Today is the 8th day of Navratri 2020 and Goddess Mahagauri is worshipped on Durga Ashtami or Mahashtami.
Durga Ashtamiis the most auspicious days of the ten-day Navratri and Durga Puja. Goddess Mahagauri is seen on a bull and has four hands. On one right hand, Mahagauri carries the trishul or trident and the other right hand is in Varada Mudra symbolizing abundance. She carries the Damaru in one left hand and the other one is again in Varada Mudra. According to legends, Mahagauri is very beautiful and her skin tone is compared to the jasmin flower and chandan. Women pray to Mahagauri for happiness and abundance in life.
Another legend surrounding Ashtami, says that Goddess Kali appeared on this day from the forehead of Devi Durga. She destroyed the asuras or demons as Goddess Kali, the fiercest avatar of Durga. Durga Ashtami is also special because all the eight consorts of Goddess Durga - Brahmani, Maheswari, Kaumari, Vaishnavi, Varahi, Narasinghi, Indrani and Chamunda - are worshipped on the day.
Durga Ashtami Significance
On Ashtami nine small pots are installed and all nine avatars of Devi Durga are invoked in them. All nine forms of Goddess Durga are worshipped during Maha Ashtami Puja. Kanjak or Kanya Pujan is an important part of Durga Ashtami. Kanjak involves the ritual of inviting eight young girls and worshipping them as avatars of Goddess Durga. Many families do Kanya Pujan on Namami also
Durga Ashtami Muhurat
Ashtami tithi starts at 6:57 AM on October 23
Ashtami tithi ends at -6:58 AM on October 24
Durga Ashtami Mantras
Om Devi Mahagauryai Namah
Prarthana: Shwete Vrishesamarudha Shwetambaradhara Shuchih
Mahagauri Shubham Dadyanmahadeva Pramodada
Stuti: Ya Devi Sarvabhuteshu Maa Mahagauri Rupena Samsthita
Namastasyai Namastasyai Namastasyai Namo Namah
Dhyana: Vande Vanchhita Kamarthe Chandrardhakritashekharam
Simharudha Chaturbhuja Mahagauri Yashasvinim
Purnandu Nibham Gauri Somachakrasthitam Ashtamam Mahagauri Trinetram
Varabhitikaram Trishula Damarudharam Mahagauri Bhajem
Patambara Paridhanam Mriduhasya Nanalankara Bhushitam
Manjira, Hara, Keyura, Kinkini, Ratnakundala Manditam
Praphulla Vandana Pallavadharam Kanta Kapolam Trailokya Mohanam
Kamaniyam Lavanyam Mrinalam Chandana Gandhaliptam
Stotra: Sarvasankata Hantri Tvamhi Dhana Aishwarya Pradayanim
Jnanada Chaturvedamayi Mahagauri Pranamamyaham
Sukha Shantidatri Dhana Dhanya Pradayanim
Damaruvadya Priya Adya Mahagauri Pranamamyaham
Trailokyamangala Tvamhi Tapatraya Harinim
Vadadam Chaitanyamayi Mahagauri Pranamamyaham
At the end of the Mahashtami on Durga Puja, Sandhi Puja and hom or yagna is performed.
Mahashtami Sandhi Puja Muhurat: 6:34 AM to 7:22 AM
Sandhi Puja is the most important time during Durga Puja. It is the juncture of Ashtami and Navami tithi. This year that time span is 24 minutes of Ashtami Tithi and the first 24 minutes of Navami Tithi. This is known as the Sandhi Kshan. It is the culmination of Durga Puja.