This day of Navratri is dedicated to ‘Maa Kushmanda’. Devotees on this day enchant mantras and offer red flowers to Maa Kushmanda and wish for good health and prosperity in life.
Maa Kushmanda is also known as Ashtabhuja Devi, which means she has eight hands. In her figurine, she can be seen holding Kalash, chakra, gada, kamandal, rosary, lotus, bow and arrow. It is believed that all the power to bestow Siddhis and Niddhis are located in her Jap Mala.
Maa Kushmanda is also named as ‘Adi Shakti’. It is believed that Goddess Kushmanda is the one who governs the sun. Goddess Kushmanda resides at the core of the Sun and provides energy. She rides a lion.
Devotees should chant this mantra for 108 times on the fourth day of Navratri :
Suraasampoornam Kalasham Rudhiraaplutamev Cha | Dahdana Hastpadmaabhyaam Kushmanda Shubhdaastu Me ||
Which means, May Maa Kushmanda who holds two pitchers full of Madira and Blood in her lotus hands, be propitious to me.
Sep 30, 2017: Vijayadashami or Dussehra is celebrated with fervor at the end of Navratri every year. The festival is observed by burning the puppet of King Ravana. While at some places, the celebration of good over evil is celebrated by burning effigy of the demon king, there are some places where Ravana is worshipped on this occasion. It is predisposed amongst the followers that all their wishes come true on this day.
Every year on Dussehra, the 125-year-old Dashanan temple in Shivala area of Kanpur is opened for its devotees. An idol of King Ravana is ornamented, and aarti is performed. Devotees perform religious rituals and light lamps to celebrate the festival. The temple remains closed following the burning of Ravana’s statue.
Dashanan Temple was constructed in 1890 by king Guru Prasad Shukl. The rationale behind the construction of Dashanan temple was Ravana’s adherence towards Lord Shiva.
King Ravana is worshipped at many places in India, for example: In Andhra Pradesh’s Kakinada, a huge shivalinga established by Ravana is revered along with the demon-king. Vidisha, a village in Madhya Pradesh is dedicated to King Ravana. In this village, the first wedding card invitation is sent to Ravana before the commencement of any celebration. Neither the devotees burn dummies of King Ravana, nor do they celebrate Dussehra.
New Delhi, September 29, 2017 : The last eight days have witnessed immense zeal and fervor among devotees who got together to celebrate Sharad Navratri and honor the nine auspicious nights of goddess Durga. According to the Hindu dharma, there are four Navratris in one year; however, only two of them are celebrated in a magnificent way, one of them being Sharad Navratri. This year, the festival was observed from September 21– 29. Throughout the nine day festival, devotees observe ritualistic fasts, perform several pujas and offer bhog (holy food) to Goddess Durga in an attempt to gratify her.
Why do we celebrate Navratri?
‘Nav’ means ‘nine’ and ‘ratri’ means ‘night’. Thus, ‘Navratri’ means the festival of the ‘nine nights’.
Navratri is celebrated to honor and glorify the spirit of Goddess Durga, also known as the Devi Shakti inside us. It is popularly believed that this spirit alone can help us destroy all negative traits like obsession, pride and aversions.
By turning to the Devi during Navratri, and getting in touch with her spirit in us, devotees attempt to overcome these negative qualities and invoke positive tendencies.
Celebration of the Devi Shakti
Shakti translates to energy and the Devi (goddess) of Shakti in the Hindu dharma is revered as the primitive source of energy that maintains and sustains all forms on creation of the earth.
The Devi Shakti, or the feminine spirit, manifests itself in multiple forms, nine of which are worshiped during the Navratri.
Each form of the goddess encompasses and supplements traits such as strength, beauty, compassion, , power, fear and transformation. Thus, during Navratri celebrations, devout Hindus honor the existence, presence and power of the Devi Shakti.
The Different Avatars of Durga
The nine nights of Navratri celebrate and honor the nine different aspects of Mother Divine on each day, known as Nava Durga. These are,
Maa Maha Gauri
Day 9 of Navratri : Maha Navmi
The ninth and the final day of worship before Vijaya Dashami is known as Navmi, also known as Maha Navmi. This marks the end of the Sharad Navratri.
According to the Hindu mythology, goddess Durga fought the king of demons, Mahishasur for nine consecutive days. The ninth day is the absolute day when the goddess’ power, righteousness, and wisdom won over the evil forces.
On this day, the ninth avatar of goddess Durga is worshiped – Maa Siddhidhatri.
Ninth form of Durga – Maa Siddhidhatri
It is believed that goddess Durga’s manifestation in his form happened upon entering the body of Lord Shiva and assuming the left half of it.
Maa Siddhidhatri sits on a red lotus and is also seen riding a lion at times. The goddess has a mace, conch, and a lotus in her four hands.
Ruling over the planet Ketu, Maa Siddhidhatri governs the minds of people and motivates them towards a disciplined and spiritual life. Devotees believe worshiping this avatar of goddess Durga leads them on a path of self-exploration and higher spiritual knowledge.
Goddess Siddhidhatri is believed to bring fulfillment and totality in every sphere of life, which is why devout Hindus celebrate the last day of Navratri to please and pray to the goddess.
Rituals of Maha Navmi
In many parts of North and East India, Kanya Puja or Kanjak is observed on Maha Navmi. Following the rituals, nine young girls are worshiped as the nine avatars of goddess Durga. Following the puja which includes chanting various mantras and lighting incense sticks, the kanjaks are fed food specially prepared for them. They are also presented with gifts as tokens of respect and love.
In eastern India, Maha Navmi is synonymous with the third day of Durga Puja. The celebrations begin with a holy bath and are followed by the Shodhasopachar puja. On this day, the goddess is worshipped in the avatar of the goddess who killed Mahishasur, Mahishasuramardini.
In several parts of Southern India, many children begin preparing for their academic year from this day.
Sep 25, 2017: Rock salt or Sendha namak, is mostly consumed during the fast. In Ayurveda, it has been suggested to consume sendha namak during a fast, as it has constituents which are soft on stomach and body. It is believed that sendha namak is the purest form of the salt, hence can be consumed during the Fast.
Sendha Namak is found in the crystalline form and is considered to be the best quality out of all forms of the salt. It is unprocessed and raw salt which constitutes potassium, copper, iron, calcium, copper, etc.
Some incredible health benefits of Sendha Namak (Rock Salt)
Metabolism and Immunity
Sendha Namak enhances the functioning of the body and lifts levels of metabolism. It reinforces immunity system to battle sicknesses.
Stabilises Blood Pressure
As table salt has the high amount of potassium, individuals with hypertension are encouraged to control the use. One can incorporate sendha namak in their eating routine as it helps in controlling blood pressure.
Sendha name or Rock salt is helpful in stomach infection and also enhances absorption. It is effective in acidity.
Sendha namak rock salt is helpful for individuals having respiratory issues. A sore throat, dry hack, tonsils, and so forth can be dealt with by gargling with sendha namak in tepid water.
Skin benefits of sendha namak
Sendha namak or Rock salt can enable you to evacuate clogged pores. You can likewise utilize it as a face wash for sound and shining skin. It is a brilliant exfoliator and can enable you to dispose of dull and dead skin
Hair benefits of sendha namak
Blending rock salt with cleanser will enable you to retain normal scalp oil. Utilize it with conditioner to increase voluminous hair.