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The Gujarati essence of celebrating the existence of spiritualism and devotionalism

Puja, the loving contribution of light, blossoms, and water or food to the heavenly, is the fundamental custom of Hinduism. The heavenly is apparent in the image of God, for the admirer, and the divine being seen by the admirer. The connection between humans and God, between humans and gurus, is called darshan, seeing.

Puja differs as per the group, locale, event, divinity regarded, and steps in formal Nigama functions, a fire might be lit to pay tribute to the god Agni, without an icon or picture present. Conversely, in Agama services, a symbol or picture of a god is available. In the two services, a light (diya) or incense stick might be lit while a prayer is recited or a psalm is sung. Puja is generally performed by a Hindu devotee alone.

The portrayal of Gujarat celebrations is incomplete without the mention of Navratri. Celebrated for nine long days with enormous pomp and show, Navratri is devoted to every one of the nine avatars of Goddess Durga. People meet up to dance the Garba as one, a local dance, where the group moves together in a synchronized round path.

Navratri signifies 'Nine Nights,' the celebration is remembered for nine long days to play out a Puja to one of the nine types of Goddess. Every one of the nine evenings are separated into segments of three; the initial three days are for Goddess Durga, who annihilated Demon Mahishasura and impurities in a human's mind. The following three days focus on the goddess Lakshmi, the goddess of spirituality and the last three days are on Goddess Saraswati, the goddess of insight and workmanship.

Navratri is an ideal opportunity to commend the fertility of the soil and harvest of the monsoon season, addressed by a hill of new soil in which grains are planted. The soil is venerated and watered for every one of the nine days of the puja celebration. On the 10th day, Vijayadashami is celebrated. Puja is conducted to bless vehicles; likewise, it is considered a propitious day to buy one. Various tales and stories connect the beginning of the celebration. 

The myth behind the celebration of Navratri

The story goes this way: Demon Mahishasur came seeking for the boon to be immortal from Agni, God of Fire. According to the boon, Mahishasur wouldn't be killed and injured by any weapon. Subsequently, Mahishasur turned out to be strong to the point that he implanted fear and awe in the minds of everyone and caused obliteration. To end the dread of the evil spirit Mahishasur,  the divinities went to Lord Shiva to track down a solution. Shiva's power alongside the power of different divinities created the goddess Adhya Shakti. Every one of the divine gods and goddesses, including Lord Shiva, gave her adornments, weapons and a lion as a vehicle to battle against the Mahishasur. Goddess Adhya Shakti battled against Mahishasur for nine long days and nights. On the 10th day, she decapitated Mahishasur. The nine evenings came to be known as Navratri while the 10th day was called Vijaya Dashami, the 10th day that brought the victory of good over wickedness.

Govardhan Puja and the Gujarati new year

Govardhan Puja and Gujarati New Year are celebrated with pomp and show on the first day of Shukla paksha of the Kartik month. Gujarati New Year is likewise called Bestu Varsh, Padvo Nutan Varsh and so forth in the Gujarati language.  Shree Krishna did the Govardhan Mountain Pujan with all the vraj vasi on this day thus practice of Govardhan Puja is still relevant to this day. As per the Hindu Vikram Samvatsar schedule, Diwali is the last day of the year so the following day is celebrated as New Year in the Gujarati schedule. This is a favorable day for the businessmen, they calculate the record on this day for the impending year.


Q1. What is the prime ingredient of Navratri Puja?

The dance form, Garba performed in groups around a lit lamp is one of the main attractions of Navratri.

Q2. What are the other pujas conducted in Gujarat?

Rann Utsav and Janmashtami pujas are also conducted by devotees in Gujarat.