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Chaitra Sudi Ashtami — MahaAshtami Or DurgaAshtami

 Maha Ashtami Vrat is celebrated on Chaitra Sudi Ashtami, it is the birthday of Ma Bhavani Durga, and for her this festival is dedicated.

She took an avatar to kill a demon, named Durgam, that’s why she is called Durga. Katha was like that due to his intense tapa, Durgam was invincible, he got a boon that no man could ever kill him — that’s why Devi Durga appeared and killed him on this auspicious day, Chaitra Sudi Ashtami.

This Ashtami one should worship Goddesses like Durga, Kali, and others related to Nav-Durga, and Ten-Mahavidyas. For worship, first and foremost thing is to snana of a particular Devi you worship; second, changing clothes and makeup; third, doop of either by Guggal or Kapoor; fourth, homa, offer jaiphal (जायफल dipped in Sindoor) in homa. Devi like red flowers so offer red flowers too.

For other Devi, offer what they like the most — and make sure everything is clean and pure, ‘coz goddesses know everything, including what’s in your mind and what you hide.

After puja, do Pradakshina, it is to move around them in clockwise direction, 5 times, 11 times, 21 or 101 times whatever you like. Pradakshina gives the same benefit as one goes to each Shakti-Peetha. There is also a vidhaan to eat eight Ashok tree leaves; eating Ashok leaves is a ritual to end Shoka, that means Dukha.

For Vrat (fasting), Anna and Salt, both are prohibited — one may take fruits & milk one time after evening puja. Eating whole day doesn’t mean any Vrat, so do this honestly.

Whenever one gets time, people should read Devi Bhagwat, and should share one’s favorite Katha with each other.

महा अष्टमी का गीत

भवन में दिवला जोरि धरे। रे भवन में दिवला जोरि धरे।
काये की बाती काये के दिवला परि काये घिरत जरे। … रे भवन में
सोने के दिवला कपूर की बाती परि सुरई के घिरत जरे। … रे भवन में
जरि गयो घिरत पजरि गई बाती भवन गये अंधियारे। … रे भवन में
भवन में दिवला जोरि धरे। रे भवन में दिवला जोरि धरे। … रे भवन में

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