Navdurga Navratri Puja

Navdurga Navratri Puja 2023

Navratri, derived from the Sanskrit words ‘Nav’ meaning nine and ‘Ratri’ meaning night, is a nine-night, ten-day festival dedicated to the worship of the Goddess Durga in her nine different forms, known as Navdurga. 

Celebrated twice a year, the Chaitra Navratri in the spring and the Sharad Navratri in the autumn, this festival is a vibrant and spiritually enriching event observed by millions of Hindus across the globe. In 2023, the Chaitra Navratri will commence on March 22nd and conclude on March 30th, while the Sharad Navratri will be celebrated from October 15th to October 24th.

The festival is more than just a religious observance; it is a cultural phenomenon that blends ritualistic traditions, music, dance, and a deep sense of community. For many, Navratri is a period of introspection and spiritual awakening, often observed through fasting, prayer, and acts of charity.

Each of the nine days of Navratri is dedicated to the nine forms of Goddess Durga—Shailaputri, Brahmacharini, Chandraghanta, Kushmanda, Skandamata, Katyayani, Kaalratri, Mahagauri, and Siddhidatri. These nine forms symbolize various virtues like purity, power, tranquility, wisdom, and more.

Navdurga Navratri Puja 2023

The Nine Days and the Nine Forms of Goddess Durga

Day 1: Shailaputri

The first day is dedicated to Shailaputri, the daughter of the mountains. This form of the Goddess is a symbol of purity and devotion. In many parts of North India, devotees sow barley seeds in earthen pots, which grow into jamara by the end of the festival. These shoots are considered auspicious.

Day 2: Brahmacharini

Brahmacharini, worshipped on the second day, symbolizes penance and austerity. The day is considered significant for spiritual study and yogic practices. Many devotees observe a strict fast on this day.

Day 3: Chandraghanta

The third day is dedicated to Chandraghanta, the warrior form of the Goddess, symbolizing bravery and fortitude. In states like West Bengal, large Durga idols are installed in community pandals, marking the beginning of Durga Puja celebrations.

Day 4: Kushmanda

Kushmanda, the creator of the universe, is worshipped on the fourth day. Devotees offer pumpkins, believed to be her favorite, and participate in Garba dances in states like Gujarat.

Day 5: Skandamata

Skandamata, the mother of Skanda or Kartikeya, is worshipped on the fifth day. She represents the nurturing, motherly aspect of the Goddess. In South India, the day is also celebrated as Saraswati Puja, with books and musical instruments being worshipped.

Day 6: Katyayani

The sixth day is dedicated to Katyayani, another warrior form of the Goddess. This day is significant in Maharashtra and other Western states, where women wear green sarees and participate in communal dances.

Day 7: Kaalratri

The seventh day worships Kaalratri, the fiercest form of Durga, representing the destruction of evil and ignorance. In some regions, this day is also known as Saptami, and it marks the beginning of the grand celebrations in West Bengal.

Day 8: Mahagauri

Mahagauri symbolizes purity and austerity. Worshipped on the eighth day, she is believed to forgive sins and bring about a sense of calmness. In North India, this day is often celebrated as ‘Ashtami,’ with young girls being worshipped as forms of the Goddess.

Day 9: Siddhidatri

The ninth and final day is for Siddhidatri, the giver of divine knowledge. In some parts of India, Maha Navami is celebrated with elaborate rituals and processions. Yagnas (fire rituals) are conducted, and the festival concludes with the immersion of Durga idols into water bodies.

What are the benefits of performing Navdurga Puja?​

The Array of Benefits Gained from Performing Navdurga Navratri Puja

Spiritual Awakening

Participating in Navdurga Navratri Puja offers an opportunity for spiritual awakening. The nine days of prayers, fasting, and rituals allow individuals to detach from worldly matters and focus on inner growth. The celebration inspires the soul to break free from materialistic constraints, facilitating a closer connection with the divine.

Emotional Well-being

The Puja serves as an emotional rejuvenation for many. Singing bhajans, chanting mantras, and engaging in community prayers create a positive atmosphere. This collective sense of devotion and celebration uplifts the spirit, alleviating stress and fostering emotional stability.

Fortification of Willpower and Discipline

The practice of fasting during Navratri not only detoxifies the body but also fortifies the mind. The act of abstaining from certain foods and adhering to a sattvic diet cultivates discipline, enhances willpower, and augments one’s determination.

Cultivation of Virtues

Each day of Navratri is dedicated to a different form of Goddess Durga, each representing specific virtues like purity, courage, wisdom, and compassion. The focused worship of these forms over the nine days aids in internalizing these virtues, enabling personal growth and ethical development.

Strengthening Community Bonds

Navdurga Navratri Puja is often a community event, involving collective prayers, dances like Garba and Dandiya, and distribution of Prasad. This fosters a strong sense of community, brings families together, and creates a platform for social interaction, thereby strengthening community bonds.

Material Prosperity and Divine Blessings

While the focus is largely spiritual, many believe that observing the Navratri Puja with devotion brings material prosperity. Businesses initiate new ventures, and individuals start new endeavors on this auspicious occasion, seeking the Goddess’s blessings for success and abundance.

Navratri Puja Samagri List​

Preparing for Navratri involves gathering various ritualistic items essential for the puja ceremonies. Below is a comprehensive list of Samagri (ritual materials) that will aid you in performing an authentic and spiritually enriching Navratri Puja.

Navratri Puja Samagri List In English
Navratri Puja Samagri In HindiPurpose
Offered as a symbol of selfless devotion and surrender
Red Clothलाल कपड़ा
Used to adorn the deity and the altar
Incense Sticksअगरबत्ती
For purifying the atmosphere and invoking a sense of spirituality
Betel Leavesपान के पत्ते
Offered as a seat for the deity
Used for Akshat; symbolizes prosperity
Used for tilak and markings; symbolizes auspiciousness
Turmeric Powderहल्दी पाउडर
Used for tilak and offerings; symbolizes purity
Offered as prasad; represents joy and happiness
Offered for garlands and decorations; symbolizes purity and devotion
Offered as prasad; symbolizes abundance and fertility
Used during aarti for a purifying flame
Sandalwood Pasteचंदन पेस्ट
Used for smearing on the deity; symbolizes purity
Clarified Butter (Ghee)घी
Used in lamps and Yagna; symbolizes purity and nourishment
Cotton Wicksरुई की बत्ती
Used in oil or ghee lamps
Vessel for Waterपानी का पात्र
For offerings and ablutions
To invoke the deity and signal the beginning and end of puja
Small Handheld Mirrorछोटी सी शीशा
To show reflection of deity during Aarti
Sacred Threadमौली/कलावा
To tie around the wrist for protection and blessings

Complete Navdurga Navratri Puja Procedure

Performing a Navdurga Navratri Puja is a spiritually enriching experience that brings you closer to the divine. While variations exist depending on regional customs and individual beliefs, here are ten fundamental steps that generally make up the Navratri Puja procedure:

Step 1: Preparation and Cleanliness

Begin by cleaning your home and setting up a designated space for the Puja. Bathing and wearing clean, preferably new or freshly laundered, clothes are considered important to maintain the sanctity of the Puja.

Step 2: Setting Up the Altar

Decorate an altar with red cloth, idols or pictures of Goddess Durga, and other deities if needed. Place the Kalash (metal pot) filled with water and a coconut on top in the middle of the altar.

Step 3: Invocation of Goddess Durga

Light a lamp with ghee or oil. Ring a bell to signify the beginning of the Puja and invoke Goddess Durga with prayers and mantras, inviting her to accept your offerings.

Step 4: Panchopachara Puja

Offer the five main articles – incense, lamp, flowers, fruits, and food (Naivedyam). Each item is presented to the deity while reciting specific mantras.

Step 5: Offerings and Aarti

Present offerings like betel leaves, nuts, fruits, and sweets to the Goddess. Perform the Aarti with a camphor or ghee lamp while singing hymns in praise of Goddess Durga.

Step 6: Recitation of Scriptures

Recite scriptures relevant to the Goddess, such as Durga Saptashati, Durga Ashtakam, or Devi Mahatmyam. You may also listen to these scriptures if you are unable to recite them.

Step 7: Prayers and Petitions

Once the recitations are complete, offer your personal prayers and petitions to the Goddess. Ask for blessings, protection, and guidance.

Step 8: Fasting and Meditation

If you are observing a fast, spend some time in silent meditation focusing on the form or attributes of Goddess Durga. This is considered an essential part of the Navratri Puja.

Step 9: Distribution of Prasad

After the Puja and Aarti, distribute the offered fruits and sweets as Prasad to family members and attendees. Sharing the Prasad is a way to disseminate the blessings of the Goddess.

Step 10: Immersion or Visarjan (Optional)

Some people conclude the Navratri Puja with Visarjan, a ritual where the Goddess is respectfully bid farewell, and any temporary images or idols are immersed in water. This is more common on the last day of Navratri.

These ten steps provide a framework for conducting a Navdurga Navratri Puja, helping you engage deeply in this time-honored tradition. Make sure to consult any specific rituals or practices that your family or community follows to add that personal touch to your celebrations.


Frequently Asked Questions about Navratri Puja

In 2023, Chaitra Navratri will commence on March 22nd and conclude on March 30th, while the Sharad Navratri will be celebrated from October 15th to October 24th.

Fasting during Navratri is a common practice but is not mandatory. Many people choose to fast as a form of spiritual discipline and devotion, but it is ultimately a personal choice. Some may opt for a lighter diet or abstain from certain foods rather than fasting entirely.

Some of the essential Puja items include a coconut, red cloth, incense sticks, betel leaves, rice, kumkum, turmeric powder, sweets, flowers, fruits, camphor, and clarified butter (ghee). For a detailed list, please refer to the Navratri Puja Samagri table mentioned earlier.

Absolutely. Navratri Puja can be a grand community event or a simple, intimate ceremony performed at home. All you need is a clean space, an altar, and the necessary Puja items. The most important aspect is your devotion and intent.

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