Today the 20th of April 2021 is the Durga Ashtami or Navaratri Maha Ashtami. Being one of the auspicious days of the 10 day ritual of Chaitra Navratri offers devotees to honor the day with belief and respect for Goddess Durga. The felicitous timing for the puja will commence from 11:54 A.M will last till 12: 46 PM which is the Abhijit Muhurat. Then from 2.30 PM to 3.22 PM is the Vijaya Muhurat and from 6.37 PM to 7.01 pm is the Godhuli Muhurat.
Maa Durga has nine avatars and as per rituals, 9 little girls draped in traditional saree seats near the idol where they are adored and worshipped . The ritual begins with washing the feet while tying a red thread to the wrist wishing for a positive prospect for the future. Besides, red tika and kukum will be put on the forehead of the girls and food will be offered along with small gifts and coins.
However this is the 2nd year of Covid 19. Therefore wishing your near and dear ones over phone or on virtual medium will be the best decision for you, your family and for the entire nation precisely.
Durga Mahashtami holds a propitious position in north India where people celebrate Kanjak, Kanya Puja on this promising day. To commemorate the day, nine little girls in between 5 to 9 are invited to and gifted with special food like puri ,chana and halwa. Traditions state that these little girls represent the shakti of Maa Durga on Earth . The rituals are Alti which is followed by a special puja.
In some regions there is a myth that Goddess Chamunda showed up on this day from the forehead of Maa Durga and obliterated Chanda, Munda, and Raktajaba(the associates of Mahisasur).
On this day 64 yoginis and Ashta shakti get worshipped in different parts of the country . On that note, there are different folklores on the Ashta Shaktis, telling that they are all powerful incarnation of Maa Durga representing the female power with vivocity of energy.The Ashta Shakti for your reference are Brahmani, Maheswari, Kaumari, Vaishnavi, Varahi, , Narasinghi, Indrani and Chamunda.
Lastly, wish you a great Maha Durga Ashtami everyone.