Maha Saptami - Significance and Observance
When is Maha Saptami?
The seventh day of the Navratri festival is celebrated as Maha Saptami. During the grand Durga Puja festivity of 9 days, there is vital importance of the seventh day which is observed as Maha Saptami. As per the Hindu calendar, the day is celebrated in the month of Chaitra during Shukla Paksha on Saptami. According to the Gregorian calendar, the day falls in the month of March or April.
What is the Significance of Maha Saptami?
The day of Maha Saptami holds great significance as devotees worship Goddess Durga and seek her divine blessings. During all the nine days of the Chaitra Navratri, devotees worship and offer prayers to Hindu Goddess Shakti. It is believed that during the festivity, nine different incarnations of Goddess Durga are revered and worshipped across India. The day is also celebrated as Gudi Padwa in the states of Maharashtra, Ugadi in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and various other southern states and also as the beginning of the Hindu New Year.
What are the Rituals of Maha Saptami?
- On this particular day of Maha Saptami, devotees wake up early morning, take a bath in sacred water and offer prayers to Goddess Shakti.
- Sacred meal (Bhog) is prepared in which special dishes are offered to the deity which is then distributed among the invitees as Prasad.
- Pandals are set and are adorned with lights and garlands.
- As per the rituals and traditions, on the day of Maha Saptami, Maha Puja begins and devotees also perform Kalratri Puja.
- At some places, devotees also worship Goddess Saraswati on the day of Maha Saptami by performing Saraswati Puja.
What is the Story of Maha Saptami and Nine Plants?
The festivity and celebrations of Maha Saptami begin with offering a sacred bath to Navapatrika. It comprises of nine different plants including Paddy, Banana, Jayanti, Colacassia, Pomegranate, Ashoka, Turmeric, Arum Plant, and Bel. All these plants are together tied with Koyala and Aparajita plants and then Navapatrika is formed. This represents the win of Goddess Durga over the demon Mahishasura.
At the time of war with Mahishasura, Maa Durga created eight different war partners called ‘Ashtanayika’. These nine different plants are the symbols of these eight war partners and Goddess Durga.
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