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Maha Saptami

Maha Saptami

Maha Saptami is celebrated every year on the seventh day of the waxing moon called ‘Shukla Paksha’ in the Hindu calendar month of ‘Ashwin,’ which falls on October 2 this year. The Maha Puja (Great Ceremony) starts on Maha Saptami. Then, a Durga Puja, a Hindu festival, takes place with great fanfare and celebrates the 10-armed goddess and her victory over the evil buffalo demon ‘Mahishasura.’

History of Maha Saptami

India celebrates a 10-day-long Durga Puja festival with great enthusiasm and spirit. Maha Saptami is day seven of that festival, and Saptami means ‘seven’ in Sanskrit. The Maha Puja of the Durga Puja begins on the day of Maha Saptami. It is said that the battle between Goddess Durga and the demon king Mahishasura began on this day and ended on Vijaya Dashami day, the 10th and last day of the Durga Puja festival, with the victory of the goddess over the demon.

There is another legend surrounding the celebration of this day. It is believed that Lord Rama prayed to Goddess Durga before his battle with the demon king Ravana, who abducted his wife, Sita. This puja had to be done with 100 blue lotus flowers; however, Lord Rama could only find 99. So, to complete the puja, he plucked out his blue eye and offered it to the goddess in place of the missing lotus. Goddess Durga was pleased with this devotion and showered him with her blessings, which helped him win against Ravana. This battle happened on day seven of the month of Ashwin.

Durga Puja has traditional rituals, such as the Navapatrika, where nine plants are bathed in the River Ganges before the sun rises. These nine plants are turmeric, bel, Ashoka, ‘jayanti,’ pomegranate, banana, paddy, colocasia, and arum. The second ritual is the Mahasnan, where a mirror is treated as the personification of the Goddess Durga and is given a ritual bath. The last ritual is the Prana Prathishta, where a pot filled with holy water and covered with a coconut surrounded by five mango leaves is placed in front of the idol of the goddess, followed by chanting divine hymns. In the end, the goddess is worshipped using 16 unique items.

Traditions of Maha Saptami

Maha Saptami is also known as Saptami of Durgapuja and is one of the important days of Durga Puja.

The Maha Puja (Great Ceremony) starts on Maha Saptami.

Durga Puja is a Hindu festival in South Asia that celebrates the worship of the goddess Durga.

Durga Puja celebrates the ten-armed mother goddess and her victory over the evil buffalo demon Mahishasura.

The world was under threat from the evil buffalo demon Mahishasura that no man or god could defeat. Durga emerged from the gods’ collective energies to defeat the monster. Each of her ten arms brandished the deadliest weapon of each god.

On the seventh day (Saptami) of Durga Puja, the goddess started her epic battle against Mahishasura, which ended with his death on Vijaya Dashami (the 10th day).

Other Key days during Durga Puja

The rituals of Durga Puja last ten days, with the start and the previous five days being unique festivals that are reflected in public holidays in some states in India.
Mahalaya
Mahalaya marks the start of the Durga Puja festival.
Durga Ashtami
This is the eighth day of the Durga Puja celebrations when the weapons used by Durga are worshipped.
Maha Navami
This is the ninth day of Durga Puja. On this day, the victory of Durga over the evil buffalo demon Mahishasura is celebrated.
Vijaya Dashami
Also known as Dashain or the Tenth day of Navratri or Durgotsav, Vijaya Dashami commemorates the day Durga appeared riding a lion to slay the Mahisasura.

How to observe Maha Saptami

Visit a Durga Puja festival
Durga Puja is celebrated widely in India and the Indian diaspora across the globe. Attend a Durga Puja festival and immerse yourself in the spirit of harmony and peaceful energies. Soak in the culture and see the celebration of a goddess.
Take time to reflect.
Durga Puja is the victory of good over evil. Take this day to reflect and fight your inner demons. Let go of evil thoughts and negativity and allow positivity into your life.
Worship Goddess Durga
You can visit a local temple and worship Goddess Durga. If not, you can say a prayer at home and seek divine blessings and guidance in overcoming obstacles by keeping Goddess Durga in mind.

5 Important facts about Maha Saptami

Durga Puja
Maha Saptami is the first day of the Durga Puja.
Celebrated in many states
Maha Saptami is part of the Durga Puja celebrations, mainly celebrated in the Indian states of West Bengal, Assam, Tripura, Odisha, and Sikkim.
Rituals
Maha Saptami has three main rituals: the bathing ritual of nine plants, bathing of the mirror, which reflects Goddess Durga and worshipping the goddess with 16 unique items.
Nabapatrika
Nabapatrika is a ritual that worships nine different leaves that are known to represent the nine forms of the goddess.
Kalratri
Goddess Kali is also known as Kalratri, another form of Goddess Shakti.

Why Maha Saptami is important

It’s a religious festival.
Maha Saptami is the first day of the Durga Puja festival, celebrated enthusiastically in some Indian states. People gather on the streets in large numbers and come together to participate in this religious festival. It gives people a platform to come together and be a community.
Celebrates women empowerment
Maha Saptami celebrates women’s empowerment in all its glory. According to the scriptures, Goddess Parvati gave up her golden avatar to kill the asuras Shumbha-Nishumbha. This is known as Kalratri.
It’s a celebration of victory over evil.
Maha Saptami is when Goddess Kali defeated the demon Shumbha-Nishumbha. It is a sign of victory over evil. It shows how the good will always prevail over the bad, and we should keep fighting for what is right.

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