Dear Isheeria’s Healing Circles Readers,
Happy Chaitra Navratri!
Navratras are one of the most ancient festivals of Hindus and celebrated with great religious fervour for NINE Days.
Navtatras are the 9 auspicious days where you pray for the blessings of the Goddess Durga.
The Navratra Pooja dates back to the time when worship of the Feminine and Mother form of divinity as MAA SHAKTI was prevalent.
Did you know – Navratri Dates change every year in the Western Calendar!
Navratras fall on the first day of the Hindu calendar. It marks the onset of new year of Hindu calendar. It also includes the birth of Lord Rama (Read about Ramnavami – The story & rituals here).
The Navratras, based on the Indian Calendar, falls on the Ashwin Shukla Paksh Prati Prada to Navami. Thus, based on this, the Dates change in the Western Calendar every year.
In 2017, Navratri’s begin from 28th March 2017, and in 2018, they will start from 18th March 2018.
Navratra’s also mark the transition of the seasons. Hence a lot of people follow the fasting / food rituals as they mark (in these Navratras) the ending of the winter season and the on-set of summer.
During Navratra, special food is made. The most popular is kuttu ki puri aaloo ki sabji, sabutdana k cutlets makhana ki kheer, singhare ka halwa.
People keep fast either on all 9 days or in a pair (a joda), i.e. any 2 days out of the nine (usually the first and last day or the first two or last two days of the Navratras), and break their fast on eighth/ ninth day after doing kanya poojan.
There are four Navratris in a year –
1) SHARAD Navratri
2) VASANT Navratri
3) MAGH Navratri
4) ASHAAD Navratri
The first two are celebrated with great fervour, whereas, the last two only by the very devout devotees.
POOJA RITUALS –
On the first day of the Navratras, on a small elevated place at the place of worship, Kalash Sthapna is done. (Kalash can be of metal or earthen).
In an earthen plate seeds are sprinkled in mitti/soil.
Prayers are then offered and incense sticks are lit. Flowers, Fruit, Beetle leaves and Nuts are also offered.
Each day of the Navratras is devoted to different deity –
Prathma – Shailputri (28 March 2017)
Dvitya – Brahamcharini.
Tritya – Chandraghanta
Chaturti – Kushmanda
Panchmi – Skandmata
Sashti – katyayini
Saptami – Kalratri
Ashtami – Mahagauri
Navami – Siddhatri/ Siddhidatri (5 April 2017)
This year the Navratras are very auspicious and for each day a special Pooja is suggested –
Day 1) Ghatsthapna
Day 2) Sindhara dooj
Day 3) Gauri teej.
Day. 4) Vinayak chaturthi
Day. 5) Naag pooja and Lakshmi pooja
Day. 6) Yamuna Chat
Day. 7) Kalratri
Day 8) Annapurna Ashtami
Day 9) Ramnavami
Chaitra navratris are more popular in North India and are celebrated in Maharashtra as the Gudipadwa, in Andhara Pradesh as Ugadi.
Some interesting Rituals –
On the 1st day of the Navratras, Pray to the Ashoka Tree. Ghee, Gur, Haldi, Roti, Kalaya etc and water are offered. This should be done for 12 years.
Then make a model of the Ashoka Tree in Gold – Pray to it and then give it to your Guru. It is believed that by doing so – Shiv’ji fulfils all your desires and you enter shiv lok.
On the 8th day (Ashtami), known as Durgashtami. Pray to Goddess Durga.
Boiled chickpeas (chana) Halwa, puri, keer, pua etc are made.
The faithful also have a Havan on this day.
Shakti is venerated, and it is considered highly pious to feed young, unmarried girls.
How do you celebrate the Navratras? Do you fast? Any rituals which you and your family follow?
Share your recipes and interesting stories in the comments below!
read about the last of the navratras, celebrated as Ram Navami.