Navratri Puja: Importance of fasts during Navratri
‘Navratri’ means the ‘nine nights’. ‘Nava’ means ‘nine’, and ‘ratri’ means ‘night’.
Navratri is dedicated solely to Maa Durga in Hinduism. Navratri is the nine most holy days in Hinduism.
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It is believed that during the course of these nine days, goddess Durga visits our home in her nine forms. The nine-day long festival comprises of fasting, daily pujas and participation in events.
Navratri is the beginning of a host of festivals like Dussehra and Diwali. Goddess Durga is the symbol of power, prosperity, wealth, and health and hence nine forms of Durga are celebrated during this time.
Importance of Fast During Navratri
Fasting is a process which cleans our system inside out and therefore should be taken seriously. It is not necessary for you to do it exactly according to Hindu Mythology since many tweaks have been made over time. However, do keep the following rules in mind if you wish to opt for the nine-day fasting period.
Food eaten during Navratri:
- Fried or boiled potatoes
- Kadhi prepared with kuttu atta and sea salt
- Aloo tikki
- Makhane ki sabzi
- Fruits and fruit juices
- Sabudana kheer
- Kuttu atta roti with kaddu sabzi or aloo sabzi
Some Common Things Everyone Must Do During Navratra
1.Take a bath every day. You need to keep yourself clean at all times. According to priests, you should take a bath before 9 am.
2.Stick to the Navratri diet which includes nuts, fruits, dairy products like milk and butter and selected flours. This also means your diet needs to be alkaline.
3.In Indian homes, whatever food is prepared during auspicious times like this, it is offered to the deities. During Navratri as well, you need to do the same. If unable to do so, you can also offer fruits and milk.
4.You need to light a lamp every morning or light one on the first day and maintain till the 9th day.
5.Read the shlokas from Durga chalisa or any mantras you know of and devote them to Goddess Durga.
6.At the end of the nine-day festival, serve food to girls as goddess Durga is known to reside in them.
Don’t Do These During Navratra
1. Do not keep your home dirty. Keep it clean at all times possible. This is because since the nine forms of goddess Durga are celebrated during Navratri, it is believed that Durga visits every house.
2. If fasting, do not have a proper full meal before sunset.
3. No consumption of alcohol, drugs, eggs, non-vegetarian food, onions, garlic during this period.
4. Another popular belief during this time is not to cut your hair.