Navratri Days – What to do and what not?
Things You Should Do During Navratri:
The nine holy days called Navratri. Many of you must keep the fasts/prayers that may be part of your family’s rituals during this period. Here are a few reminders and other helpful pointers on how to make this period more auspicious for you.
The fast during these 9 days is very important as at this time – the change in weather causes problems related to Kapha and pitta in the body. It’s an important time to improve the bad effects of Shani and Rahu, which can be done through the proper prayers and establishment of Kalash.
This is also a good time to rid yourself o false litigations, from bad tantra, or some recurring problems to your family. One can also get a child after doing very serious sadhana/meditation. You will get things that you can justifiably get even if it’s not in your birth chart.
After the pitra-pujan – the last prayer to your ancestors on the 4th, one needs to clean the home, and then in the morning, one should hang a ‘Bandhan-vaar’ on the entrance of the home.
How to worship Devi Maa during Navratri:
There are some rules and procedures that need to follow when praying to Devi Maa as if not done correctly, then the prayers do not reach the Devi.
- Clean the prayer room with Gangajal.
- Make rangoli with flour and roli in the prayer room next to the prayer place.
- Establish Devi Maa there.
- Put a candle to the left of Devi.
- Burn an incense stick to the right of the Devi.
- Try to make sure that a candle keeps burning during the whole 9 days – “Akhand jyot”.
- Make sure you sow some wheat – jaun.
- Establish a Kalash – take an earthen, steel, or copper vessel in the shape of a “haandi” – fill it with water and place the coconut in it so the coconut doesn’t dry up and crack.
- Make sure you keep doing “aing hring kling chamundaaye vichhe” when establishing the Kalash.
- Put the Kalash on top of the rangoli.
- Keep yourself away from the unnecessary fun, doing too much makeup (being too concerned with your looks) and sexual behavior if you are doing prayers for some specific cause.
- You need to pray at set times and do the mantra chants for a specific number of times. You should face the East or the South-East direction when doing the prayers.
- You need to put some red flowers, roli, chandan (sandalwood powder), durva, tulsi, and some prasad while worshipping Devi.
- You need to invite Devi-maa on the first day after doing all the preparations – don’t just start praying without inviting her.
- So before you start praying, ask Maa to come into your home, ask her to forgive you for your wrong deeds, offer your whole home to her, and ask her that you’d like to worship her and if she may forgive you if you make any mistakes in the prayer procedures and to accept your prayers.
- Read the durga-saptashati paath everyday – read the first and then the last, then the second and the second last, the 7th chapter needs to be read twice.
- Offer water to the Sun upon sunrise, then establish Devi maa, after which you can establish the Kalash.
- You should sow the wheat (jaun) in some soil in front of the Kalash.
- Then a female needs to bathe the Devi with water and milk, put her clothes on, and then the makeup.
- After this invite the Devi after playing the conch.
- Keep singing the following while doing the rest of the preparations: om jayanti mangla kaali bhadrakaali kapaalni, durga xshama shiva chhaatri svaha svadha namostutay – 11 times.
Things You Shouldn’t Do During Navratri:
- Don’t eat more than you need to eat.
- Eat only 75% of the amount of hunger you have.
- Don’t eat bitter or non-vegetarian food.
- Don’t use leather items during this period.
- Eat only after evening prayer and make sure no one is hungry after the evening prayer.
- Do Durga-shaptoshati paath, argala-stotra paath, and then do durga-shaptoshati paath every day.
- The first day, read the 1st and last chapter, 2nd day read the 2nd and second to last chapter.
- Do not do Kalash establishment if you have to leave the home for some time or if you want to change your place of residence.
- Refrain from sexual relations during this period.
- Don’t let shoes – shoes/slippers worn outside of the home into the home. Leave them at the doorstep.
- Don’t let people who eat non-vegetarian or intake toxic/alcoholic substances into your home during these days.