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