The Navratri celebrations are continuing on a grand scale across the country. One of the most important dates of this festival is Ashtami (also known as Maha Ashtami or Durga Ashtami). It falls on the eighth day of Shardiya Navratri, the second day of Durga Puja. This year, it is on October 22. Devotees worship the eighth form of Goddess Shakti on this day - Maa Mahagauri. They also perform Kanya or Kumari Puja/Kanjak and the legendary Sandhi Puja. Meanwhile, the Bengali community worships Maa Chamunda, as they believe that the Goddess appeared on this day to annihilate Mahishasura's demon associates Chanda, Munda, and Raktabija. If you are marking Shardiya Navratri, here's all you need to know about Maa Mahagauri. Also, find out the significance, puja vidhi, timing, samagri and more on the eighth day of Shardiya Navratri.
Who is Maa Mahagauri? Navratri 2023 Day 8 significance:
Hindu devotees of Maa Durga worship Maa Mahagauri on the eighth day of Shardiya Navratri. Hindu mythology says Goddess Shailputri was extremely beautiful and blessed with a fair complexion at sixteen. In this form, she was known as Goddess Mahagauri. She mounts a bull, and because of that is also known as Maa Vrisharudha. The Goddess is often compared with a conch, the moon and the white flower of Kunda because she has a fair complexion. Lastly, as the Goddess always wears white clothes she is called Shwetambardhara.
Maa Mahagauri has four hands - while one hand on the right side carries a Trishul and the other stays in Abhaya Mudra, she holds a Damaru in one left hand and keeps the other in Varada Mudra. She symbolizes purity, serenity and tranquillity and governs the planet, Rahu. Her favourite flower is the Night Blooming Jasmine or Raat Ki Rani.
People worship Maa Mahagauri as she is known for bestowing her devotees with wealth and an opulent lifestyle and removing all their sufferings. Praying to Maa Durga on Ashtami can help rid one of all their problems and sins. Ashtami fast also holds significance as it brings prosperity and luck.
Navratri 2023 Day 8 Puja Vidhi, Bhog, Colour and Timing:
The Ashtami Tithi will begin on October 21 at 9:53 pm and end on October 22 at 7:58 pm. The Sarvartha Siddhi Yoga is from 6:26 am to 6:44 pm. So, you can perform Kanya Puja on October 22 from 6:26 am. Lastly, Sandhi Puja starts at 7:34 pm and ends at 8:22 pm.
Devotees should begin their day on Ashtami tithi with a Mahasnan to rid themselves of any impurities and wear new clothes. Then, install nine pots at the worship place inside your homes and invoke the nine shaktis of Maa Durga and worship them. Another ritual is the Kanya Puja, where people invite nine young unmarried girls inside their homes and worship them as they are considered the divine incarnations of Goddess Durga. Devotees wash their feet, put tilak on their foreheads, and offer them prasad comprising of puri, halva and black grams.
The colour of Maha Ashtami and Maa Mahagauri is purple, says Drik Panchang. Using this colour brings prosperity. It represents grandeur and royalty. Lastly, devotees offer coconut as a special bhog to Maa Mahagauri on Ashtami. It is said that donating coconuts to the Brahmins on Ashtami brings prosperity and happiness.
Maa Mahagauri Puja Mantra, Prathana, Stuti and Stotra for Day 8:
1) Om Devi Mahagauryai Namah
2) Shwete Vrishesamarudha Shwetambaradhara Shuchih
Mahagauri Shubham Dadyanmahadeva Pramodada
3) Ya Devi Sarvabhuteshu Maa Mahagauri Rupena Samsthita
Namastasyai Namastasyai Namastasyai Namo Namah
4) Sarvasankata Hantri Tvamhi Dhana Aishwarya Pradayanim
Jnanada Chaturvedamayi Mahagauri Pranamamyaham
Sukha Shantidatri Dhana Dhanya Pradayanim
Damaruvadya Priya Adya Mahagauri Pranamamyaham
Trailokyamangala Tvamhi Tapatraya Harinim
Vadadam Chaitanyamayi Mahagauri Pranamamyaham
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