Navratri Rituals

Navratri is a Hindu festival celebrated twice every year in India i.e. in the Hindu months of Chaitra (March-April) and Ashwin (September – October). The festival is highly revered amongst the Hindu community and is celebrated in respect to the Goddess Durga, the supreme feminine power in the universe. The 9 days of festivities are held in respect to the 9 forms of the Goddess Durga. A wave of joyousness and festival spirit is seen across India. Devotees relish these nine days to the fullest where they lose themselves in the devotion to their beloved Goddess and are seen singing holy songs, dancing to the beats of garba and dandiya or jiving along the bhents which are sung during the Jagrans. The happiness on the face of the devotees as they sing, chant and groove during the festival is a sight that mesmerises every onlooker.

It is important for the new generations to know about the correct rituals of Navratri so that they can pass on the knowledge to their future generation and keep the colourful Indian culture alive for a long time to come. Given below is a sequential list of customs, which are followed during the Navratri festival.

Rituals of Navratri:Sequential Rituals to Follow During Navratri Festival

Sthapna:

This is the first ritual conducted on the first morning of the Navratri. The ritual involves establishment of the Idol or Photograph of the Goddess at the venue for worship for the period of 9 days. Kalash Sthapna, where a brass or earthen pitcher is decorated with mango leaves and capped with a coconut is also a part of the ritual. The place must be clean and family members or the personnel (in case of Public Setups) should get ready early in the morning and establish the idol or photograph of the Goddess and urge her to fill their lives with prosperity and happiness.

The holy hymns are to be recited twice every day to the goddess at the place of establishment. Early in the morning and late evening are the ideal times for the Aarti. The participation of many people at public events makes the environment around the Aarti a blissful oblivion for each and every Hindu. Durga Aarti has been chanted daily during Puja time. Read More....

The revered book of Durga Saptashati is read by sitting affront the establishment. The verse mentions the sayings and teachings of the goddess in her own words where she tells the devotees about a righteous way of live and things to do which please her. The book is holy and is to be kept with highest regards and devotion. Read More....

Kanya Pujan:

On the 7th, 8th and 9th Day of the Navratris people invite small girls from the neighbourhood and feed them with halwa, puri and chane (grams), which is considered to be the favourite food of the Goddess Almighty. After feeding the girls people bend down to touch the feet of the girls to seek their blessings. Handkerchiefs and money is also given to the girls along with some beauty accessories like earrings, bangles and more.

Satyanarayan Katha:

Amidst the juvenile celebration of the navratri, people organise a Satyanarayan katha for peace and prosperity where the Vishnu descendant Lord is requested to forgive their mistakes and grant them with prosperity. A holy pyre is lit and offerings known as “aahutis” are given by the people hosting the Katha along with the vernacular chants of the priests (pandit).

Chowki and Jagrans:

Devotees loose themselves in the music of the bhents or devotional songs sung at the Chowki and Jagrans organised by people in the navratri. Although any such event can be organised at any given time, where the celebrations are focused at pleasing the Goddess is simply an electrifying atmosphere. It is anyways difficult to stop one’s feet from tapping around at the sound of the Punjabi dhol, but when coupled with the feeling of devotion to the almighty goddess the experience is surreal.

Donations:

People take time out time from their extremely busy schedules to donate a small yet substantial part of their earnings to the poor and needy. This practice is growing in nature in the recent times as more and more people are helping the helpless to help the weaker sections of the country to grow and achieve their dreams.

Each and every ritual is equally important during navratri festival. The devotees who follow all the rituals of navratri, like 9 days worship, sing aarti & hymns, perform fasting and do kanya pujan always get the blessing of goddess Durga.