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Every year Hindus enthusiastically observe a nine day Navratra (Nine Holy Nights). This nine day period is dedicated to Goddess Durga, whose nine dimensions are celebrated one each day. It is a nine day stretch when a devotee sticks religiously to vegetarian diet. During this period drinks are avoided. Some people voluntarily forego sex also as it is considered a violent act.

During the Navratra especially on the eighth day and ninth day, worship of कुमारी कन्या small girl-child is customary. The girl child is worshipped with complete devotion, after purifying them by the chanting of mantras and she is made to seat on a special pedestal. She is worshipped by offering 'akshat' (rice grains) and by burning incense sticks. She is worshipped because, according to the philosophy of 'Striyah Samastastava Devi Bhedah', women symbolize 'Mahamaya' (The goddess Durga). Even among these a girl child is considered to be the purest, because of her innocence.

Hinduism believes in the universal creative forces to be feminine gender. The very original force is Mahamaya whose inspiration created the gods and the rest of the cosmos. The inspiration is the life force of the entire creation. All the major and minor energies and forces are represented by various goddesses. Navratra deity Durga and all her dimensions are believed to be the manifestations of the same basic inspiration Mahamaya.

Thus, a virgin girl is the symbol of the pure basic creative force according to this philosophy.

If the worshipper is desirous of acquiring knowledge then he should worship a Brahmin girl child. If he is desirous of acquiring power, then he should worship a Kshatriya-girl child. Similarly if he is desirous of acquiring wealth and prosperity, then a girl child belonging to a Vaishya family should be worshipped by him. If a person is desirous of attaining Tantrik-power, Sammohan (hypnotizing), Uchchatan (causing hurdle in the path of other success), then he should worship a shudra-girl-child.

कन्या पूजन कैसे करें ? How to do Kanya Pujan on Durga Mahashtmi & Navami?