Shardiya Navratri 2023: Navratri, the nine-night festival dedicated to Goddess Durga, holds special significance in the hearts of millions of devotees in India. It is believed that by worshiping Maa Durga during Navratri, one can invoke her blessings and fulfill their wishes. Shardiya Navratri, which is celebrated with grandeur and devotion, marks the arrival of the goddess on Earth. In this article, we will explore the essential details of Shardiya Navratri 2023, including the auspicious timing for Kalash installation, the method of Kalash preparation, and the vehicles associated with Maa Durga's arrival and departure.
Shardiya Navratri begins on the day following the conclusion of Pitru Paksha, a period dedicated to honoring one's ancestors. As per the Hindu calendar, Pitru Paksha ends with the celebration of Sarvapitri Amavasya on the Amavasya date of Krishna Paksha in the month of Ashwin. Shardiya Navratri commences on the Pratipada date of Shukla Paksha in the same Ashwin month, lasting for nine auspicious days. During this time, devotees worship the nine different forms of Maa Durga with great fervor.
Shardiya Navratri is one of the four Navratri festivals celebrated in a year, with Sharadiya and Chaitra Navratri holding special importance. During Navratri, devotees install a Kalash with elaborate rituals, starting from Pratipada Tithi and continuing until Navami Tithi. The festivities begin with the worship of Maa Shailputri, the first form of Goddess Durga. This year, Maa Durga is believed to arrive on Earth riding an elephant, signifying her presence and blessings for all.
Navratri, which translates to "nine nights," is dedicated to Mother Durga. It is believed that worshiping Maa Adishakti during Navratri results in her blessings, granting devotees their heartfelt desires. Here are the key details for Shardiya Navratri 2023:
Dates: Pratipada Tithi begins on 14th October 2023 at 11:24 pm and concludes on 16th October 2023 at 12:32 am. The first day of Navratri, Udaya Tithi, falls on 15th October 2023.
Auspicious Timing for Kalash Sthapana: The Kalash installation or Ghatasthapana is performed on the first day of Navratri, which falls on 15th October. The most favorable time for Kalash installation is from 11:44 AM to 12:30 PM on this day, with the entire process taking 46 minutes.
Chitra Nakshatra: An auspicious coincidence awaits on the first day of Shardiya Navratri as Chitra Nakshatra begins at 04:24 pm on 14th October 2023 and ends at 06:13 pm on 15th October. This celestial alignment adds to the sanctity of Ghatasthapana.
To perform Kalash installation, follow these steps:
Take a wide earthen pot and spread a layer of soil inside it. Add cereal seeds and, if needed, a bit of water to set the soil.
Tie a holy thread around the neck of the Kalash and fill it with holy water up to the neck. Place betel nut, sandalwood, Durva grass, Akshat, and coins in the water. Before sealing the Kalash with a lid, arrange five Ashoka leaves on its edge.
Wrap an unpeeled coconut in a red cloth and secure it with a sacred thread.
Place the prepared coconut atop the Kalash, positioning the Kalash in the center of the grain vessel.
Now, your Kalash is ready to invoke Goddess Durga during the auspicious Navratri period.
Vehicles of Arrival and Departure of Maa Durga This year, Maa Durga arrives riding an elephant during Shardiya Navratri, in contrast to her traditional lion mount. Her departure, however, will be on a rooster.
The forthcoming Shardiya Navratri in 2023 is expected to be nothing short of extraordinary, as the goddess of strength and devotion, Maa Durga, makes her grand entrance on a majestic elephant and departs on the formidable Charanayudha. This auspicious event is set to commence on a particularly propitious note, beginning on Monday, a day revered for its spiritual significance.
The arrival of Goddess Durga astride an elephant carries profound symbolism and blessings. According to Drik Panchang, this occurrence is associated with the promise of abundant rainfall and a bountiful harvest in the upcoming year. In the rich tapestry of Hindu beliefs, the modes of transportation chosen by the goddess hold unique significance, each embodying a different facet of her divine persona.
According to Hindu scriptures, the choice of Maa Durga's mount during Navratri is determined by the day of the week on which the festival commences:
Monday or Sunday: Goddess Durga graces the Earth on the back of an elephant, signifying a harmonious and blessed start to Navratri.
Saturday or Tuesday: She arrives on a noble horse, symbolizing swiftness and courage.
Thursday or Friday: Maa Durga is adorned in a doli, evoking sentiments of love and devotion.
Wednesday: She makes her entrance on a boat, underscoring the journey of life and the importance of navigation.
Intriguingly, Maa Durga's departure also follows a pattern based on the days of the week:
Sunday or Monday: She rides on a buffalo, signifying strength and fortitude.
Saturday or Tuesday: Departing on a rooster, she brings vitality and enthusiasm.
Wednesday or Friday: Her exit is marked by an elephant, symbolizing the continuity of life's journey.
Thursday: Goddess Durga chooses a human ride for her departure, connecting deeply with humanity.