Despite many anecdotal stories in vedik puraano and itihaas
(history), nav-raatri-puujaa is
ordained in ved. nav-raatri-puujaa means performing puujaa
for nine nights. To perfrom puujaa means to adore, to worship, to
revere, to pay homage, to honour, to receive with respect, to regard, to take
notice of someone in the entire creation for whatever reasons one believes in.
The reasons one believes in and thus perform puujaa comes from root word
puu in puujaa which means to make pure, to cleanse, to purify, to
refine, to expiate, to atone for, to become clear or pure, to discern, to
discriminate truth from untruth or reality from non-reality, to think out, to
devise, to invent.
The nav-raatri-puujaa was prescribed by ved to be performed in vasant-rutu
(spring season) and sharad-rutu (autumn season). These two seasons are
called kaal-damshtraas meaning tusks of all six seasons. vasant-rutu
is in the month of mesh and sharad-rutu falls in the month of aaso.
Diseases and death are more prominent in these two seasons than the rest of four
seasons and hence nav-raatri-puujaa was to be offered to durgaa-maataa
to appease her and obtain her su-rakshaa.
vyaas-muni was the grandfather of paandavo and kauravo of
mahaa-bhaarat and the author of splitting ved into four parts and
also of puraano. vyaas-muni ordained that nav-raatri-puujaa
should be conducted as follows:
All that is necessary for the puujaa should be collected on aaso
sud ekam, that is new moon day of the month of aaso. Only ghee
should be eaten on that day. For performing this puujaa an open temple
should be constructed with pillars and flag posts on an open flat land which
is pure. The temple should have a circumference of sixteen cubits (cubit
equals about 10 inches) and shall have sixteen pillars. The floor of the
temple should be of white clay. A dais measuring one cubit in height and with
a circumference of 4 cubits should be constructed in the middle of the temple.
The dais is the where the throne of durgaa-maataa is placed. The temple
including dais should be well decorated. The throne on the dais should be
covered with white silk and durgaa-maataa should be consecrated on it
with prescribed sthaapanaa ceremony. After performing sthaapanaa
a brahmin should read ved at which time the puujaa is commenced and
continued for nine days.
nav-raatri-puujaa is observed throughout bhaarat and wherever vedik
peoples reside on this planet earth. navaraatri-puujaa is more prominent
in the belief systems of vedic peoples of northern bhaarat.
nav-raatri-puujaa is performed in different ways by vedik
peoples as per their gotra, varna and local traditions and customs. nav-raatri-puujaa
also has different historical interpretations. We will learn about this
during these nine days of navaraatri-pujaa......but perform the puujaa
as has been the traditions in your family and locale....durgaa-maataa does
not mind your ways....she is only looking for your bhaavanaa which means satya
(truthfulness), sincerity and devotion.....
(This write up has been composed from the knowledge contained in puranic encyclopedia
by vetatam mani. sad pranaam to shree vetatam mani, wherever
he is now, for giving this evergreen reservoir of vedic knowledge to empower us
to walk on the gnaan-marg to moksha)