Durga Ashtami Vrat
Durga Ashtami or Masik Durgashtami is observed every month on the Ashtami Tithi (eighth day) of the waxing phase- Shukla Paksha of the lunar month. This is also called 'Virashtami' since all forms of martial arts are celebrated on this day. Devotees usually are on a day-long fast on this day and pray to Goddess Durga. There 12 Durgashtamis in a year, and the Ashtami of the Navaratri period is celebrated as Maha Durga-Ashtami.
Durga Ashtami Vrat Date 2022
Tue , 8th Feb 2022
Legend behind Goddess Durga
Goddess Durga helps us eliminate all evil emotions like ego, prejudice, anger, jealousy, and removes curses, adverse effects of bad planetary positions. Goddess Durga is a powerful Shakthi form, and She is referred to as Supreme Brahman in Rig Veda. Durga in Sanskrit can be broken into- "Dur" meaning inauspicious, poverty, evil forces, and sufferings, "r" sound meaning diseases, and last syllable "ga" destroyer of all listed sufferings.
According to Shakthi Purana and Rig Veda, Goddess Durga was created from Maa Parvati as a fierce form to destroy demon Mahishasura. Demon king Mahishasura was granted a boon from Lord Brahma that a man cannot kill him. He started creating challenges in all the lokas due to his boon and its pride. Lord Shiva asked Maa Shakthi to intervene and put an end to Mahishasura. She created Goddess Durga from a beam of fierce light. Goddess Durga fought a war with Mahishasura and killed him in the battlefield on Ashtami tithi. The day of victory over evil is celebrated on Ashtami tithis.
Goddess Durga radiates with power and mercy; Her radiance can destroy evil inertia and lethargy. This day is ideal for resonating with Her miraculous powers to enhance mental and spiritual wellbeing. By surrendering to Durga, we can destroy internal enemies like- the Kama, krodha,lobha, moha, mada, matsarya and external enemies like evil eye, competitors, black magic. Various scriptures on Mahashakthi and Mahadevi speak of the greatness in Ashtami Vrat.
Wake up early morning, physical purification followed by mental purification through chanting mantras prepares us for a day-long fast on Masik Ashtami. Pure worship altar of your house for pooja and prayer rituals. We chant Durga Mantras, Mahishasura Mardini Stotram. Perform hydration ceremony- abhishekam for Durga idol at home, offer flowers, and We can prepare Kheer, or some sattvic dessert as an offering. Perform arti and sankalpa.
Do not wear black clothes or avoid negative emotions like hate, addictive habits. Cut a lemon into two halves, squeeze out the juices and pulp, turn it inside out to make a lamp. Light this lemon lamp during the Rahu Kaal in the Durga altar. Or visit a Durga temple in the evening. After visiting a temple in the evening, we can make food donations or other charity. Suppose doshas or bad planetary positions of Rahu is delaying the matrimonial process or progeny. In that case, you can offer vastram (new clothes) or a donation of your choice to a girl child as a remedy.