Durga Ashtami or Maha Ashtami is one of the happiest days of the five day Durga Puja Festival.Traditionally, the festival is celebrated in Upper Caste Hindu households for 10 days, but the actual puja, which is held at the “pandal”, is held for a period of 5 days (starting with Shashthi).
It celebrates the victory of good over evil as goddess Durga killed demon king Mahishasur. According to Hindu mythology, it is believed that the goddess visits her earthly abode during this time to bless her devotees.
The festival ends with Vijaya Dashami or Dussehra, marking the end of Durga Puja and the nine-day long Navratri celebrations. Vijay Dashami marks the triumph of Goddess Durga over the demon king Mahishasura.
On the other hand, Dussehra or Dasara celebrates the victory of Lord Rama over Ravana.On this day, people also gather to dance “garba” and wear colorful clothes. This day is also called “Astra Puja” (worship of weapons), because the weapon of goddess Durga is worshiped on this day.
The day is also known as Vira Ashami because they are seen using weapons or martial arts.The eighth day of the festival of Navratri or Durga Puja is known as Durgashtami or Durga Ashtami. It is also known as Mahashtami and is one of the most auspicious days according to Hinduism.
It falls on Ashti-Titi two sunny weeks in the month of Asuina according to the Hindu calendar. It is believed that in some areas the goddess Chamunda appears from Mother Durga’s forehead on this day and destroys Chanda, Munda and Raktabia (demons associated with Mahishasura).
64 Yogis and Ashta Shakti or matrices (eight wild forms of goddess Durga) are worshiped by Mahashtami during the Durga Puja ritual. Ashta Shakti, also known as the Eight Shakti, is interpreted differently in different regions of India. But in the end the eight goddesses are incarnations of Shakti.
You are an equally powerful Divine Woman representing different energies.The Ashta Shaktis worshiped during Durga Puja are Brahmani, Maheswari, Kaumari, Vaisnavi, Varahi, Narasinghi, Indrani and Chamunda.
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