Navratri 2022: Important rules of Kanya Puja and its significance on Ashtami and Navami

Navratri Maha Ashtami 2022 is today and many people will be performing Kanya puja as part of the Navratri rituals. Let's find out the reason behind this ritual.

Navratri 2022: Important rules of Kanya Puja and its significance on Ashtami and Navami

Navratri 2022: Maha Ashtami or Durga Ashtami will be celebrated across the nation on 3rd October 2022. The 9-day-long festival marks the victory of good over evil and the end of the battle between Maa Durga and the demon Mahishasura. This year, Shardiya Navratri began on 26 September and will conclude on 4th October with Navami puja and Dussehra/ Vijayadashami on 5th October.

On the auspicious occasion of Ashtami, several Hindu households conduct Kanjak or Kanya Pooja, where nine girls who have not yet attained puberty are welcomed into the house by washing their feet. The ritual is followed across India but is highly popular in regions like Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Uttrakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar. 

On Maha Navami, some families decide to perform Kanjak or Kanya Puja. What exactly is the purpose of worshipping these nine little girls? Let's find out.

What is Kanya/Kanjak puja?

Devi Bhagwat Puran says that young girls who are worshipped on this day are embodiments of Goddess Durga. The worship of nine girls and one boy (known as Langur) for the same reason is also known as Kanjak Puja or Kanya Pujan, and it is also accompanied by good food (bhog). Kanjak puja is performed because children are thought to have the purest souls as they lack any harmful feelings. And worshipping nine girls during this Pujan is similar to worshipping Goddess Durga in her nine avatars.

Kanya/ Kanjak puja muhurat

Ashtami Tithi will start on 2nd October 2022 at 6.47 pm and it will end on 3rd October 2022 at 4:37 pm, after which Navami Tithi will start.

Navami Tithi starts from 04:37 pm on 03rd October till 02.20 pm on 4th October. 

Shubh Muhurat - 10.41 am to 12.10 am

Amrit Muhurat - 12.10 pm till 1:38 pm

Significance of Kanjak/ Kanya puja

On either Ashtami or Navami (the eighth or ninth day of Navratri), Kanjak puja is performed. It's an additional means of showing the Divine Goddess your gratitude. Nine girls are welcomed into the home and showered with presents and tasty bhog. The nine divine forms of Goddess Durga—Sailaputri, Brahmacharini, Andraghanta, Kusamanda, Skandamata, Katyayani, Kalarati, Mahagauri, and Siddhidatri—embodied in these young girls who have not yet reached puberty are worshipped.

Kanjak/ Kanya puja rules

- Nine girls who have not yet attained puberty are welcomed into the house.

- These young girls along with 1 boy (langur) have their feet washed and dried before being asked to sit on a cloth.

- Kalava is tied on their wrists, and a tilak is placed on their foreheads. 

- They are then treated to halwa, puri and kaale chane after receiving the prasad of tender coconut. In various regions of Northern India, Chane is frequently prepared alongside Sattvik Aloo Gobhi or Aloo Tamatar.

- The young girls receive gifts as well, including cash, jewellery, clothing, and other items.

- By touching their feet and seeking their blessings, people bid them farewell.

Kanjak/ Kanya puja bhog

Hot, fluffy pooris are made of atta as part of the bhog. Delicious suji halwa, made from semolina whipped in milk and ghee, is another Kanjak favourite. Typically, cardamom, almonds and coconut shavings are used to flavour and garnish the delicious halwa. Pistachios and raisins are further options. Another essential component of Kanjak bhog is the mouthwatering Kala chana that is fried in a sea of comforting spices like jeera. The young girls are also given little dried fruit and coconut chunks.

Let us all seek Devi Maa's blessings and bid a proper and lavish farewell this Navratri. Happy Ashtami to everyone celebrating!

(Disclaimer: The information given in this article is based on general assumptions and information. Zee News does not confirm this.)