Almost all Hindu fast for Navratri but the way of fasting differs a lot among each other. Navratri fasting can be done in the strict way or in a more lenient way depending on the health and physical capability of the devotee. Here we illustrate a short but to the point step by step guide to fast for Navratri.
The Strict Navratri Fasting Method
If you are physically fit and can go for the strict method, then you need to consume only water and fresh fruits during the 9 days of Navratri. This method of fasting is quite difficult for many people since most people have to go to work, or cannot depend only on fruits availability. In the strict Navratri fast, grains and flour derived food are strictly prohibited.
The Usual Navratri Fasting Method
Since most people cannot strictly eat only fruits and water for several days, the most common method to fast for Navratri is to eat only vegie food but again it is to be noted that grains and flour based food are to be avoided. You can eat any other vegetable and water is allowed.
The Daily Navratri Puja
The very first worship for Navaratri starts very early in the morning of the first day. Cleaning of the house and purification is done some 2 to 3 days earlier. On the first day of Navratri a lamp is lighted and the objective is to keep this lamp infront of the Goddess lighted till Navratri ends. Usually a murti (statue) or picture of the Goddess Durga is used for the prayer at home level but nowadays giant murti’s are also built specially for this festival. Below are the steps to perform the daily puja:
- Offer water 3 times to the Goddess (can be by using an aluminium glass)
- Offer the Pancha Amrit 6 times
- Offer water again 2 times
- Dry clean the Murti or picture frame with a clean cloth (preferably red one)
- Chant the Durga mantra “Om Aim Hring Kling Chamundaye, Vichchey” and at the same time offer to the Goddess some “kum kum rice”, flowers and fruits (usually apples, or bananas).
- Perform the Artee using wicks dipped in Ghee.
The same steps are repeated for the 9 days of Navratri.