How to celebrate Navaratri in adverse times

 The Devi fought with the demon Mahishasur for nine days from Pratipada to Navami and finally killed him on the Navami night. Since then, She came to be known as Mahishasurmardini, the annihilator of Mahishasur. Like last year, this year also in some places due to the corona pandemic, there may be limitations on performing this Navaratri vrat as usual. At such a time, the question in the minds of many is 'How to celebrate Navaratri festival ?'. Some useful aspects and viewpoints for them are given ahead. This article by Sanatan Sanstha explores the various acts of Dharma that one can follow even during such times.      

Question : What to do if it is not possible to go to the temple of Goddess during Navaratri and perform Oti ritual (Ritual of offering a saṛi and/or a blouse piece to a Goddess or a married lady, a ritual in Maharashtra, India) ?

Answer : If it is not possible to go to the temple of the Goddess during Navaratri for this purpose, then the ritual should be performed at home. The sari offered to the Goddess as Oti can be used as prasad (A devotional offering made to a Deity).

Question : What to do if it is not possible to celebrate Lalita Panchami ?

Answer : The Goddess in the house should be worshipped with bhav (Spiritual emotion) that Lalita Devi is being worshipped.

Question : How to perform kumarika-pujan (Ritualistic worship of a virgin) ?

Answer : If there is a kumarika at home, she should be worshipped. If it is not possible to invite virgins to the house for worship due to restrictions, instead of kumarika-pujan, offer some amount to a religious institution which works for a worthy religious cause.

Question : What to do if it is not possible to perform Bhondla, playing Garba or blowing Ghagari ?

Answer : The main purpose of Bhondla, playing Garba or blowing Ghagari is to keep awake as a part of worshipping Goddess. If it is not possible to perform this religious acts, the Goddess should be worshipped by chanting the name of the Kuladevata (Goddess of the family) or by reciting religious texts or singing bhajans (Devotional songs).

Information about chanting the name of Kuladevi and Navaratri festival is given in Sanatan's Holy texts 'Shakti' and 'Worship of Divine Energy'. These books are available for sale online at www.sanatanshop.com, as well as information about Navaratri at www.sanatan.org.

Question : How to celebrate Dussehra?

Answer : The weapons and means of subsistence that are available at home and are being worshipped every year should be worshipped. If it is not possible to exchange apta (Mountain ebony tree) leaves with each other, these leaves should be offered only to God.

Viewpoints