Durgashtami or Mahashtami is one of the most auspicious days for Hindus. Following the traditions, devotees observe fast during this day and offer special puja. Read on to know how to do Mahashtami fast and how to spend the day.
Mahashtami is dedicated to worshipping Goddess Durga, a symbol of power and energy. It is believed that observing fast and performing a dedicated puja on this day pleases Maa Durga and she bestows blessing on you taking away all problems and issues from your life. She helps you become self-sufficient so that you do not need help from others to bring happiness and satisfaction in your life.
Although, the Goddess is believed to be very loving and caring, people offer their best to please her. Observing fast, in Hindus, is to purify one’s self so that when puja is performed he or she is able to concentrate properly. It helps in giving your best when you feel purified from within.
Mahashtami Vrat is a significant observance of Hindus all over the world. The fast is day long and starts from the sunrise to sunset. Men and women observe fast to seek divine blessings of the Goddess and perform Puja
following the tradition and rituals. Take a quick look at how Mahashtami fast is observed.
Making Offerings to Goddess Durga
On Mahashtami day, devotees get up early in the morning. After taking bath they make offerings to Maa Durga
along with flowers, chandan and dhoop.
Doing Kanya Puja
Kanya pujan or kumari pujan is also done in which very young girls are fed with special Prasad or naivedyam.
Fasting is an important ritual and most of the devotees restrict eating and drinking the whole day. This fasting
is observed to seek the blessings of Goddess Durga and acquiring spiritual gain. Some drink only water and milk throughout the day while some eat fruits. Even those who do not observe fast that day, stay away from non-vegetarian food or alcohol. Some committed ones sleep on the floor and keep distance from comfort and luxuries that day.
Offering Barley Grass
In some regions, people sow barley seeds in a small pot during the nine days of Navratri
and in nine days they attain the height of 3 – 5 inches, they are thus offered to the Goddess and then distributed among family members.
Chanting Durga Chalisa
Devotees chant Durga Chalisa, Durga Saptshati and other mantras relevant for Durga pujan that day. Some read Durga Ashtami Vrat katha also.
After the puja is over, people give alms to poor, feed and give offerings to Brahmins and do according to their wishes and desires.
Devotees visit Shakti temple on this day where special pujas are conducted on Mahashtami day. Many devotees do not leave their houses vacant that day believing that Goddess will visit their house anytime and someone should be there to welcome her.
Significance of Fasting on Durgastami
Durga is a Sanskrit word which means, unbeatable and Ashtami means, eighth day. According to Hindu legends, the most powerful and fierce form of Goddess Durga, Goddess Bhadrakali was incarnated that day. The day is also celebrated as victory of good over evil as it is believed that Maa Durga killed demon
Mahishasura that day. Hindus believe that those who observe Mahashtami Vrat with full dedication are bestowed with good fortune and happiness in their lives.
Mahashtami is celebrated with great enthusiasm by Hindus all over the world. It is believed that keeping fast with a true dedication and performing puja with concentration can help people stay strong and keep mortal problems away from their lives. The devotees, especially the ones who observe fast, break their fast and have food only when they have fed kanyas or young girls, Brahmins and poor. Once all this is over, the fast is over invoking blessings of Goddess Durga.What are the benefits of fasting during Mahashtami? Which rituals are followed while fasting during Mahashtami? Who should fast during Mahashtami? Discuss here.