The nine-day Navratras beginning from October 4, 2013 are marked by high festivities and pronounced religious fervour. This is a time which is considered to be most auspicious for land transactions, among other things. The general belief is that any property purchased during this time will be blessed and bring luck to its owner.
Pandit Rajesh Sharma of Gopal Mandir near Delhi’s Khan Market, says that out of the four Navratras in the year, this one in October is considered more special than the others and is referred to as Maha Navratra. It starts on the first day of the waxing moon fortnight in the Hindu calendar month of Asvin and since it falls during the Sharad Ritu (season) it is also referred to as Sharad Navratra.
People acquire new assets such as properties, cars and developers launch new projects as it is considered to be auspicious. “When they have made an expensive purchase or are entering their new home or office people want a pundit (priest) to perform a puja (prayer) for divine blessings. We are flooded with such puja requests and indeed this is one of the busiest periods in the year for many of us,” says Sharma. People have queries about the right time for conducting auspicious events such as marriage, buying or gifting property and even finalising real estate deals, he adds.
Another priest, Navin Chandra Mishra, says the nine days of Navratra are dedicated to the worship of Mother Goddess Durga in her nine forms. The Mother Goddess represents Shakti, which means power and energy. It is believed that during these nine days the atmosphere is charged with divine energy and the dasham dwars (10 gates) of all the 10 directions are open for divine blessings and for achievement of spiritual goals. So any positive action undertaken or done in this time is thought to be auspicious.
This Navratra could be specially blessed, says south Delhi-based astrologer Shashi Walia, as the star positions that have been unfavourable for some time will improve, especially for property and land deals. Mars, the bhoomikarak (significator) for property and land was earlier in the sign of Cancer, which is its debilitation sign and is considered neech (bad). Now the planet will be in Leo, its friendly sign. From extreme negativity it has moved to a comfortable, friendly environment, becoming bolder and powerful. Another negative planetary situation which has now eased involved Saturn and Mars aspecting each other -- which often means a time of violence and negativity.
People worship the Mother Goddess in her various forms during the Navratras and this is also a time for feasting and fasting. Intense invocation of the divine Durga through prayers and mantras ensures that positive vibes permeate the atmosphere. Many priests feel that prevalence of such concentration of prayers in itself creates a highly charged and deeply spiritual environment.
Prayers are offered to the Goddess and the Durga Saptshati. The Markandeya Purana, which is a part of the 18 Mahapuranas (Hindu religious texts) and contains chapters on the glorification of the Great Goddess, is read during this time. The Saptshati has 700 verses in 13 chapters and narrates the victory of the Goddess over the demon Mahishasura. Navratra also marks the beginning of the festive season, which continues to Christmas and the eagerly awaited New Year.