The final and the last day of Navratri is celebrated as Maha Navami. It also marks the last day of Durga Puja. The term Maha Navami is a compound of two words, i.e., ‘Maha’ meaning powerful and ‘Navami’ meaning the ninth one. It is considered a highly auspicious date and is dedicated to Durga as she became victorious over a demon named Mahishasura. The day falls on the ninth day of bright lunar fortnight in the month of Ashwin (September-October), according to the Hindu calendar.
According to a legend, Durga took a fierce form named as Mahishasura He was a demon who had the power to transform into a buffalo at will. He was blessed by Brahma that no man could kill him. He wanted to take over the heaven and conquer the universe. Durga failed him in his attempt by fighting and killing him. According to some legends, he is believed to be a great devotee of Durga, who played her enemy on her request as she wanted to teach the value of heaven to various GodsMardini to end the life of a demon, Mahishasura. He was very powerful and had gained a boon that no god could kill him. If anyone tried to spill even one drop of his blood then a new Mahishasura will be born from the same. The battle between the demon and the goddess lasted for nine days and it was on the ninth day that the demon was killed.
Mahishasura Mardini had destructive powers which could end the universe, thus Durga took a benevolent form to be prayed to. She then took a form of SiddhidatriSiddhidatri
Siddhidatri is the ninth form of Durga worshiped... who blessed her devotees with meditative abilities and powers which could help them clear any and all hurdles of life.
People observe a complete day or a partial fast. They clean the worshipping arena in their houses and place the idols of nine forms of Durga and adorned and worship them. The two forms which are worshipped majorly are Mahishasura Mardini and Siddhidatri because of the above mentioned legend. Sandhi Puja It is a prayer ritual performed to make offerings, honoring, evoking or worshipping gods. The ceremony can also be performed to pay homage to the beloved ones who are deadand Navami Homa are also performed on this day. Brahmins It is one of the caste of Hindus. They are known for their knowledge of ancient, sacred scripturesare fed and are given charity to.
The rituals also vary from place to place. In Eastern India, Durga is worshipped in the form of Mahishasura Mardini. People perform a fire oblation on the day in their homes or temples can also be visited to be a part of the same. Earlier, animal sacrifice was also the part of the ritual but it has now been replaced with vegetable or fruit’s sacrifice. Devotees believe that worshipping Durga on this day with whole heart and dedication is equivalent to praying to her for nine days.
Some people invite nine young girls to their houses to first worship and then feast them. A family member washes their feet and then give them food to eat. Gifts in kind and cash are also bestowed upon them. Finally the family members touch their feet and seek their blessings. This ritual is mainly performed in states like Uttar Pradesh, Kashmir, Punjab, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Bihar and Haryana and the young girls who are worshipped are known as Kanya or Kumari.
In South India, people worship their professional tools as they believe their work will be blessed by the Goddess and they will prosper in life. In some places like Andhra Pradesh, people also worship married women and celebrate the power of womanhood. Their feminine power and energy is considered irreplaceable thus worthy of being worshiped and honored.
In Kerala, people worship SaraswatiSaraswati
The name Saraswati is a combination of two Sanskrit words... and start their children’s formal education on this very day. As the day is considered highly auspicious, people find sending kids to school on Maha Navami very beneficial. According to the ritual, all books in the house are gathered and kept in the worshipping arena and everyone in the house offer flowers to the them. They perform puja and the books are then given back to their respected owners. People sit while facing east and write few alphabets using unbroken rice grains. Many young children write the mantra, ‘Om Maha Ganapataye Namah’ with the help of their parents.
In some parts of Kerala, the same ritual is known as Adachu puja and is performed a little differently. According to this custom, the books are kept covered and are not allowed to be touched. Reading and writing is prohibited. Thus this ceremony is also known as closed puja.
In Mysore, a huge procession is carried out, presenting various weapons. This is the symbol of Durga’s power and anger. It also signifies her fighting spirit and warding off evil from the face of the earth. In various villages, farmers bring crops from their fields and immerse it into lakes. They pray for their well -being and abundance of food and money in their houses.
In Kolkata, the day marks the end of Durga Puja and people are filled with excitement and happiness. They sing and dance while smearing each other faces with red color, the color associated with Durga. Devotees offer sugarcane stalks to her and apply vermillion in the parted hair of the idol. A special Aarti It is a Hindu religious ritual of worshipis conducted, marking the end of the religious ceremonies and festivity. Various delicacies are prepared for the day, known as Navami Bhog, which are first offered to Goddess and then distributed among her devotees as prasadam. Finally, the statues of Durga are submerged into the water, praying her to visit the next year also. People believe that she keeps her followers protected throughout the year after this ceremony.
People who follow the above mentioned rituals on the day are freed from family problems and failures. If they are facing any law suit then their issues get resolved. Enemies and evil stay at bay. Devotees are blessed with peace and prosperity.
One can recite the following Mantra A group of sacred words chanted in order to gain something, be it materialistic pleasures or peaceful mindto acquire spiritual upliftment and powers to lead a life with ease.
‘Siddha Gandharva Yakshadhyie asuraira Marairapi Sevya Maana, Sadaa Bhooyaath Siddhidaa Siddhidaayini Siddhidatri Dhyana’.