Hindu Fasts: 9th Phase Fasts

Said The God Of Fire:

Now I shall describe the process of performing the Vratas, which should be practised on days of the ninth phase' of the moon's wane or increase, and which grant enjoyment of creature-comforts in this life and salvation in the next. The Vrata, known as the Gouri Nayami should be practised on the day of the ninth phase of the moon's increase in the month of Ashvina, wherein the Devi should be worshipped. The Vrata known as the Pishtashi (cake-eating) Navami, should be practised on the same day as the above, marked by the presence of the sun in the asterism Mula at the sign of the Virgo, the practiser of the Vrata eating nothing else than cakes that day.

Of all the Navami Vratas, the greatest is that which is known as lhe Aghardana (sin-expiating) Navami. The goddess Nava Durga (the image being installed in a Mandapa or an Ekagriha explained before), should be worshipped as possessed of eight, ten or sixteen hands, as well as the images of Anjana and Damaru. Similarly the different manifestations of the goddess, such as Rudrachanda, Prachanda, Chandogra, Chandanayika, Chanda, and Chandavati should be successively worshipped, the goddesses such as tJgrachanda, Durga, and Mahishamardini, having been worshipped in course thereof. The Mantra with which the worship should be conducted, runs as "0m obeisance to Durga and Durga, who is the protectress of the universe," and consists of the ten letters.

The Mantras such as "Am Hring" should be used as well, followed by such terms of obeisance, as Names, Svadha, Vashat, etc. The rite of Anganyasa should be performed in the different parts of the body, commencing from the tips of fingers. The man who performs this rite of mysterious Nyasa, overcomes all impediments in life, and cannot be bound down by any person. The goddess should be worshipped, as carrying in her left hands a skull, a Khetaka, a bell, a mirror, a bow, a banner, a small drum, and a Pasha, while a finger of one of her left hands should be contemplated as held in a pointing attitude. The arms and weapons of the goddess, such as a spear a club, a trident, a thunder-bolt, a sword a Kuntakam, a conchshell, a discus, and a rod should be worshipped as well.

The Mantra running as "0 Kali, Kali, 0 the goddess of thunder I make obeisance to the goddess carrying an iron-rod", should be repeated over the animal to be killed with the sword Jets of blood, gushing out of the decapitated animal, as well as its flesh, should be dedicated to Putana at the southwest, to the monstress of sin at the north-west, to the demoness Charaki at the north-east, and to Vidarika at the south-east, the flesh known as the Mahamansha being dedicated to the fire-god. The king should bathe in front of the image of the goddess, and cut in two the image of his enemy, made of rice-paste.

Offerings should be made to Skandha and Vishaka, and the goddesses such as Brahmi etc. should be worshipped in the dead of night, by repeating the Mantra which runs as "obeisance to Jayanti (the goddess of victory), Mangala (the goddess of bliss). Kali (the presiding deity of the eternal time). Bhadrakali. Kapalini (the goddess who carries a human skull), Durga (the goddess who succors the distressed), Shiva (the goddess of bliss), Kshama (the goddess of forbearance), Dhatri (the nurse of the universe), Svaha and Svadha. The image of the goddess should be bathed in the composition known as the Panchamrita, and worshipped with oblations and offerings. The man, who carries the image of the goddess in a car (performs the car festival unto the goddess), offers animal sacrifice, or plants a banner on the top of her temple, enjoys all bliss.

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