Why Kanjak pooja on the ninth day only in Navratras?

Navratras, or the nine holy days of worshipping Godess Durga finish today. The last two navratras are reserved for Kanjak Pooja. In Kanjak Pooja, young girls are fed ritually, as they are believed to be manifestation of Durga Herself.

After finishing eight or nine navratras, devotees invite young girls to their place, or sometimes in temples, wash the girls’ feet and offer them bhog. It is  believed that Kanjak pūjā (कन्या पूजा)  representing the nine forms of Goddess Durga (Navadurga) are worshiped.Thus, girl-child is the symbol of the pure basic creative force according to this philosophy.

kanjak bhog navratarBhog which traditionally consisted of halwa, puri and kale chane, also consists of buiscuits, toffees etc these days. The kanjaks, or the young devis, are also offered some amount of money, clothes, jewellery, gifts etc as dakshina.

It is said that Goddess Shakti after fighting Kalasur demon, for eight days took the form of Durga to kill him. Hence to honour Her, little girls are worshipped, as a mark of reverence for the Devi.

Read also: Dos and don’ts during Shradhs

Religiously speaking, Devi is essentially a worship of the great feminine. In a kanya the great feminine potential is at its peak. having developed into a girl of a certain age and before attaining puberty, a female child is considered the most auspicious, most jagrat, and the most clear minded and clear souled individual. While invoking the parashakti in such a form the purity of mind body and spirits is required and is fulfilled by a girl child of the said age of 8+ before reaching puberty. Such a female child is indeed Devi, who in her later life takes the roles of Parvati as a wife and mother, Lakshmi as a housewife, Saraswati as the first guru of her children, Durga as the destroyer of all obstacles for her family, Annapurna as the food provider through her cooking, Kali as the punisher to bring the members of the family on the right track, etc.




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