Durga Ashtami 2018: Significance and meaning of Kanya Pujan
Kanya puja is celebrated on the eighth and ninth day of Navaratri. Nine young girls who represent the nine forms of Goddess Durga are worshipped on this occasion. According to this day, the girl child symbolizes pure creative force. According to custom, the feet of these girls is washed as a mark of respect to the goddess, after which they are offered new clothes by devotees.
Kanya puja is a way of recognising the feminine power within a girl child and honour them on this day.
If the devotee wants to receive knowledge then he/she should worship a Brahmin girl child. If it is power that he wants, then they should worship a Kshatriya-girl child. On the other hand if the devotee wants to acquire wealth and prosperity, then a girl belonging to a vaishya family should be worshipped by them. Mantras are chanted and the girl is made to sit on a special pedestal.
The girl is worshipped by offering ‘akshat’ (rice grains) and by burning incense sticks. She is worshipped following the philosophy of Striyah Samastastava Devi Bhedah, which means women symbolise Mahamaya (Goddess Durga).