Chaitra Navratri is a very important festival celebrated by Hindus. In this, nine different forms of Goddess Durga – Shailputri, Brahmacharini, Chandraghanta, Kushmanda, Skandamata, Katyayani, Kalaratri, Mahagauri and Siddhidatri are worshiped in a very grand manner.
To please Goddess Durga during Navratri, her nine forms are worshiped and recited. This text contains a complete description of the incarnation of the nine forms of the Goddess and the destruction of the wicked by her. It is said that reciting Mata during Navratri brings special blessings of Goddess Bhagwati. If seen, Navratri comes four times in a year in the months of Chaitra, Ashadh, Ashwin and Magh, but according to the Hindu calendar, the festival of Navratri is celebrated twice in the year. Navratri falling in Chaitra month is known as Chaitra Navratri and Navratri falling in autumn is known as Shardiya Navratri.
Chaitra Navratri is one of the religious festivals of Hindu religion, which is celebrated with great devotion by most of the Hindu families. According to the Hindu calendar, this festival is celebrated from the beginning of the new year to Ram Navami. This festival is also known as Vasant Navratri. Ghatasthapana is performed on the first day of Chaitra Navratri and thereafter 9 different forms of the Goddess are worshiped every day. Ghatasthapana is also called Kalash Sthapana.
Why do we establish Kalash?
According to Hindu scriptures, we worship Lord Ganesha before any puja. Most of us do not know why Kalash is installed in the worship of Goddess Durga? There is a belief in our Puranas related to the establishment of Kalash, in which Kalash is considered to be the form of Lord Vishnu. Therefore people worship the Kalash before worshiping the Goddess. Before installing the Kalash at the place of worship, the place is purified with Ganga water and then all the gods and goddesses are invited for the worship.
The Kalash is decorated with five types of leaves and lumps of turmeric, betel nut, durva, etc. are kept in it. To install the Kalash, an altar of sand is made beneath it and barley is sown in it. The method of sowing barley is done to please Annapurna, the goddess who bestows wealth and grains. The photo or idol of Maa Durga is installed in the middle of the place of worship and the mother is decorated with roli, rice, vermillion, garland, flowers, chunari, saree, jewelery and suhaag. An Akhand lamp is lit in the place of worship which should remain lit till the last day of the fast. After installing the Kalash, Ganesh ji and Maa Durga perform aarti after which the nine-day fast begins.
Many people keep fast for nine days to have faith in the Mother Goddess and to get the desired results. On the day of Navami, nine girls, who are considered equal to the nine forms of Maa Durga, are fed with reverence and given Dakshina etc. During Chaitra Navratri, people worship the Goddess and fast for nine consecutive days and break the fast after worshiping the girl on the tenth day.
Goddess Durga is also worshiped in Gupt Navratri, this Navratri falling in the Shukla Paksha of Ashadha and Magh months is called Gupt Navratri. Although most of the people are neither aware of it nor do they celebrate Gupt Navratri, but Gupt Navratri holds great importance for those who believe in or use Tantra Sadhana, Vashikaran etc. During this time, Tantrik also worships Mother Goddess to please her.
Chaitra Navratri Dates and Times
Chaitra Navratri is the nine-day Hindu festival. It begins on the first day of Hindu lunar calendar. The festival marks the worshiping of nine incarnations of Goddess Shakti or Goddess Durga. Every year, this auspicious Hindu festival is celebrated in the month of April and March. It is celebrated in the Hindu month of Chaitra and dedicated to nine avatars of Goddess Durga.
Chaitra Navratri is also mentioned as Rama Navratri in some parts of northern India. Rama Navami, the birthday of Lord Rama, falls on the ninth day during Navratri festival. The Hindu lunar calendar represents the celebrations in the month of Chaitra, which is also defined as marking the New Year. Chaitra Navratri begins with Gudi Padwa in Maharashtra, and the festival begins with Ugadi in Andhra Pradesh.
Legends of Chaitra Navratri
Navratri is a mix blend of various culture and shares a common meaning, i.e. the victory of good over evil. In Chaitra Navratri, Demon Mahishasura, who had defeated all the gods and the devas, was ultimately killed by Goddess Durga. After the Gods were defeated, they approached Brahma (Hindu creator god), Vishnu (preserver god), and Mahesh (the destroyer), whose collective energy gave rise to the supreme deity, Goddess Durga.
In Chaitra Navratri, the 9th day is celebrated as Ram Navami (Spring Hindu festival), the day Lord Rama was born. In the Sharad Navratri, the 10th day is celebrated as Vijayadashami or Dusshera, the day Lord Rama killed the demon king Ravana.
Chaitra Navratri Kalash Sthapana Puja
Chaitra Navratri usually begins in March-April period. People prefer to do Kalash Sthapana puja at their homely space and workplace. A Kalash is kept at the place of worship and people even call a priest to carry out the rituals of Kalash puja.There is a perfect way to install a Kalash on the first day of Navratri.
● Waking up early in the morning and taking a shower must be the first activity.
● After cleaning the idols, the first thing you need to do is cleaning the place where the Kalash has to be kept.
● The next thing you need to do is spreading a red-colored cloth on a wooden seat and chanting the mantras of Lord Ganesha while putting raw rice on the red cloth.
● Using some soil, you need to make an altar and sow the seeds of Barley in it.
● Now, set the Kalash on the soil and pour some water in it.
● Use the vermillion paste to make a swastika sign on the Kalash and tie a holy thread around the neck of the Kalash.
● Add betelnut and coin in the Kalash and keep some mango leaves in it.
● Now, take a coconut, tie a holy thread and a red Chunari around it.
● Put this coconut over the top of Kalash and pray to the almighty God.
● Offer flowers to the deities and worship from the religious mind and the soul.
The Kalash Sthapana puja is proved to be beneficial to draw in more health, wealth and prosperity in our lives.
Foods for Navratri Fasting
During the fast of Navratras, foods like Sabudana Vada (Sago Vada), Sabudana khichadi (Sago Khichadi), Singhare Ka Halwa (Water Chestnut Flour Halwa), Kuttu Ki Poori (Grass Seed Flour or Buckwheat poori), and Singhare Ke Pakore are preferred for eating.
Have a look at the Nine Days of Sharad Navratri and Rituals to be conducted:
● Day 1 – Maa Shailputri Puja – The first form of Maa Durga, Maa Shailputri represents the planet Moon. Worshipping her can help to eliminate any bad effects or omens.
● Day 2 – Maa Brahmacharini Puja – As per astrology, Maa Brahmacharini controls the planet Mars and diminishes any bad effects if worshipped with a pure heart.
● Day 3 – Maa Chandraghanta Puja – Maa Chandraghata dominates the planet Venus and offers courage and fearlessness.
● Day 4 – Maa Kushmanda Puja – Maa Kushmanda represents the planet Sun and eliminates any ill-effects in the nearby future.
● Day 5 – Maa Skandamata Puja – Maa Skand Mata represents the planet Mercury and is very compassionate towards her devotee.
● Day 6 – Maa Katyayani Puja – Jupiter planet is controlled by Maa Katyayani. She provides courage and prowess to her worshippers.
● Day 7 – Maa Kaalratri Puja – Maa Kaalratri controls the Saturn planet and symbolises valour.
● Day 8 – Maa Mahagauri Puja – Maa Mahagauri is the divine controller of planet Rahu and pacify harmful effects.
● Day 9 – Maa Siddhidatri Puja – Maa Siddhidatri dominates the planet Ketu and offers wisdom and knowledge.
Importance of Colors in Navratra
Apart from this, each Navratra is related to a particular color. The Navratra Color are listed below. It is believed that using these colors during Navratra festival will fetch you good luck.
Pratipada – Yellow
Dwitiya – Green
Tritiya – Grey
Chaturthi – Orange
Panchami – White
Shashthi – Red
Saptami- Royal Blue
Ashtami – Pink
Navmi – Purple
We, at PujaBooking, wish you all a very happy and prosperous Sharad Navratra. May Goddess Durga bestow upon you peace, happiness and good health.