Maha Navami is one of the important days of the biggest festival of the Hindus, Dashain. In this festival, devotees worship nine forms of Goddess Durga. In India, Hindus celebrate it as Dussehra. Hindus welcome this festival with great warmth, excitement, and happiness. People celebrate Maha Navami on the ninth day of Dashain and this year Maha Navami falls on the 7th of October. Let’s know more about Maha Navami and the interesting things about this auspicious day.
Why celebrate Maha Navami?
Dashain is the festival of celebration of the victory of good over evil. It signifies the victory of Goddess Durga over buffalo-demon Mahisasura. As per scriptures, it is the last day of battle between the Goddess and the demon and finally killed the demon on the tenth day. Some believe that the Goddess took the form of Mahishasu Mardini to destroy the demon who was terrorizing the universe. Hence, Mahanavami takes place as an important day of the Dashain festival.
Along with Dashain being considered as the festival of triumph of Goddess Durga over Mahishasura, some people also celebrate it as the victory of Lord Ram over Ravan. According to Holy Ramayana, Lord Ram killed Ravan, who had abducted his wife Sita. People also believe that Lord Ram fought with Ravan till the ninth day, and killed him on the tenth day. Both the mythologies symbolize the same thing i.e. good always wins against evil. Thus, Hindus celebrate Maha Navami with great significance, all over the world.
How to celebrate this day?
On this day, we worship Goddess Siddhidatri (one of the nine forms of Goddess Durga). She is believed to possess divine knowledge. Early in the morning, devotees take a holy bath and worship the Goddess. Then, men worship all kinds of machinery, tools, weapons, and vehicles which have been serving them in his daily life. Some people do so in Mahastami as well.
In Kathmandu, devotees get to visit Taleju Bhawani temple that remains closed all year long. Several sacrifices are made in the temple to the Goddess, which is a terrible sight. People who do not wish to offer animals to the Goddess, offer coconuts and duck eggs as well. Devotees believe that puja done on this day is equivalent to puja done on all the nine days of the festival.
The Maha Navami rituals in Bengal of India are a means of bidding farewell to Durga to go back to heaven. It starts with a holy bath and then followed by a special puja of the deity.
Here is a powerful Mahishasuramardhini stotra that the devotees chant while doing the puja:
अयि गिरिनन्दिनि, नन्दितमेदिनि, विश्वविनोदिनि, नन्दिनुते ||
गिरिवरविन्ध्य शिरोधिनिवासिनी बिष्णुविलासिनी जिष्णुनुते ||
भागवति हे शितिकण्ठकुटुम्बिनी भूरिकुटुम्बिनी भूरिक्रुते ||
जय जय हे महिषासुरमर्दिनी रम्य कपर्दिनी शैलसुते||
Maha Navami is then followed by Vijayadashami which is considered as the day when Goddess Durga slew Mahishasura. On Vijayadashami, the whole nation puts Tika and Jamara on the forehead to mark this day. Moreover, Dashain brings families together and welcomes home joy and a lot of happiness. Dashain had just come and it’s already the ninth day today.
May everyone have a great Dashain, HAPPY VIJAYA DASHAMI!!