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The Real Logic of Fastening during Navratri Puja in Hindus

Hindus observe fast and put themselves in feasting mode during the festival of nine days called Navratri

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Navratri Puja
Devotees observe fasting during Navratri to please Hindu Goddess. Pixabay
  • Hindus observe fast and put themselves in feasting mode during the nine-day Navratri Festival
  • Fasting makes people much more connected to their inner self
  • Ashadha Navratri has started on June 24 this year

June 26, 2017: Who wants to stay hungry, when you have all the access to delicious food? Nobody, still they are some people who feel contented while rejecting their daily food.

Hindus observe fast and put themselves in feasting mode during the nine-day Navratri Festival. Every day of Navratri is dedicated to a special goddess. Navratri Puja is not all about fasting, it’s about chanting the name of God and lighting diyas for purity, playing and dancing along with friends, a season of cropping and Hindu pupils’ favourite shopping time as these days are considered to be auspicious. At the end of Navratri, devotees invite little girls to their homes and serve them food as a goddess.

Navratri is the special occasion on which fasting and feasting occur simultaneously. People practice great control and cut non-vegetarian diet during this period. Sago, Buckwheat, potato dishes and buttermilk are prepared and consumed during Navratri. Fast is considered to please the goddess, they do support religious reasons.The logic behind the fasting is much more above the spiritual one. Navratri Puja is celebrated during the onset of summers and winters. These two periods marks essential seasonal transformation. According to Ayurveda, consuming meat, onion, garlic and alcohol captivate the negative energies. The body’s comparatively weak immune system will make people more prone to fall sick.

Fasting makes people much more connected to their inner self. It helps relax the digestive system which in turn brings precision into one’s life. It links one with the divinity within oneself and helps in getting the feel of tranquillity. As you let go your negative energies, all the positivity gets restored and helps concentrate your energies in the right direction. The breaking up of old patterns by changing the food habits you have been following will arouse a different kind of discipline. This discipline helps a person to get rid of evils like lust, anger, greed, attachment, ego, fear, jealousy, inertia, hate and guilt.  

Also Read: Why India is celebrating 9-Day Hindu Festival and how it is associated with re-incarnations of Goddess Durga?

Altogether fasting helps in effective management of metabolism, purification of body, mind and soul for maintaining well-being, harmony and perfect balance.

Ashadha Navratri Puja has started on June 24 this year. Gupta Navratri and Gayatri Navratri are other names of Ashadha Navratri.

  • Goddess Shailputri is worshipped on the first day (Amavasya) of Navratri. 
  • Goddess Brahmacharini is worshipped on the second day (Dwitiya) of Navratri.   
  • Goddess Chandraghanta is worshipped on the third day (Tritiya) of Navratri.   
  • Goddess Kushmanda is worshipped on the fourth day (Chaturthi) of Navratri.   
  • Goddess Skandamata is worshipped on the fifth day (Panchami) of Navratri.   
  • Goddess Katyayani is worshipped on the sixth day (Shashthi) of Navratri.   
  • Goddess Kalaratri is worshipped on the seventh day (Saptami) of Navratri.
  • Goddess Durga is worshipped on the eighth day (Ashtami) of Navratri. 
  • Goddess Siddhidatri is worshipped on the ninth day (Navami) of Navratri.

 by Surbhi Dhawan. Twitter @surbhi_dhawan

           

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Hinduism: The Nine Basic Beliefs that you need to know

Hinduism- the oldest religion in the world is based on certain established beliefs. Read more to find out what these beliefs are.

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justice and Injustice factor of Hinduism
Hinduism of Hindus when compared between justice and injustice

Hinduism being the world’s oldest religion does not have any proper beginning story like the other monotheistic religions like Christianity and Islam do. It has no human founder. Therefore it leads us to the question that if there was no human who started Hinduism then how did its teaching come to being. Well, there is no definitive way to answer this question. What we can answer though are the nine beliefs of Hinduism. Hinduism is a religion which believes that if a person realizes the Truth within himself then only he can reach a point where the consciousness of man and god are one.

Our beliefs determine our thought process and attitude toward life which lead us to our actions. It is said that we create our destiny from our actions. Beliefs regarding matters such as God, soul, and cosmos often shape our perceptions towards life. Hindus believe in a variety of concepts but there are few critical ones which shape the basic belief of Hinduism. The following are the nine beliefs which not exactly very comprehensive but they form the base of the spirituality of Hinduism.

Are you familiar with the various gods and goddesses of Hinduism? Pixabay

All Pervasive Divine Power

  • Hindus believe in a one, all-pervasive Supreme Being who is both immanent and transcendent, both Creator and Unmanifest Reality.

Rig Veda – Wikipedia Commons

Divinity of the Sacred Scriptures

  • Hindus believe in the divinity of the four Vedas, the world’s most ancient scripture, and venerate the Agamas as equally revealed. These primordial hymns are God’s word and the bedrock of Sanatana Dharma, the eternal religion.

Hinduism – Pixabay

Creation Cycle

  • Hindus believe that the universe undergoes endless cycles of creation, preservation, and dissolution.

Hindu Lord Vishnu and Lakshmi, Wikimedia

Belief in Karma

  • Hindus believe in karma, the law of cause and effect by which each individual creates his own destiny by his thoughts, words, and deeds.

Reincarnation and Liberation

  • Hindus believe that the soul reincarnates, evolving through many births until all karmas have been resolved, and moksha, liberation from the cycle of rebirth, is attained. Not a single soul will be deprived of this destiny.

penance
Belur, Chennakeshava Temple, Gajasurasamhara, Shiva slaying the demon Gajasura. Wikimedia

Worship in Temples

  • Hindus believe that divine beings exist in unseen worlds and that temple worship, rituals, sacraments and personal devotionals create a communion with these devas and Gods.

Hindu dharma
Hindu Sadhguru –  Pixabay

Belief in an Enlightened Satguru

  • Hindus believe that an enlightened master, or satguru, is essential to know the Transcendent Absolute, as are personal discipline, good conduct, purification, pilgrimage, self-inquiry, meditation, and surrender in God.

Hinduism, Hindu temple, Krishna idol
Krishna idol. Pixabay

Propagation of Non-Violence and Compassion towards living things

  • Hindus believe that all life is sacred, to be loved and revered and therefore practice ahimsa, non-injury, in thought, word and deed.

The symbol has been adopted by various religions and cultures across the world.
The swastika is a Hindu symbol of spiritual principles and values. Wikimedia Commons.

Respect and Tolerance for other faiths

  • Hindus believe that no religion teaches the only way to salvation above all others, but that all genuine paths are facets of God’s Light, deserving tolerance, and understanding.

Prepared by Saloni Hindocha (@siatipton)

One response to “Hinduism: The Nine Basic Beliefs that you need to know”

  1. Please use proper words for our culture. There are no ‘beliefs’ in Hinduism. There are only ‘hypotheses’ of Hinduism. Belief is something a person is required to adhere to, even in the face of disproving evidence. It demands a suspension of rational thought which goes against the basic nature of Hinduism. Please do not explain Hinduism using the same terminology used by Abrahamic religions. Or more appropriately, call Hinduism and other non-Abrahamic religions as ‘dharma’ to distinguish their inherent nature. Even religious Shinto-Buddhist Japanese say they have no religion when asked. Also, I do not know how you came up with these nine basic so-called ‘beliefs’. I am a Hindu and have never heard of some of them. Please call them ‘some’ of the hypotheses of Hinduism that ‘some’ Hindus agree with. Disagree with ‘tolerance for other faiths’, respect for other dharma – yes, tolerance – not applicable. This word ‘tolerance’ is required by Abrahamic religions which are intrinsically supremacist. Hence they need tolerance to be able to live in a diverse civil society without the tendency to occasionally commit violence for their religion. A dharma like Hinduism has nothing to ‘tolerate’. A Hindu/Jain/Buddhist/Shinto/Taoist/etc. does not care about the religious ‘labels’ and will easily exchange gods/practices/hypotheses with each other if they make sense or are harmless but satisfy some need. Of course, things that are bad deserve criticism and no tolerance (except for basic human respect). How can anyone attempt to define a culture that has always been and will always be in flux as human knowledge increases? It’s time we restored our so-called ‘religion’ to what it always has been i.e. ancient science.

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Strange Rituals: Demon King Ravana is Worshipped on Dussehra

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Effigy of Ravana burns. Dussehra. Wikimedia

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.

Also Read: Ram and Ravana Have More In Common Than You Think: 5 Traits of the Anti-Hero Ravana That You Must Learn | Dussehra Special

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.

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Celebration of the Devi Shakti : Maha Navmi | Worship Goddess Siddhidhatri on the Ninth Day of Navratri

Navratri is celebrated to honor and glorify the spirit of Goddess Durga, also known as the Devi Shakti inside us

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Maha Navmi
During Navratri celebrations, devout Hindus honor the existence, presence and power of the Devi Shakti. Pixabay

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.

Maha Navmi
Nine firms of the Devi Shakti are worshiped during the Navratri. IANS

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,

  1. Maa Shailaputri
  2. Maa Brahmacharini
  3. Maa Chandraghanta
  4. Maa Kushmanda
  5. Maa Skandamata
  6. Maa Kathyayini
  7. Maa Kaalaratri
  8. Maa Maha Gauri
  9. Maa Siddhidhatri

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.

ALSO READ Get Your Home Festive Ready for Dussehra and Diwali!

Spiritual Significance of Maha Navmi

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.

Maha Navmi
9 Forms of Durga. Pixabay

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.

ALSO READ Significance of Kanjak Puja in Navratri, What Each Age Group of Young Girls Depicts?

Color for the day : Purple

Navratri Ninth Day Maa Siddhidhatri Mantras

“Om Devi Siddhidatryai Namah”

and

“Om Devi Siddhidatryayi Namah Siddha Gandharva Yakshdyairasurairamarairapi

Sevyamaanaa Sadabhuyaat Siddhida Siddhidayini”