This year Durga Ashtami will be celebrated on 17th October 2018 i.e. on Wednesday. It is believed that on this day Maa Durga killed the evil bull Mahishasur. She is worshipped in the form of Mahishasurmardini on this day.
Therefore this day is a symbol of victory of good over evil. The second day of Durga Puja is of great significance and devotees observe ritualistic facts to please the beloved goddess and the day are celebrated with zeal and zest by devotees.
Mahashtami is celebrated on 8th day of Navaratri and is also called Maha Durgasthami which marks on the second day of Durga Puja. It is one of the most important days which start with Shodashopachar Puja and Mahasnan similar to Maha Saptami except Pratishthan which is commenced once in the 7th day of Navaratri.
On Durga Ashtami, nine small earthen pots are installed as Maa Durga’s nine forms and are worshipped as Nine Shaktis of the goddess. On the eighth day Maha Gauri is offered prayers. It is believed that Maa Guri illuminates the universe with her divinity and sh is adorned with white clothes and is seated on her ride (sawari) – a bull. All her four hands are always to bless the world.
Why is Durga Puja so special?
Goddess Durga battled with a bull demon (asura) for ten consecutive days, day and night. After such grand battle, she massacres the shape-fitting and deceiving buffalo devil Mahishasura who wanted to rule over the world and take the position of Lord Indra by which mother earth would become a hell. Therefore these nine days are celebrated spiritually with each different figure of Goddess Durga. She is adored as a loving mother and people fast & delights this as a grand festival.
At the end of the event i.e. on the tenth day, the statue of Maa is immersed in rivers or oceans and desired to visit the successive year with immense faith and devotion. People fast for these nine days by considering that the Goddess Durga will shower all care and fecundity in one’s life. This festival is held to get rid of all the pessimism and bring hopeful energies.
Incarnations of Goddess Durga
There are nine aspects of Maa Durga
- Devi Shail Putri
Why is Ashtami Puja so important?
Astra Puja- On Ashtami day all weapons are worshipped and displayed along the form of martial arts on this day and called Virashtami. To kill the demon Maa prepared herself with weapons and arms which were given by many gods with their divine powers. Those weapons were worshipped and then handed to Maa Durga and called Astra Puja.
The emergence of Kali Maa- Maa Kali emerged from the forehead of Maa Durga and simultaneously eight aspects of the goddess was formed known as Ashtanayikas which had different roles to perform in the war. As on the day of Mahashtami Mahishasura was on his full form and other demons like Chanda, Munda, and Rakhtabij accompanied him in the war which took a form of fierce battle. Therefore Ashtami pujan includes 64 Yoginis, Chamunda, Maa Kali and all forms of Maa Durga.
Eight Aspects of Durga Maa- These Ashtanayikas or eight aspects of Maa have different names as Bramhacharini, Maheshwari, Kameshwari, Vaishnavi, Varahi, Narsinghi, Indrani and Maa Chamunda Devi. All are significant in Navaratri Puja and played distinct roles in the war with Maa Durga.
BirthDay of Maa Durga- It is believed that Maa Durga manifested on the day of Ashtami. The goddess is worshipped month on month but Navaratri’s Ashtami is significant and is propitiated with an elaborated puja.
Mahashtami Puja Time
- Ashtami Tithi begins- 10.16am on 16th October 2018
- Ashtami Tithi ends- 12.49 pm on 17th October 2018
Durga Ashtami Puja Vidhi
Young girls are treated as Durga Maa’s embodiment and are worshipped on Durga Ashtami. Kumari puja is performed during all the nine days of Navaratri here Kumari means unmarried girls. But mainly it is performed on Durga Ashtami.
According to mythological stories it is stated that Kali Maa emerged from the forehead of Maa Parvati to kill two demons, Chanda and Munda. The legendary Sandhi Puja falls on Maha Ashtami, starting 24 minutes of Ashtami tithi and 24 minutes of Navami Tithi is considered as Sandhi Kaal which is the holy time and conclusion point of Durga Ashtami. And mythology states that Sandhi puja starts when Ashtami puja ends and Navami puja tithi starts.
Hence Maa Kali in this form was named as Chamunda Maa. Navami Homa is performed during Durga puja which is considered vital during this period. Durga Balidan i.e. animal sacrifice is performed at Uday Vyapini Navami although some devotees perform pumpkin balidan and light 108 earthen lamps at Sandhi Kaal.
Kanya Pujan Vidhi
Kanya Pujan starts with washing feet of unmarried girls and applying Tika on their forehead. Then Kalawa or Mouli is tied on their right arm and they are fed with holy Prasad that includes kale chane, puri, halwa, and dahi. Some people prepare many dishes but the mentioned one is important and first offered to the goddess as Prasad and then to Kanyas.
After Prasad Vitaran one should touch feet of the girls and give them some money as Dakshina. Blessings should be taken from Kanyas and house should be properly cleaned before performing puja as this vidhi is considered blissful and auspicious.
Maha Gauri Mantra
Om Devi Mahagauryai Namah॥
Maha Gauri Stuti
Ya Devi Sarvabhuteshu Maa Mahagauri Rupena Samsthita।
Namastasyai Namastasyai Namastasyai Namo Namah॥
Durga Puja Mantra
मंत्राक्षरमयीं लक्ष्मीं मातृणां रूपधारिणीम्।
नवदुर्गात्मिकां साक्षात् कन्यामावाहयाम्यहम्।।
जगत्पूज्ये जगद्वन्द्ये सर्वशक्तिस्वरुपिणि।
पूजां गृहाण कौमारि जगन्मातर्नमोस्तु ते।।
Devi Maha Gauri Aarti
Athvin MahaGauri Jagjaaya
Jai Mahagorri jagat ki maya, Jai Uma Bhawani, Jai Mahamaaya !!
Haridwar Kankhal ke passa, Mahagorri tera wahan niwasa !!
Chandrakali aor Mamta Ambein, Jai shakti jai MA Jagdambein !!
Bheema devi Vimla Mata, Koshiki Devi jag vikhayata !!
Himachal ke ghar Gorri roop tera,
Mahakaali hai sawroop tera !!
Sati ‘SAT’ hawan kund mai tha jalaya,
Ussi dhuye (smoke) ne roop KAALI banaya !!
Bana dharm singh jo sawari main ayya,
To Shankar ne Trishul apna dikahaya !!
Tabhi MA ne Mahagorri naam paaya,
Sharan anne wale ka sankat mittaaya !!
Shaniwar(Saturday)ko jo teri Pooja
karta hai, MA bigrda kaam uska sudharata hai !!
Yah padne wale, bolo soch kaya rahe ho,
Mahagorri MA teri harad ki jai ho !!!
Maa Durga Chalisa
Namo Namo Durge Sukh karani, Namo Namo ambe Dukh harani.
Nirakar hai jyoti tumhari, Tihun lok pheli ujayari.
Shashi lalat mukh mahavishala, Netra lal bhrikutee vikarala.
Roop Matu ko adhika suhave, Daras karat jan ati sukh pave.
Tum sansar shakti laya kina, Palan hetu anna dhan dina.
Annapurna hui jag pala, Tumhi adi sundari Bala.
Pralaya kala sab nashan hari, Tum gauri Shiv-Shankar pyari.
Shiv yogi tumhre guna gaven, Brahma Vishnu tumhen nit dhyaven.
Roop Saraswati ko tum dhara, De subuddhi rishi munina ubara.
Dharyo roop Narsimha ko amba, Pragat bhayin phar kar khamba.
Raksha kari Prahlaad bachayo, Hiranakush ko swarga pathayo.
Lakshmi roop dharo jag mahin, Shree Narayan anga samihahin.
Ksheer sindhu men karat vilasa, Daya Sindhu, deeje man asa.
Hingalaja men tumhin Bhavani, Mahima amit na jet bakhani.
Matangi Dhoomavati Mata, Bhuvneshwari bagala sukhdata.
Shree Bhairav lara jog tarani, Chhinna Bhala bhav dukh nivarani.
Kehari Vahan soh Bhavani, Langur Veer Chalat agavani.
Kar men khappar khadag viraje, Jako dekh kal dan bhaje.
Sohe astra aur trishoola, Jase uthata shatru hiya shoola.
Nagarkot men tumhi virajat, Tihun lok men danka bajat.
Shumbhu Nishumbhu Danuja tum mare, Rakta-beeja shankhan samhare.
Mahishasur nripa ati abhimani, Jehi agha bhar mahi akulani.
Roop karal Kalika dhara, Sen Sahita tum tin samhara.
Pan garha Santan par jab jab, Bhayi sahaya Matu tum tab tab.
Amarpuni aru basava loka, Tava Mahirna sab rahen asoka.
Jwala men hai jyoti tumhari, Tumhen sada poojen nar nari.
Prem bhakti se Jo yash gave, Dukh-daridra nikat nahin ave.
Dhyave tumhen jo nar man laee, Janam-maran tako chuti jaee.
Jogi sur-muni kahat pukari, Jog na ho bin shakti tumhari.
Shankar Aacharaj tap keenhon, Kam, krodha jeet sab leenhon.
Nisidin dhyan dharo Shankar ko, Kahu kal nahini sumiro tum ko.
Shakti roop ko maran na payo, Shakti gayi tab man pachitayo.
Sharnagat hui keerti bakhani, Jai jai jai Jagdamb Bhavani.
Bhayi prasanna Aadi Jagdamba, Dayi shakti nahin keen vilamba.
Mokon Matu kashta ati ghero, Tum bin kaun hare dukh mero.
Aasha trishna nipat sataven, Moh madadik sab binsaven.
Shatru nash keeje Maharani, Sumiron ekachita tumhen Bhavani.
Karo kripa Hey Matu dayala, Riddhi-Siddhi de karahu nihala.
Jab lagi jiyoon daya phal paoon, Tumhro yash mein sada sunaoon.
Durga Chalisa jo gave, Sab sukh bhog parampad pave.
This was all about Durga Ashtami Puja. If you are facing any issues in life or want to add-on to the good days, we recommend you offer a Puja.