The nine-day celebration of goddess Durga — Navratri 2018, ends on October 18 this year. The ninth day of the Navratri, also known as Navami, hols prominence in Hindu culture. The day is considered auspicious in every sense. For Bengalis across the country, it marks the last day of the five-day celebrations of Maa Durga. It is believed that the goddess beheaded the buffalo demon, Mahishasur on this day, thereby establishing the triumph of good over evil.Also Read - Navratri 2021, Day 9: Maa Siddhidatri, Puja Vidhi, Tithi And Mantra

On the final day, the devotees worship the ninth form of Goddess Durga – Maa Siddhidatri. Her name translates to the one who grants or fulfills every wish; Siddhi means supernatural power or meditative ability, and Dhatri means the one blesses or gives that power. After worshipping the nine manifestations of Maa Shakti, the tenth day will be celebrated as Vijayadashami or Dussehra on October 19. Also Read - Navratri 2021 Durga Ashtami Date And Shubh Muhurat: When to Observe The Ashtami Fast - October 13 or 14?

As mentioned in the religious texts, the goddess is figured as seated on a huge, fully-bloomed lotus, riding a lion. Maa Siddhidatri is shown four-armed, holding Gada (mace) and Sudarshana Chakra in her right hands while a lotus and Shankh in her left hands. Devi Siddhidatri is shown surrounded by Siddhas, Gandharvas, Yakshas, Asura (Demons) and Devata(Gods) who are worshipping her. Also Read - Indian Idol 12: Yoga Guru Ramdev To Grace The Show For Ram Navami Special Episode

In this form Durga, Siddhidatri removes the ignorance of her devotees and provides them with the knowledge. According to the religious texts, Maa Siddhidatri is the Goddess who possesses and bestows all type of Siddhis (Anima, Mahima, Garima, Laghima, Prapti, Prakambya, Ishitva, and Vashitva) to her devotees. It is believed that even Lord Shiva got all Siddhis by her grace. Lord Shiva got the title of Ardhanarishvara after Goddess Siddhidatri appeared from his left half.

Puja Vidhi:
In many Hindu households, Navami is considered auspicious and the day begins with offering food to the nine little girl kids. The puja vidhi on the ninth day of Navratri is quite special. In many households, the goddess is worshipped in the form of young girls, also known as kanjaks. Nine young girls, who haven’t yet reached puberty, are welcomed at homes. They are made to sit in a line, after which a holy dhaaga (kalava) is tied onto their wrists, their feet are cleaned and their foreheads are adorned with the holy tilak. Then, they are served the specially cooked prasad, constituted of halva, puri and black grams. Along with the food, the girls are also given some money as a token of thanks and respect. They are worshipped as the young avatar of Maa Durga.

The Mahanavami ideally begins with a Mahasnan followed by a Shodashopachar Puja. A special puja called Sandhi Puja is carried out when the Ashtami tithi ends and Ram Navami tithi starts. The goddess is said to be offered 108 lotus flowers and bilva leaves.

Date and Time:
This year, the Navami tithi begins after the Ashtami tithi ends on October 17 at 12: 49 pm.

Following Navami comes Dusshera, which is one of the widely celebrated festivals for Hindus. Happy Navratri to our readers.