Bhubaneswar: The 8th day of Navratri is observed as Ashtami Tithi or Mahashtami Vrat. The 8th form of Navdurga- Goddess Mahagauri is worshipped today. As per Hindu mythology, Goddess Shailputri was extremely beautiful and had a fair complexion at the age of 16. Due to her fair skin complexion, she came to be known as Goddess Mahagauri. She is also compared with the conch, the Moon, and the white flower of Kunda. The mount of Goddess Mahagauri and Goddess Shailputri is a bull and therefore they are known as Vrisharudha.
Goddess Mahagauri is depicted with four hands, carrying a Trishul in one right hand and keeping Abhaya Mudra in the second right hand. She has a Damaru in one left hand and keeps the second left hand in Varada Mudra.
Puja Vidhi and Samagri:
On Ashtami, devotees should begin the day with Mahasnan to rid themselves of impurities and wear new clothes. Then, install nine small pots to invoke nine Shaktis of Maa Durga and worship them during Maha Ashtami Puja. People also welcome nine young unmarried girls into their houses to perform Kanjak or Kanya/Kumari Puja, as they are considered divine manifestations of Maa Durga. These girls sit in one line, and devotees tie a holy dhaaga on their wrists. Then, the devotees wash their feet, put tilak on their foreheads, and offer the girls specially-prepared prasad comprising of puri, halva and black grams. Lastly, people also perform Sandhi Puja on this day.
On the eighth day, worshippers offer a special bhog of coconut to Goddess Mahagauri. It is widely believed that donating coconuts to the Brahmins on Ashtami brings prosperity and happiness.
Navratri Day 8 Colour:
The colour of the day on Maha Ashtami or Day 8 of Navratri is peacock green. Devotees who worship Goddess Mahagauri on this day can wear clothes of this shade. The colour is a symbol of uniqueness, individuality, compassion, and freshness.
Navratri Day 8 Mantra and Prarthana:
1) Om Devi Mahagauryai Namah
2) Shwete Vrishesamarudha Shwetambaradhara Shuchih
Mahagauri Shubham Dadyanmahadeva Pramodada