Dedicated to heralding Ma Durga, masik Durgashtami is marked by a daylong worship of Ma Durga on the Shuklapaksha ashtami with pujas and vrat concluding in the evening. It is said the vrat observed on this day can remove all the afflictions in the life of devotees and bring peace, prosperity and happiness into families.
Masik Durgashtami Puja Vidhi
The nine manifestation of Durga (Nava Durga) are Shailaputri, Brahmacharini, Chandraghanta, Kushmanda, Skandamata, Katyayani, Kalratri, Mahagauri and Siddhidatri. Masik Durgashtami is especially dedicated to the worship of Maha Gauri, the eighth one among the nine manifestations of Ma Durga.
The complexion of Mahagauri is compared to that of white conch, jasmine or moon. Mahagauri is ever youthful and looks like an eight year old girl child. Peace and compassion are her attributes. Among her four hands, two are in abhaya and varada mudras (protective and boon giving poses respectively) with the other two carrying trident and damaru (dumbbell shaped drum). She is depicted in white or green sari and is shown to ride on a bull.
Wake up early in the morning, take holy bath and prepare the altar with the image of Ma Durga. Light a big lamp in front of the altar called as Akhand Jyoti. Pink flowers, banana and coconut are the favorite offerings to Maha Gauri. The other ways to please Maha Gauri is offering incense, ringing the bells and blowing the conch. Barley is sown in earthen pots on this day and let to grow as a mark of prosperity.
Masik Durgashtami Fasting Rules
The house is not left vacant for the whole day.
Devotees do not eat anything from morning till evening. If this is not possible, the fruits and milk are taken. The puja is repeated once again in the evening and then the fast is concluded after sunset.
Masik Durgashtami Vrat Story
Once there lived a horrible demon named Durgam who tortured the worlds beyond compare. Trembling in terror, all the gods moved to Kailash and sought the intervention of Lord Shiva in this matter. Lord Shiva along with Vishnu and Brahma combined all their powers and gave rise to Ma Durga on Shuklapaksha ashtami. They gave the most powerful weapons to her and she waged a stiff war with the demon and vanquished him in no time. The three worlds rejoiced in happiness, praised and worshipped Ma Durga in several jubilant ways. This is the origin of Durgashtami.
Masik Durgashtami Benefits
The ultimate purpose of observing the masik Durgashtami vrat is to clear all the difficulties in life by invoking the blessings of Durga. The devotees fasting on this day shall get divine protection, prosperity, professional growth, success and peace in their lives with all the afflictions haunting their lives removed.