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Ashwin (Sharad) Maha Navratri - Ghatsthapana
Sat, 17 October 2020

Durga came to Earth on the invitation and prayers of the people who were being harassed . She came down in Her form of Mahisha Mardini or the slayer of the Buffalo which has ten hands holding ten different weapons given to Her by the various Gods. She came riding her mount the Lion on the invitiation of Her devotees. On the eighth day of the Sukla Paksha in the month of Ashwin She arrived on Earth. On the ninth day the battle ensued with Mahishasur and the battle continued through the night. The demon hid easily among Buffaloes by taking their form . But Durga cut off its head to reveal the Demon and eventually on the tenth day or on Vijaya dashami She slayed Mahishasur with the help of Her mount the Lion.

Ghatsthapan - Kalash Sthapana Muhurta

This event is celebrated every year as Navaratra. The worship basically begins with the singing of Mahalaya or the invitation from her devotees on the Amabashya or the new Moon of Ashwina which usually comes around September-October. After which the worship of nine nights and ten days begin. The actual installation and worship of theidols of Durga along with the idols of Her children Ganesha and Kartik and Her other forms Saraswati and Lakshmi are worshipped begins on Panchami of Sukla Pakcha. First Saraswati is worshipped on Panchami, then Lakshmi is worshipped on Shasthi who are also considered different forms of Parvati and then Durga is worshipped on Saptami. On the eighth day the puja of Mahasthami is held when She actually arrives from Kailash and enters the clay image. Much fanfare is held to announce Her arrival on this day including the playing of drums, cymbals and conch sehlss and a great worhsip is conducted. During the puja cermonies Mantras are recited by priests and devotees asking the Goddess to give knowledge, wealth and courage to all. On the ninth day the great battle with Mahishasur ensues and is celebrated as Mahanavami. On the tenth day victory over the demon is celebrated by the puja of Vijaya Dashami. After the ceremonies the clay images are floated into nearby rivers and the ceremony is called Visarjan.

Navaratri is celebrated four times a year. They are Ashada Navaratri, the Sharada Navaratri, the Maha Navaratri and the Vasantha Navaratri. Of these, the Sharada Navaratri of the month of Ashwin and the Vasantha Navaratri of the Chaitra are very important. If you refer to the Agni Purana, then it is said that the Asvin and Chaitra are like the two jaws of Lord Yama. If one wants to escape the mouth of Yama, then one should celebrate Navaratri on these two occassions. A similar analogy is presented in the Devi Bhagavatam.

Devi Bhagavatam also talks in detail on how one should observe fasts, and how one should meditate/work on these days. It is a long tradition that one reads the Devi Bhagavatam or the Devi Mahatmyam (Durga Saptasati, 700 verses on Durga) during this period. Devi Bhagavatam notes that Rama meditated and fasted for nine days after Sita was kidnapped by Ravana. There are numerous such incidents on how people’s wishes were granted.

|| Jai Mata Di ||
|| Jai Siya Ram ||