Gupt Navratri is the Navratri that falls in the month of Ashadh according to the Hindu calendar. This corresponds to the month of June and July, as per the Gregorian calendar. This year, Gupt Navratras are going to begin from July 13 and will end on July 21. This year, experts say, whosoever worships the goddess with dedication will get her blessings for sure. Let us learn a little more about the festival of Navratras.
Navratras are the period of nine days, which are dedicated to Goddess Durga. These are the most auspicious days when one can worship Goddess Durga. Beginning from the Ekadashi of the Shukla Paksha in the month of Ashadh, each day is dedicated to one of the nine forms of the goddess.
The first day is dedicated to Shailputri, second to Goddess Brahmacharini, third to Chandraghanta, fourth to Kushmanda, fifth to Goddess Skandamata, sixth to Katyayni, seventh to Goddess Kalratri, eighth to Mahagouri and ninth to Siddhidhatri. These Navratras are also known as Ashadh Navratri.
Auspicious Time To Recite The Saptashati Patha
Pujas and mantras dedicated to each goddess are recited on particular days. This is the most auspicious time to narrate the Saptashati Patha, also known as Saptashati Stotra. This stotra is believed to remove all the obstacles from the life of the devotees. It saves one from the loss of money and indebtedness.
The Durga Kavach, which is a part of the Saptashati Patha, guards one against fear and negative energy as well as the evil eye. Saptashati Patha also offers protection from diseases, theft and losses in business. It helps one achieve heights in their career.
Black Magic Is Practised
Many people worship the ten Mahavidyas during these days in order to attain Mahasiddhis. Mahasiddhi is a state when one is able to not just see, but even change the future. The Navratras are also observed as the days for practising black magic. However, black magic has been described as a major sin in all the religions.
For those who observe these days for worshipping the nine forms of Goddess Durga, these days are observed as fasting days. Devotees abstain from eating grains for nine days. They eat fruits and liquids, eating just once a day. They abstain from sleeping on the bed, and sleep on a mat on the floor. Some even avoid sitting on high raised surfaces such as a sofa or a chair, and sit on the floor alone. The lamp stays lit before the deity for a period of nine days continuously.
The eighth and the ninth days are observed as the days of the Parana. While some break the fast on the eighth day, known as Ashtami, others do it on the ninth day known as Navmi.
Early morning the devotees start preparing the prasad. Halwa, puri and chhole are the most popular dishes prepared as prasad. However, some prepare kheer as well. The prasad has to be prepared at home only, and must not be bought from the market.
When ready, it is first offered to the goddess as well as the main deities of the clan. Then it is offered to the nine girls who have to be invited on the day before the Parana day. The girls are served prasad, as the nine divine forms of the goddess. Before offering them the prasad, there is a custom of washing their feet, and offering all the shringaar items. Then the prasad is offered.
These girls are then known as Kanjaks and the ritual is known as Kanjak Pujan. When the girls have had prasad, the devotees offer them the coconut and sweet, and touch their feet to take the blessings.
Celebrated as one of the main festivals amongst the followers of Shaktism, it is believed that nine-day fasts help one achieve the purification of the body, mind as well as soul, along with getting the blessings of the goddess.