New Delhi: On the festive occasion of Durga Ashtami (April 20) this Chaitra Navratri, several celebrities and netizens in general thronged social media to extend wishes. Due to the deadly novel coronavirus pandemic’s second wave surge, celebrations have been low key pan India.
Actress Shilpa Shetty Kundra took to Instagram and shared a glimpse of her daughter Samisha in a video dressed as little Kanjak. She wrote in the caption: Happy Ashtami to all my Instafam , from our MahaGauri to u all Sending you all love, light and positivity #gratitude #love #blessings #ashtami
Popular television actress Mahhi Vij also shared a video post of her daughter, dressed in a cutesy sky blue salwar-kameez with dupatta on her head. She captioned the video: Jai mata di
#jaimatadi #kanjak @chopuco
On the eighth day of Navratri, devotees worship the Mahagauri – a form of Goddess Durga form. She is an avatar of Devi Parvati, the divine consort of Lord Shiva. It is believed that anyone who worships the goddess gets relief from all the sufferings in life.
Chaitra, Shukla Ashtami
Begins – 12:01 AM, Apr 20
Ends – 12:43 AM, Apr 21
(according to drikpanchang.com)
DURGA ASHTAMI PUJA VIDHI:
The day begins with taking a bath, wearing new clothes and praying to the goddess in her Mahagauri avatar. After the puja is done, the traditional bhog of puri, halwa and black chana (black chickpeas) is offered to the goddess along with red chunari, bangles, and all the cosmetic items such as Mehendi cone, vermillion etc amongst other things.
Kanjak puja or Kanya puja is a much revered ritual of Navratri. It is performed by all those who observe fasts during the festival. It is only after offering prayers to the 9 little girls, called Kanjaks, who are called at home and offered the bhog along with some gift, red chunari, bangles, or money as a token of love, the devotee breaks the fast. Also, along with 9 little girls, prayers are also offered to one young boy, who also gets the bhog and presents.
However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, celebrations are low key as most temples are either closed for the public or allowing only minimum attendance. Therefore, it is best advised to perform the puja at home and pray to the goddess for the safety and wellbeing of all.
Jai Mata Di!