From Auspicious Timings to Rituals: Find Answers to All Your Queries Regarding Shardiya Navratri
From Auspicious Timings to Rituals: Find Answers to All Your Queries Regarding Shardiya Navratri

Navaratri, a significant Hindu festival, is celebrated four times a year, in the months of Magha, Chaitra, Ashadha, and Ashwin. The Navaratri celebrated in the month of Ashwin is known as Sharad Navaratri. It marks the end of negative energies and fosters a positive and vibrant atmosphere. Celebrated in reverence to the Goddess, this festival signifies the divine feminine power, often referred to as Shakti Navaratri. Over the span of nine days, different forms of the Goddess, known as Navadurga, are worshipped.

This year, Sharad Navaratri is set to commence on the 15th of October, beginning on a Sunday. The Ashtami falls on the 22nd of October, and the Navami on the 23rd of October. The culmination of the nine-day festival will be on the 24th of October, known as Dussehra. Sharad Navaratri is considered one of the most significant Navaratris.

The auspicious time for Kalash Sthapana (placing of the sacred pot) is from 11:48 am to 12:36 pm on the 15th of October, according to the Panchang. The essential items required for the Kalash Sthapana include seven types of grains, a clay pot, clay, a sacred Kalash, holy water, leaves, betel nuts, coconuts with stalks, akshat (rice grains), red cloth, and flowers.

The rituals for Navaratri involve taking a vow to fast, sowing barley in a clay pot, placing it on the Kalash, and invoking Lord Ganesha before starting any auspicious work. The Kalash, filled with water, grains, coins, and clay, is then adorned with five types of leaves and the image of the Goddess. The recitation of the Durga Saptashati is followed by the lighting of a lamp, and the ritual concludes with the Aarti of the Goddess and distribution of Prasad.

During the nine days of Sharad Navaratri, each day is dedicated to a specific form of the Goddess:
Day 1 (15th October, 2023) - Shailaputri
Day 2 (16th October, 2023) - Brahmacharini
Day 3 (17th October, 2023) - Chandraghanta
Day 4 (18th October, 2023) - Kushmanda
Day 5 (19th October, 2023) - Skandamata
Day 6 (20th October, 2023) - Katyayani
Day 7 (21st October, 2023) - Kalaratri
Day 8 (22nd October, 2023) - Mahagauri
Day 9 (23rd October, 2023) - Mahanavami
Day 10 (24th October, 2023) - Durga Visarjan, Dussehra
This year, the procession of the Goddess Durga will be on an elephant, signifying an auspicious omen that is expected to bring prosperity and peace across the nation.

During Navaratri, it is recommended to chant specific mantras and offer specific Prasad based on one's zodiac sign. These include offering Malpua and chanting 'Om Dum Durgay Namah' for Aries, Rabri and 'Om Gauri Namah' for Taurus, Papaya and 'Om Dhatri Namah' for Gemini, Milk and 'Om Jaya Namah' for Cancer, Pomegranate and 'Om Mangalakali Namah' for Leo, Rice Pudding and 'Om Vijaya Namah' for Virgo, Singhare and 'Om Lakshmibhyo Namah' for Libra, Jaggery and 'Om Shivaye Namah' for Scorpio, Coconut and 'Om Medhayai Namah' for Capricorn, Halwa and 'Om Swadhyayai Namah' for Aquarius, and Panjiri and 'Om Padmayai Namah' for Pisces.

In essence, Sharad Navaratri is not just a festival; it is a celebration of the divine feminine energy that exists within every individual, fostering a sense of unity, joy, and spiritual growth.

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