It is Day 4 of the nine-day festival of Navratri 2018 today. Pilgrims are seen thronging the Maa Vaishno Devi shrine in Jammu and Kashmir during these nine days to offer their prayers to Mata Vaishno Devi. Yesterday, upcoming Bollywood actress Sara Ali Khan was seen on the Vaishno Devi pilgrimage. She is on the Vaishno Devi yatra this Navratri. The Bhawan of Mata Vaishno Devi is decorated with fruits and flowers during these nine days. Devotees who visit the holy shrine also participate in huge numbers in the morning and evening Mata ki Aarti at the Bhawan. Sharad Navaratri 2018: Nine Avatars of Goddess Durga, Navdurga Pictures, Mantras & Celebration Dates of Navratri Festival.
Several devotees visit the shrine of Vaishno Devi specially on ashtami and navami. They perform kanya pujan at the Bhawan with halwa, puri and chane as prasad. They also distribute gifts to the kanjaks, who are worshipped as the nine forms of Goddess Durga. The path from Katra to the Bhawan is full of chants of 'Jai Mata Di' and bhajans by Narendra Chanchal, late Gulshan Kumar and Anuradha Paudwal are heard playing at shops on the way to the Bhawan. Those who are not able to visit the Vaishno Devi temple this Navratri can watch the morning and evening aarti online. To watch the Vaishno Devi aarti and darshan live on Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board website, click here. You can also watch it on YouTube. To watch it live on MH One Shraddha YouTube channel, click here.
What is Navratri?
During the nine days of Navratri, devotees worship the nine forms of Durga Maa, known as Navdurga, on each day. Each of her manifestations – Shailaputri, Brahmacharirni, Chandraghanta, Kushmanda, Skandamata, Katyayani, Kaalratri, Mahagauri and Siddhidhatri – is worshipped on each of the nine nights of Navaratri. According to traditions, all her nine forms have emerged out of the three major forms of the Goddess – Mahasaraswati, Mahalakshmi and Mahakali. Each represents the energies of the holy triumvirate of Brahma, Vishnu and Rudra. Maa Durga is known by 108 names and some among them are Adi Parashakti, Devi, Bhavani, Amba, Parvati and Yogmaya. Navaratri 2018 Dates & Tithi Calendar: Shubh Muhurat & Time for Puja and Aarti During Nine-Day Sharad Navratri Festival.
While several people observe seven or eight days of fast, people in West Bengal celebrate the Durga Puja from October 15. In Gujarat, people celebrate by gathering in large numbers and performing their traditional dance of Dandiya and Garba. Many devotees also organise Jaagran or Jagrata or Mata ki chauki during Navratri as it is considered auspicious.
The kanya pujan is performed by devotees of Maa Durga either on the eighth Navratra known as Ashtami or ninth Navratra known as Navami. Devotees also chant the Vaishno Devi katha. Here's where you can find the story of Mata Vaishno Devi.
There are also different colours associated with the nine days of the Sharad Navratri festival. Devotees wear a different colour based on its significance on each day of Navratri. Navratri Colours 2018 to Wear During Nine Days: Images and List of 9 Colours for Each Date of Sharad Navaratri Festival.
The festival of Navratri ends with Dussehra or Vijay Dashmi. This year, Dussehra is on October 19, which will mark the end of Navratri.