Durga Puja Ashtami: Puja Vidhi & Kanya Pujan
The 9 days long Navratri celebrations include quite a lot of rituals and festivities, most of which are religious in nature. Amongst all of these religious functions, one happens to be Durga Puja. In many places, this festival is also known by the name of Durga Utsav. Pretty much like the Sharad Navratri, Durga Puja also lasts for a period of 9 days, but in the truest of senses, Durga Puja begins from the Sashti Tithi of Navratri.
There is a special significance of Shashthi Tithi, Maha Saptami, Maha Ashtami, Maha Navami, and Vijayadashami Tithi in the Durga Puja festival. This pious and holy festival is celebrated every year with great zest and marks the victory of Maa Durga over Mahishasura, basically good over evil. If we talk specifically with regards to the Indian subcontinent, then there is a tradition of celebrating the festival of Durga Puja with great joy and gaiety in places like West Bengal, Assam, Odisha, Manipur, Tripura, Bihar, Jharkhand, etc.
Talking about the day’s significance, the Ashtami Tithi or Maha Ashtami is said to have the most importance in Durga Puja. This day is also known as Maha Durga Ashtami in many places. The rituals of Durga Ashtami are pretty much similar to the Saptami puja rituals and Goddess Durga is worshipped with the Shodashopachara method.
Significance of Sandhi Puja on Ashtami Tithi
The last 24 minutes of the end of Ashtami Tithi and the first 24 minutes of Navami Tithi are called Sandhi moments and are considered very auspicious for conducting the Puja rituals of Ashtami and Navami Tithi. It is said that Mata Durga killed the demons, Chand and Munda, during the Sandhi period itself. Therefore, there is a special significance of this Puja.
Kanya Pujan: Significance & Things to Keep in Mind
There is a special significance of Kanya Pujan on Navratri. Many people perform the Kanya Puja on Navami Tithi and some perform the Kanya Puja on Ashtami day as well. Let us also tell you that worshiping girls on both the days of Ashtami and Navami is considered auspicious. During Kanya Pujan, girls between the age of 2 to 9 years are worshipped. These girls are considered to be the incarnations of Maa Durga. In such a situation, their feet are first washed after calling them home. After this, Tilak is also applied to them, their Aarti is performed, then pudding, Puri, Prasad are offered to them finally. In the end, their hands and feet are washed again, then their blessings are taken by giving them gifts.
According to a popular belief about Kanya Puja, it is the easiest way to appease Goddess Durga. In such a situation, if you worship even a single girl with reverence and feed her with dedication, then Maa Durga will surely be pleased with you and will shower her grace upon your life.
A person gets opulence by feeding food to one girl. Special results are obtained by worshiping two girls. By providing food to three girls, one earns respect. Worshiping four or five girls and feeding them gives wisdom and knowledge. Worshiping six girls leads to the accomplishment of work. Worshiping seven girls leads to the attainment of supreme status. The Goddess Ashtalakshmi is pleased by worshiping eight girls and by worshiping and feeding nine girls, all kinds of opulence are attained in life.