The word Durga in Sanskrit comes very close to the phrase- “she who is incomprehensible and difficult to reach”, mainly worshipped for her qualities of fearlessness and Generosity she is the representative of the infinite power. She is Shakti, which is nothing more than energy- energy cannot be created neither can it be destroyed, neither can it be released nor can it be captured. The very factor required to make the universe. Maa Durga is credited for playing a vital role, in killing many demons, such as Mahishasura.
Masik Durgashtami, the fast of Masik Durga is done on a month to month basis, observed on the eight dates or Asthami Tithi of the Shukla Paksha. It is a daylong fast, which stretches from dawn to dusk. The day is marked with the usual maa Durga Puja, as per the rules and regulations as prescribed in the scriptures. The fast is one of the most important fast in the Hindu religion and mainly performed to get the ultimate blessings of Maa Durga. Although the Durgashtami falls in every month, but the one that is very important is during the Navratri and is called Mahashtami. In the Navratri the 9 manifestations of Goddess Durga are revered. The Durgashtami puja is also called the Astra puja, as it is the day that the puja or worship weapons.
Masik Durgashtami Vrath Katha:
In the ancient times, there lived a demon called Durgam, whose torture was spread beyond the realms of the world. With fear and terror, all the Gods fled towards Kailash in order to get refuge and help of Lord Shiva. It was at this moment that the trinity (Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva) combined there powers and strengths together and gave rise to Maa Durga on the Shuklapaksha Asthami, they bestowed her with most powerful and deadly weapons that not only helped in killing the demon, but at the same time helped in restoring peace and bliss back to the universe. She is also called Mahishasura Mardani (the one who slayed the demon Mahishasura). As the demon Mahishasura got a boon that no species male can kill him, so Goddess Durga was invoked and then Durga Maa, sitting on her ferocious lion went on to kill the Demon.
Masik Durgashtami rules of fasting:
It is said that on the day of the Masik Durgashtami day puja, one should not leave the house empty at any given point of time.
During the time of fasting, the worshipper should abstain from eating or drinking anything, the entire day.
Even if one has to eat anything, it is advised that one should consume Milk and fruits, no Non- veg or Alcohol should be consumed on this day, at the same time the worshipper should devoid oneself of all the luxuries and sleep on floor or bed made of hay or mat.
Chant the Durga mantra the entire day especially while doing the aarti.
Masik Durgashtami Puja Procedure:
On the day of the Durgashtami, it is considered auspicious that if the devotees offer the flowers and scents to the Idol of the Goddess.
On this day the ritual of Kumari Pujan (worship of Virgin girls between age to 6-12 are revered) on this day these young girls are said to be the incarnation of Goddess Durga.
Wakeup early on the day of the fast clean yourself, and in a secluded and sit in meditating posture and concentrate on the Goddess Durga Puja and the fast and ritual that are to be followed.
Prepare a lamp and Akhand Jyoti and lit it in front of Goddess Durga Idol. Making the offerings to the Idol of Goddess Durga and also offer the Charnamrit to the Durga Idol.
Later on give the Prasad or the offerings to the others and finish your Vrath and in the dusk eat food that you have prepared. Make the item from wheat and Jaggery, eat that and break your fast.
Benefits of the Masik Durgashtami Vrath:
One of the biggest benefits of Masik Durgashtami vrath is that, it enables to remove all the difficulties and obstacles in life.
The devotees are bestowed with the divine blessings of Goddess Durga, She provides the devotees with protection and endows the Prosperity.
Fasting and Puja on this day brings, growth in career, prosperity in wealth and success in life.