Thursday, October 10, 2013

Navratri Fasting - A Way To Pay Tribute

Navratri is from 5th October to 13th October. The one thing which everyone does without fail during these 9 days days is, fasting (Vrat or Upavasa). This article will tell you all that you need to know about fasting during Navratri. Read on… 

Navratri Vrat To Enchant The Goddess 

Fasting during Navratri is a ritual widely followed, especially in North India. This is a fast which can be observed by both men and women. Some break the fast on the eighth day (Ashtami) of Navratri; whereas others break on the ninth day (Navami). The day the fast is broken, Kanjak Puja (worshipping young girls dressed as Durga) is performed. Some follow Nirjala fast (waterless), but now-a-days many opt for partial fasting. Fasting will give you a chance to cleanse your body and mind. 

8 Rules To Be Followed During Fasting 

  1. Food should be prepared without onions and garlic.
  2. Abstain from using common salt in meals, prepare with only rock salt.
  3. Abstain from consumption of non-vegetarian food and alcohol.
  4. Cut down on usage of any kind of spices.
  5. Use Singhare-Ka-Atta (water chestnut flour) or Kuttu-Ka-Atta (buckwheat flour) to make Rotis (Chapatis) or Puris.
  6. Consumption of beverages like tea and milk is allowed. 
  7. Dishes made out of sago (Sabudana), barnyard millet (Sama Rice) and potato is also consumed during fasting.
  8. Abstain from making any kind of physical relations. 

Rituals To Be Followed During Fasting

The devotee who is observing fast must wake up early in the morning, take bath and offer prayers to Durga Maa. The food should first be offered to the Goddess and only then consumed as Prasad (Holy food). Take the name of the Goddess before and after the meal. The food should preferably taken after sunset, after offering prayers to the Goddess and as Prasad. It is very important that the person who is observing fast keeps his/her mind pure, and free of bad or harmful thoughts. Keep the house and the surroundings clean. Light a lamp or Diya while worshipping Durga Maa and make sure the light does not go off. Avoid wearing black colored clothes. It is advisable for pregnant women, elders, children and people who have diabetes to avoid fasting. Goddess Durga is the mother who does not judge her children. Fasting is just one way of offering your prayers to Maa Durga. For those who are unable to fast, you can do something which is just as sacred as fasting, i.e feeding the poor and helping the needy, or just keeping your intentions as well as love pure toward her. If there is anything that will make Maa durga happy is to let her see her children helping one another. 

Closing The Navratri Fast

Some break the fast on the eighth day (Ashtami) while some do it on the ninth day (Navami). Whenever the day may be, it is done by performing Kanjak Pujan. Nine young girls dressed as nine different forms of Goddess Durga are invited home. They are then offered Puri, Halwa and Bengal gram curry. Only after the nine young girls have consumed the offering and have blessed the person will he/she consume the food as Prasad. 

Click here to know more about fasting rituals during Navratri - Navratri Fast

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