12 years are sought. One boy of similar age is also sought to mark the presence of Bhairon. These children are invited, their feet are cleaned with water, Mauli is tied on their right hand, tilak with rolli is applied on their forehead. They are offered semolina porridge (halwa made with sooji), black gram (dry preparation), poori, dry fruits, fresh fruits, khazana(currency) etc to make the representatives of maa Durga happy. They are also offered other gifts. While going these girls bless the family with happiness and prosperity. This day onwards, the devotees can start using all eatables as per their preferences.
What to do during Navratri
- Prayers and worshipping
- Visit to holy places and temples
- Donations in currency and items
- Organize Bhandara (free food offerings to masses)
- Take blessings of elderly, little girls and women in general
- Open new business or project
- Buy new items for family and home
- House warming (grih pravesh)
- Looking for bride or groom or marriage
What NOT to do during Navratri
- Eating stale food
- Using cereals and foodgrains when observing fast
- Use of cigarettes, alcohol and drugs
- Use of non vegetarian food
- Copulation or mating
- Using leather or leather goods
Maa Durga Idol Immersion
The devotees who worship Durga idol for nine days should immerse the idol in a water body on tenth day. This practice is more prevalent among eastern India and Bengali Community. All state governments in India make large scale arrangements for idol immersion. However, due to COVID-19 no such mass immersion is allowed at most of the locations.
Celebrations during Navratri
It’s believed that the devotees celebrated the killing of Mahishasura by Maa Durga by singing and dancing. The same tradition is followed throughout the world by playing Dandiya. Event organisers plan Dandiya Nights in towns and cities where famous personalities are invited to draw crowd. At such events people come dressed up in traditional attire specially prevalent in western India with colourful sari or lehenga choli for women and dhoti- choli for men. They encircle the idol of Maa Durga and keep striking their Dandiya (colourful sticks made of wood/ bamboo) in chorus while moving in circle. Filmi songs or Dandiya songs are played by DJ (Desk Jockey) or live by orchestra. These are the fun nights especially for the younger generation who enjoy these events the most.
JAI MATA DI