Durga Ashtami Vrat is an important Hindu ritual dedicated to the Goddess Durga. It falls on the Ashtami tithi (8th day) of the Shukla Paksha (bright lunar fortnight) according to the Hindu Calendar. The Shukla paksha Ashtami of Ashwin month is the most popular and is called Maha Ashtami or Durgashtami. This is why this day is often known as Maas Durgashtami or Masik Durgashtami.
Sharad Durgashtami Vrat is observed with complete devotion in the Northern and Western regions of India. In some regions of Andhra Pradesh, Sharad Durgashtami is celebrated as ‘Bathukamma Panduga’. Sharad Durgashtami Vrat is a significant observance for followers of Hinduism.
Date of Sharad Durgashtami 2020
This year Durga Ashtami will be celebrated on 23rd October 2020 (Friday). It is celebrated on Ashwin Shukla Ashtami connected with Navami covering at least three muhurtas. If Ashtami falling on two days covers or does not cover three muhurtas then it is celebrated on the first day only.
Significance of Sharad Durgashtami
Sharad Durgashtami is celebrated on the eighth day of the bright fortnight in the month of Ashweyuja or Ashwin. On this day the weapons of Maa Durga are worshiped and the celebration is known as ‘Astra Puja’. This day is also popularly referred to as ‘Virashtami’ owing to the display of arms and other forms of martial arts. Hindu devotees offer prayers to Goddess Durga and keep a strict fast to seek her divine blessings and it is considered as one of the most important days of the Sharad Navratri. Fasting is another important ritual of the day.
The observer of Sharad Durgashtami Vrat abstains from eating or drinking all through the day, the fast is observed by men and women alike. Durga Ashtami Vrat is observed to acquire spiritual gains and seek the blessings of Maa Durga. Some devotees keep the fast by drinking only milk or eating fruits. Consuming non-vegetarian food and alcohol is strictly prohibited on this auspicious day. Special pujas are conducted on the day of Maha Ashtami that is witnessed by thousands of devotees.
Importance of Sharad Durgashtami
The meaning of Durga is Undefeatable. The common ritual of Sharad Durgashtami is worshipping of Goddess Durga.Maa Durga took the avatar of Maa kali on Ashtami to kill demons Chanda ,Raktabeeja and Munda that is why Maa kali is worshipped on Sharad Ashtami in West Bengal. Durgashtami is considered one of the most important days in Sharad Navratri. Durga Ashtami is the eighth day of the Sharad Navratri festival. Devotees observe a day-long fast on this day to seek blessings of Maa Durga. It is believed that one who performs Durga Ashtami Vrat with devotion is bestowed with good fortune, success, and happiness.
One should the following mantra while performing the Sharad Durgashtami Puja to get the best and favorable results.
या देवी सर्वभूतेषु शक्ति–रूपेण संस्थिता। नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै ॥
जो देवी सब प्राणि यों में शक्ति रूप में स्थित हैं, उनको नमस्कार, नमस्कार, बारंबार नमस्कार है।
Sharad Durgahtami Vrat Rituals
- Maa Durga is worshipped by lighting Desi ghee lamp and offering 5 Shringaar items that is chunri,bangles,mehandi,bindi , sindoorr,incense,flowers,roli.Halwa ,poori and kale chane as prashad is offered as Bhog prashad.
- Durga chalisa is recited and Maa Durga arti is performed.
- Followed by Kumari Puja, which refers to worshipping 9 small girls, aged between 6 and 12, is also an important part of the puja and taking blessings from kanyas by giving gifts and halwa poori prashad.
- While observing Durgashtami Vrat, devotees abstain from consuming food the whole day.
- One can also read Durga Ashtami Vrat Katha while worshipping Maa Durga.
Ashtami Tithi – Friday, 23 October 2020
Ashtami Tithi Begins – 06:57 AM on (23 October 2020)
Ashtami Tithi Ends – 06:58 AM on (24 October 2020)
On the day of Maha Ashtami, Kumari Puja is also done with great enthusiasm. On this occasion, unmarried girls or young girls are adored to be worshiped like Maa Durga as they are considered as the manifestation of the Goddess. In many states of India, Kumari Puja is done on all the nine days of Navratri festival. Kumari Puja is also known by the term of Kumarika Puja.
According to the religious writings, girls of the age between 2-10 are considered appropriate for Kumari Puja. The girls exemplify different manifestations of Goddess Durga in the Kumari Puja.
During the ten promising days of Sharad Durgashtami celebrations, many different rituals are performed. But in the last five days of Durga Puja- Maha Shashthi, Maha Saptami, Maha Ashtami, Maha Navami and Vijaya Dashami are celebrated with great festivity, zeal, and joy all over India.
Future Prediction Today …FPT wishes you a prosperous Sharad Durgashtami. We hope that everyone receives immense blessings of Goddess Durga on this pious occasion of Sharad Durgashtami.