Navratras are here again. These are the days to start any new venture without going for any ‘mahurat’ because Ma Durga bestows her unqualified blessings on one and all.
It is believed that the period is one of the utmost periods of piety. Ma Durga has nine facets and is discerned in nine manifestations deemed auspicious for all new beginnings. People observe the Navratras by getting up in the wee hours and after completing the morning chores start praying and chanting hymns, wishing all the best for the mankind.
During this period, people make it a point that they observe fast for nine days or for as many as possible, depending upon the contingencies and person-to-person constraints. The sick and the infirm, however, need not go in for fasts on these auspicious days.
There is a custom to sow ‘jow’ (barley) in a pot and reap the ‘crop’ on the approaching Ashtami and/or Naumi. After this, rich feasts are thrown open to celebrate Ram Naumi, the birth of Lord Rama with great pomp and show in temples. Prayer sessions are conducted and young females are treated and their good wishes are invoked. The custom is christened ‘Kanjak’; delicious meals, money and gifts are offered on the day. Kids are pampered and they wear saffron head gears.
People observe total piety and simple living and do not do anything in “thought, word or deed” to harm or hurt anyone in any manner. They always try to follow the path of righteousness in order to be useful to their brethren which, in turn, helps everyone lead a pious life.
People also try to visit the Vaishno Devi shrine in thousands to pay their obeisance and earn the Mother’s blessings. It is said the Mother never disappoints any one and blesses all without any kind of divide or discrimination.