Navratri has almost come to an end. Today is the eighth day of Navratri which means Ashtami. This day has huge religious significance and the Mahashtami Vrat is observed today. This auspicious day is dedicated to the eighth avatar of Goddess Durga, Maa Mahagauri. Royal blue colour is dedicated for today.
Who is Goddess Mahagauri?
Maa Mahagauri arrives on a bull in white attire, she is also compared to a conch, the moon and the white flower of Kunda because of her fair complexion. The name Mahagauri is made from two different words 'maha', means extreme, and 'gauri', which means extreme white complexion. She is a symbol of serenity, peace and pureness. Her other name is Vrisharudha because she rides on a bull. Devotees of Goddess Durga observe a fast on Mahashtami to seek her blessings. This day carries high significance by devotees of goddess Durga as many people end their Navratri fast on this day.
It is believed Mahagauri arrives to forgive all the sins of her devotees. Goddess Mahagauri is represented with four hands in which she carries Trishul and Damru in two hands and the other two hands are kept in Abhaya Mudra and Varada Mudra.
Mahagauri puja vidhi
Maha Ashtami is considered to be a very important day. The puja for today begins with Mahasnan and Shodashopachar Puja. Nine small pots are installed and nine Shaktis of Durga are invoked in them during the Puja. All nine forms of Goddess Durga are worshipped on this day, symbolising purity and peace.
Kanya puja is an important aspect of the day. Nine different kanyas (unmarried women) are worshipped. Sandhi Puja also falls on Maha Ashtami. Sandhi Puja is performed during the last 24 minutes of Ashtami Tithi and the first 24 minutes of Navami Tithi. It is considered the most promising time during the Durga Puja.
Mantra: The sacred mantra for the day is Om Devi Mahagauryai Namah.
Puja timings: This year Durga Ashtami will start at 09:47 pm on October 12 and will continue till 08:07 pm on October 13. Meanwhile, the sacred Muhurat that is Vijay Muhurat will fall between 02:03 pm and 02:49 pm.