Chamundi Hill
Chamundi Temple
Navaratri Background
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NINE DAYS OF WORSHIP

The nine-day festival of Navaratri is an exclusive period for worshipping the Divine Mother. It is the most sacred period for obtaining the divine grace and blessings. Special prayers and poojas are conducted both in homes and Devi temples. The worship conducted in the Chamundi Temple is highly religious and true to Vedic traditions. Hundreds of pilgrims take the Divine Darshan of the Goddess during the nine days held sacred to Durga. The nine-day rituals are conducted according to Vedic rites and as prescribed in the Devi Bhagavata. The nine days are divided into three sub-periods of three days each. Each sub-period is devoted to the propitiation of one aspect of Devi. During the first sub-period, the Goddess is worshiped in the manifestation of Mahakali, for obtaining immunity from diseases, poverty and grief. During the second sub-period, she is worshipped as Mahalakshmi, for securing wealth, happiness and prosperity. The third sub-period is dedicated to the worship of Mahasarasvati, to obtain purity of thought, intellectual eminence and spiritual bliss. The three manifestations of the Devi, representatively are known as Shiva Shakti (or Maheswari), Vaishnavi and Brahmi. On the ninth day, Chandi Homa is performed. Special offering of libations is made to the Goddess in her manifestation as Chandi. On the 10th day, the day of feast, a procession is taken out and the Sami, also known as Banni, tree is worshipped. The 7th day of Navaratri is celebrated as the Sarasvati Pooja. The Saptami (7th) day is sacred to the Devi in her incarnation as Mahasarasvati. Mahasarsvati is the great goddess of learning, representing all arts and sciences. Books, writing materials and palm leaves are worshipped on that day. The 8th day is Durgashtami. On this day, the Devi is worshipped as a day specially devoted to Durga. On the ninth Mahanavami day, implements and instruments, symbolic of the occupation or avocation of the devotee, are worshipped. The Agamas describe Devi as Durga taking nine different forms, which together are spoken of as Nava Durgas. It is in these nine forms that the Goddess is specially invoked. The Goddess is worshiped with great devotion and faith on each day separately, the worshipper seeking different favours on each day. Dasara is a festival so universal in India it is observed by all classes of people.