Durga Ashtami, in particular, is observed on October 22 this year, with zeal and intensity, particularly in West Bengal. In this section of the nation, the ten-armed goddess riding the lion is revered, and even Goddess Durga’s weapons are worshipped while chanting mantras in a rite called Astra Puja. Ashtami is the festival’s eighth day, and on this auspicious day, followers keep a strict fast, feast, and worship Goddess Durga, who represents power. Massive statues of Goddess Durga are built around India, and giant puja pandals are set up at various locations for devotees to attend and worship in a celebration of traditional culture and rituals.
History of Durga Ashtami
One of the most significant and cherished Hindu holidays is Durga Ashtami, also known as Navratri. This Pan-Indian event entails the ceremonial adoration of Goddess Durga in nine forms over nine nights and is observed in varied ways throughout India. The event takes place in the month of Ashwin, which is usually September or October, and it is well-known not just in India but also in neighboring nations. Durga Ashtami ceremonies last 10 days, with the first and last five days being special festivals that are observed as public holidays in several Indian states.
Durga Ashtami commemorates Goddess Durga’s triumph over Mahishasura, the terrible buffalo monster. According to legend, Mahisasura could only be vanquished by a female fighter due to a blessing given to it by Lord Brahma. The holy trinity, Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva, formed Durga when Lord Indra was defeated on the battlefield, and each portion of her body was gifted with the energy of various male gods. Durga Ashtami used her trident to vanquish Mahisasura on this day, using weapons that signified their manly might.
One of the many reasons why this celebration is so popular is to obtain the Goddess’s blessings in the hopes of gaining money, success, and wisdom. Every Indian holiday has a deep connection and importance concerning purchasing investments such as gold, silver, and real estate. This is because celebrations are often connected with riches, and many feel that investing in something major or beginning something new on such auspicious occasions would bring them greater happiness and fortune in the next year.
Durga Ashtami timeline
According to some historians, the first Durga Ashtami is conducted by Bhabananda Mazumdar of Nadiya or Raja Kangshanarayan of Taherpur.
A dozen Bengali friends join together and raise funds to do the first communal puja, beginning a trend that is still widely followed in India today.
The Puja is observed for the first time in Kolkata.
As part of the Durga Puja celebrations in Guwahati, India, a 100-foot towering Durga statue is presented.
Durga Ashtami FAQs
Why is Durga held in high regard?
When worshippers do pujas and yagnas for the goddess, the period provides them with tranquility. Finally, worshippers worship Durga to receive good energy and to purify their minds to achieve purity and salvation. A clean mind allows believers to focus on their daily activities.
What does Durga represent?
Goddess Durga is regarded as the feminine embodiment of power. She is portrayed in various Vedic texts as a goddess with feminine might, power, determination, wisdom, and retribution that extends far beyond this earthly realm.
What should we do on the occasion of Durga Ashtami?
Fasting is practiced by Hindus on this holy day in India. On this day, people also gather to dance ‘garba’ and wear brightly colored clothing. This day is also known as ‘Astra Puja’ (Worshiping Weapons) since the goddess Durga’s weapons are honored on this day.
How to Observe Durga Ashtami
Visit Shiva Temple
At midnight, visit a neighboring Shiva temple and take in all of the wonderful vibratory energy during a midnight puja. It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Offer Lord Shiva prayers and a pledge to improve oneself and follow the path of goodness.
Wish people peace and serenity
This day commemorates the victory of good over evil. This is a sentiment that is shared by almost everyone. Even if you aren't Hindu or Indian, wishing others well on this day would be much appreciated by your friends or acquaintances who observe this holy festival.
Read about the legends surrounding Durga Puja
The narrative of Mahishasur and Ravana's killing is one that most youngsters enjoy hearing. Both adults and children will enjoy reading the epic "Ramayana."
5 Facts About Durga Ashtami
Draw eyes in the darkness
This is a contrasting ceremony and one of the many mind-boggling aspects of this puja is the eyes that are commonly thought of as light routes.
Durga is sometimes represented with ten hands, which represent her numerous "Shaktis" (powers).
Made of clay
According to legend, the idol or pratima of Durga is formed of clay, and the attendant gods and goddesses (four in total) are known as ‘ek chala’ (one cover).
Collected from the banks of the river
The dirt or clay used to make the idols is taken from the banks of the Ganges, also known as the Hooghly in West Bengal.
Durga never fails to return home
Every year during Durga Puja, Goddess Durga is said to descend from heaven to her parents' home on Earth.
Why Durga Ashtami is Important
It is dedicated to the Hindu god
Durga Ashtami is a Hindu holiday that honors the Hindu goddess Durga, who is worshipped by Hindus worldwide. Durga was formed by the holy trinity of Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva, and each portion of her body was gifted with the energy of various male gods.
It commemorates the triumph of good over evil
It is about regaining our faith in everything good and moral. It is also about realizing the requirement of leading a true, moral life devoid of worldly pleasures and wrongdoings is essential.
It's a fasting and feasting season
Some individuals fast for nine days, while others eat special delicacies prepared exclusively for this event. It is up to each individual to celebrate in their own unique way.
Durga Ashtami dates