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Maha Ashtami is one of the significant days during the festival of Navratri. Since Navratri is observed twice in a year, people get to observe Maha Ashtami twice as well. As we know that currently we are observing Chaitra Navratri that began on 13 April 2021, Maha Ashtami will be observed on 20 April 2021.
On this day, devotees of Goddess Durga will be worshipping Goddess Durga in Her Maha Gauri form. Today we are here to tell you more about this day. Scroll down the article to read more.
Date And Muhurta
Every year Maha Ashtami during the Chaitra Navratri is observed on the Ashtami tithi of Shukla Paksha in the Chaitra month. This year the date falls on 20 April 2021. As per the Hindu panchang, the Ashtami tithi will begin at 12:01 am on 20 April 2021 and will stay till 12:43 am on 21 April 2021. The Ashtami puja can be performed during the Abhijit Muhurat which will stay from 11:54 AM to 12:46 PM on 20 April 2021 and Godhuli Muhurat which will stay from 6:37 PM to 7:01 PM on the same date.
- Begin the Ashtami puja by first invoking Lord Ganesha.
- Chant mantras to invoke Maha Gauri.
- Offer Pushpam, Gandham, Sugandham, Deepam and Naivedyam (bhog) to the Goddess.
- Now offer sindoor, anklets, kajal, mehendi, aalta, bindi, toe ring, bangles, nose pin, comb, mahavar, perfume, earrings, necklace, mirror, red chunari and hairpins etc to the Goddess. These are for Her shringar i.e., makeup.
- Read Durga Saptshati and chant the mantras.
- Offer puri, sabzi and kheer as bhog. Make sure these are prepared without onions and garlic.
- Now perform the aarti of the Goddess and then distribute the prasad.
- The reason why Maha Ashtami has a great importance is because on this day Goddess Durga killed Mahishasura, the mighty demon.
- On this day, people worship girl children too as they are believed to the manifestation of Goddess Durga.
- It is believed that when Goddess Parvati was doing a penance to please Lord Shiva and win His love, Her body turned black as She didn't eat food or drank water.
- As soon as Lord Shiva opened His eyes, he saw Goddess Parvati. He then poured water from His kamandal and this is when the complexion of Goddess turned white. Lord Shiva named this form of Goddess Parvati as Maha Gauri.
- Maha Gauri is believed to be the deity who fulfills all the wishes of Her devotees.
- People worship Maha Gauri to seek Her blessings in the form of prosperity, health, wealth, happiness and intellect.