It is Day 8 of the nine-day Navratri festival. This day is also known as Durga ashtami. Several devotees are thronging the Vaishno Devi Shrine and will be performing kanya pujan at the Mata Bhawan today and tomorrow. While some devotees perform the kanya pujan on Ashtami (eighth Navaratri), others perform the ritual on Navami (ninth Navaratri). The tenth day will be celebrated as Dussehra on October 19. During the nine days of Navratri, the Vaishno Devi pilgrims participate in huge numbers in the morning and evening Mata ki Aarti at the Maa Vaishno Devi Bhawan.
Vaishno Devi is believed to have emerged when three manifestations of the Goddess - Mata Maha Kali, Mata Maha Lakshmi and Mata Maha Saraswati - got together as one. Maa Vaishno Devi is believed to be the human form of Devi who was sent to Earth to protect what is right. Devotees listen to the Vaishno Devi Katha during Navratra. 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.
Devotees also listen to devotional songs (Mata ki Bhente) by popular singers including Narendra Chanchal, Anuradha Paudwal and late Gulshan Kumar. Here are some popular devotional songs sung by Narendra Chanchal.
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. Navratri 2018 Dates, Days & Tithi Calendar: Shubh Puja Muhurat & Time for Aarti During Nine-Day 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.