According to mythology, Goddess Shakambhari is one of the many incarnations of Adishakti Durga. This form of Maa Durga is worshiped during Shakambhari Navratri. It is believed that in the idol mystery of Durga Saptashati, the color of Mother Shakambhari is said to be indigo that is Neel Varna. Mother’s eyes are like blue lotus and she sits on a lotus flower. Mother h as a lotus flower in one fist and arrows are said to be in the other fist.
When this Navratri is celebrated ?
The full moon falling in the month of Paush is also known as Shakambhari Purnima or Paush Purnima. Another name of this day is Shakambhari Jayanti. On this day Shakambhari Devi is worshiped with rituals. This Shakambhari is celebrated on the last day of Navratri.
Navratri falling in the month of Pausha is known as Shakambhari Navratri. Other Navratri starts from Pratipada and ends on Navami but Shakambhari Navratri starts from Ashtami and ends on Purnima. Ashtami of Paush month is also called Banada Ashtami.
It is of eight days starting from Ashtami Tithi
Other Navratri is celebrated for nine days but this Navratri is only for eight days. Sometimes, due to addition or subtraction of dates, Shakambari Navratri lasts for seven or even nine days.
Shakambhari Navratri is celebrated in some areas of Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu. In South India, Shakambhari Mata is also called Banashankari Devi. Banada Ashtami and Shakambhari Purnima are the two main days in this Navratri.
Story of Shakambhari Mata
Shakambhari is a form of Mother Parvati. The name Shakambhari is made up of two words Shakan and Bhari which means goddess of greenery. It is believed that in ancient times there was such a severe famine that there was no rain for a hundred years. All sources of water, rivers, lakes, ponds and wells had dried up. All the trees and plants were destroyed due to water famine. Humans and animals ran out of food.
At the time of this calamity, all the sages together with the sages started worshiping the Goddess. Hearing the call of the devotees, Goddess Parvati appeared and incarnated in the form of Shakambari. With the incarnation of Shakambhari the earth became drenched with rain water. There was greenery all around. This incarnation of the goddess is worshiped by the name of Shakambari Devi. And the full moon day of Paush month is celebrated as Shakambari Devi Avatar Day, Shakambari Jayanti.
There are many Siddhapeethas in the country of Mother Shakambari. Out of which there are three major Shaktipeeths of Shakambari Mata, the first major one is situated in the name of Sakrai Mataji near Udaipur Wati in Sikar district of Rajasthan. The second place is located in Rajasthan itself near Sambhar district by the name of Shakambhar and the third place is located at a distance of 40 kilometers in Saharanpur near Meerut in Uttar Pradesh. The most sacred ancient Siddha Shaktipeeth of Maa Shakambari Bhagwati is situated on the banks of a rainy river in the forests of the Shivalik mountain range.
How to do this navratri puja ?
During Shakambhari Navratri, clean clothes are worn after bathing in the morning. After this the puja materials are collected. The puja items include sugar candy, dry fruits, puri, halwa and vegetables etc. The idol of Mata is kept on a pedestal covered with a red cloth. After this, the mother is worshiped by sprinkling Ganga water. After the puja, Aarti is performed and mantras of Mata are chanted. It is said to be very auspicious to garland one rosary daily during Shakambari Navratri. Devotees meditate on the Mother Goddess during these days.