The 7th day of Navratri which falls in the Maha SaptamiTithi observes the worship of Goddess Kalaratri as well as Goddess Saraswati. This day people also arrange the Utsava Puja. On the seventh day of Navratri Goddess Kalaratri is worshipped. She is considered to be the most ferocious avatar of Goddess Durga and is known for destroying ignorance and removing darkness from the universe.
Maha Saptami marks the major day of rituals for the goddess of power. Mythology says that after a vigorous fight of 9 days the Goddess over powered the most treacherous demon in history – Mahisasura. Saptami was the day when the Goddess commenced the war with the buffalo demon and killed him on 10th, that is on Vijayadashami.
Origin Of Kalratri Puja
During the devastation created by the demons Shumbha and Nishumbha Goddess Parvati took the avatar of Kalratri Devi. It is said that these two demons invaded the Devlok that is the abode of the Demi Gods. After getting frustrated the Demi Gods prayed Goddess Parvati to help them defeat the asuras. It is then when Kalratri avatar was created.
Appearance and Form
This avatar is depicted as a destructive form of the Goddess. She can be seen riding a dark black donkey. Her complexion is dark black and she has four hands. The positioning of her hands are in abhaya and varada mudra and she carries sword and an iron hook in her left hands.It is said that she licked the blood of demon RaktaBeeja, who had the potential to create more demons from his own blood. Because of the powers she possesses, she is also referred as Goddess Shubhankari.
Certain major rituals are observed on this day.
Bathing Navapatrika: This day, tithi, and timings are considered to be very auspicious to worship the nine planets. People worship the nine planets representing banana, pomegranate, turmeric, jayanti, ashoke, bel, arum plant, colacassia and paddy which are tied together and taken to the river Ganges at pre-dawn for bathing. The puja starts after that. You must be wondering on why the nine planets?
During the war, Devi Durga created ‘Ashtanayika’ who were the eight war partners. These eight goddess and Devi herself symbolized “NavDurga”. These forms helped fight the demon.
Rituals for Goddess Saraswati: Normally in certain southern parts of India, mainly in Kerala, Goddess Durga is worshipped as Goddess Saraswati on the seventh day of Maha Saptami. They keep books and music instruments before her and pray for insight and knowledge.
Maha Snan: A beautiful ritual like this will fill your heart with satisfaction. A mirror is placed with the reflection of Goddess Durga. This mirror is given the ritualistic bath which is known as Maha Snan.
Prana Pratishtha: Prana pratishta forms one of the major rituals on Saptami. A pot with holy water with a bunch of five mango leaves and a coconut is placed in front of the deity. Divine chants and hymns are sung to invoke the Goddess in the deity.
This Goddess is worshiped on the 7th day of Navratri. The tithi prevailing is Saptamitithi.
This Goddess has different rites to be followed. Sometimes tantric method is followed where wine or blood is offered to the deity and some people follow certain daily rites performed while praying.
MantraMaa Durga mantras for all nine days of the navratri
Om Devi KalaratryaiNamah॥
VardhanaMurdhadhwaja Krishna Kalaratrirbhayankari॥
Ya Devi Sarvabhuteshu Ma KalaratriRupenaSamsthita।
Him KalaratriShrimKarali Cha KlimKalyaniKalawati।
KumatighniKulinartinashini Kula Kamini॥