Durga Puja 2022: Maha Navami, its significance, and rituals
Maha Navami marks the ninth day of Navratri celebrations across the country and it is rather grand, seeped in the festive fervour.
On this day Goddess Durga’s ninth avatar, identified as Maa Siddhidatri, is worshipped.
This year Navami is being celebrated on October 4.
Siddhidhatri is the ninth and final among the Navadurga (nine forms) aspects of the Hindu mother goddess Mahadevi. She fulfills all the divine aspirations. It is believed that one side of Lord Shiva’s body is that of Goddess Siddhidatri.
Maha Navami is also celebrated as the victory of good over evil. It is also believed that Goddess Durga took the form of Mahisasur Mardini, the vanquisher of Mahishasur to destroy the demon Mahisasura, who was terrifying the universe.
The annual Kanya Puja is performed in certain households on Navami as well. Poori, kale channe and halwa are served to young girls who are worshipped on this day. Nine young girls are worshipped as a representation of the nine forms of Devi Durga.
Rituals of Maha Navami
The Maha Navami puja will follow the sacred scriptures that begin with Mahasnan and Shodashopachara puja. On this special day, devotees wake up early and a few also observe fasts for the Goddess.
During special prayer, the goddess is offered pink flowers and devotees also tend to wear pink clothes as pink is the colour for Maha Navami. Along with the puja, people also serve the traditional poori, kala chana, and halwa to young girls who are mostly worshipped on this occasion. It is called Kanya Pujan or Kumari Puja.
Children, especially young girls, are invited to the puja pandals or houses. Their feet are then washed with great care and special puja is held.
Maha Navami is the ninth day of Durga Puja. On this day, Goddess Durga is worshipped as Mahishasuramardini, which means the “annihilator of the buffalo demon”. This is also the day when Maa Siddhidhatri is worshipped. This form of Durga, among the nine forms of the goddess, is considered to be the supreme form of Maha Shakti. According to Hindu mythology, it is on Maha Navami that the goddess killed the demon king Mahishasura. It is also the day for the auspicious Navami Homa, which is performed at the end of Maha Navami.