Significance of Mahananda Navami
Mahananda Navami is an auspicious Hindu festival that is observed on the ‘Navami’ (9th day) of the ‘Shukla Paksha’ (the period of the bright fortnight of moon) during the months of ‘Magha’, ‘Bhadrapad’ and ‘Margashirsh’ in the traditional Hindu calendar. This date corresponds to the months of January-February, August-September, and December respectively in the Gregorian calendar. Besides, Mahananda Navami is also observed during a couple of other Hindu lunar months. The main ritual on this day involves one’s purification by taking bath in sacred rivers like Ganga and Yamuna.
Hindu devotees worship Goddess Durga on this ‘Shukla Paksha Navami’. Mahananda Navami also called ‘Tala Navami’ is celebrated with immense zeal and enthusiasm in the northern and eastern states of India, especially in Orissa and West Bengal.
Significance of Mahananda Navami
The festival of Mahananda Navami holds great religious significance for Hindu devotees. The main deity of worship on this day is Goddess Durga. As per the Hindu legends, Goddess Durga is symbolic of power and energy. Hindu devotees especially women worship Her for obtaining strength and power for fighting against all evils. It is believed that worshipping Goddess Durga will help to conquer every evil spirit. She is also referred to as ‘Durgatinashini’ meaning one who removes all sufferings. Hence those who worship Goddess Durga devotedly will gain freedom from all their sorrows and grieves.
According to Hindu mythology, there are nine incarnations of Goddess Durga namely, ‘Chandraghanta’, ‘Sailaputri’, ‘Kalaratri’, ‘Skanda Mata’, ‘Brahmacharini’, ‘Siddhidayini’, ‘Kushmanda’, ‘Katyayani’ and ‘Maha Gowri’. The spiritual importance of Mahananda Navami can be ascertained from the fact that on this day all these forms of Goddess Durga are collectively worshipped.
Rituals during Mahananda Navami
- On the day of Mahananda Navami, devotees get up early and make preparations for taking a ritualistic bath at the time of sunrise. Thousands of devotees gather to take bath in the holy rivers such as Ganga, Saraswati, Cauvery, Tungabhadra, and the Godavari to name a few. It is believed that by performing this ‘Punya Snan’ the person will be freed from all his/her sins or misdeeds of the present and past lives.
- Hindu devotees, especially married women observe a strict fast on this day. they do not eat anything during the day and break their fast at night after sighting the Moon God.
- On Mahananda Navami, Goddess Durga is worshipped with full dedication. A scrumptious feast is prepared for offering to the Goddess. This includes rajbhog, kalakand, murmura, ladoo, golden rasmalai, bhapaa aloo, luchi and many more. On Mahananda Navami a special dish known as Tal’er Bara, made from ripe palm fruit, grated coconut, flour, and sugar is prepared. After offering to Goddess Durga, the Bhog is distributed as Prasad among friends and families. On Mahananda Navami people wear traditional outfits, with men wearing white dhotis and women dressed in red and white saree.
- On this day devotees visit the temples of Goddess Durga. Special puja and rituals are held on Mahananda Navami. Devotees chant religious hymns to receive the divine blessings of the Goddess. The ‘Kanak Temple’ in West Bengal and ‘Bijara Temple’ in Orissa are particularly renowned for Mahananda Navami celebrations.