The upcoming Chaitra Navratri, starting on the 22nd of March, marks the first day of the Hindu calendar. According to Hindu scriptures, Goddess Durga descended on the first day of Chaitra Navratri, and Brahma started the work of creation of the universe at the request of Mother Durga.
So the New Year begins with nine days of turning inwards, prayer, meditation, and chanting, recognizing and surrendering to the power of the mother goddess and the Divinity in the whole creation. Chaitra month fall in March- April when the Sun starts its journey through the Zodiac cycle.
Another legend says that Lord Shiva allowed his wife, Durga, to visit her parent’s house for nine days (Chaitra Navratri). During these nine days, it is said that the Goddess killed the demon Mahishasura, signifying the victory of good over evil. After Mahishasura defeated the Gods, they approached Brahma (the creator), Vishnu (the preserver), and Mahesh (the destroyer), whose collective energy gave rise to the supreme deity, Goddess Durga. In Hindu customs, it is customary for married women to visit their parents’ homes during the auspicious time of Chaitra Navratri.
We can find the episodes associated with Chaitra Navratri in various religious texts like Markandeya Purana, Vamana Purana, Varaha Purana, Shiva Purana, Skanda Purana, Devi Bhagavatam and Kalika Purana.
According to the Hindu religion, Navratri comes four times a year. Two are secret or hidden Navratris, while Chaitra and Sharadiya Navratri are celebrated nationwide. Both Chaitra and Sharadiya Navratris are related to Lord Ram. In Chaitra Navratri, the 9th day is celebrated as Ram Navami, the day Lord Vishnu took his seventh incarnation on earth as Lord Shri Rama. In the Sharad Navratri, the 10th day is celebrated as Vijayadashami or Dusshera, the day Lord Rama killed the demon king Ravana.
It is believed that the Pooja and rituals performed during Chaitra Navratri purify the body, mind and soul and prepare us to make a fresh start.
During the nine days of Navratri, devotees seek the blessings of goddess Durga to attain spiritual growth, enlightenment, courage, strength and prosperity.
Chaitra Navratri Do’s
The Nine days of Navratri are considered an extremely powerful and auspicious time to seek the blessing of goddess Durga. Here are a few rituals that one should perform during the Navratri.
Remember to do Kalash Sthapana or Ghatasthapana on the first day of Navratri. And why is it important? A Kalash is believed to contain the energy and power of the divine, and by establishing it, we invite blessings and grace into our lives.
Light an akhanda deepak on all days of Navratri till Dashmi as it purifies the atmosphere and removes diseases from a house. And in case you can’t do an akhand diya, light a diya with ghee in the morning and evening.
Doing the paath of Durga Chalisa and Durga Saptasati on all days of Navratri to eliminate enemies and negativity from life.
Offer red Hibiscus flower to Devi Maa.
Doing this brings peace, happiness and harmony into your life and ward off all the negative influence from your life.
Chaitra Navratri Kalash Sthapana Puja
Wake up early in the morning and take a bath.
After cleaning the idols and temple at home, clean the place where the Kalash has to be kept.
Spread a red-coloured cloth on a wooden seat and place raw rice on the red cloth.
Place a photo or an idol of the Goddess Durga on the red cloth. Cover it with a red cloth or chunari.
Use the vermillion paste to make a swastika sign on the Kalash and tie a mauli or red holy thread around the Kalash.
Add betelnut and coin in the Kalash and keep five mango or Ashoka leaves.
Now, take a husky brown coconut, and tie a holy thread and a red chunari around it. Put this coconut over the top of Kalash.
Light a Diya, incense and offer flowers and fruits to the deities.
Wishing you a. very happy Chaitra Navratri! May Goddess Durga bestow you and your family with peace, courage and happiness.