In the South, on the ninth day of Navaratri, the books placed on the eighth, are worshipped. Saraswati Ashtotra, Saraswati Shatanamavali and Saraswati Sahasranama are chanted and Saraswati songs are sung to praise the Goddess. On the Navami day also, we can perform kanyabhoj. In the South, some people serve one kanya a day or increase the number of girls according to the number of the day of Navaratri.
We celebrated the udhyapana of the kanyabhoj several years back under the guidance of Bimla Mataji. The next day we celebrated it, at home. After that, we keep performing this pooja according to the number of girls we find in our area. Some people from the North have the habit of serving 2 boys as well in the kanyabhoj representing Lord Ganesha and Batuk Bhairav.
Some people queried that they could not perform kanyabhoj during this Navaratri, due to some reason or the other. They are advised to tie some money in a red chunri and place it in the pooja place. Then, on any Shukla Paksha Ashtami, they can perform Devi pooja and serve the girls with food.
Some people belonging to the South perform Masa Navaratri Pooja. We also have it, at home. This Navaratri always comes in the Shukla Paksha, every month and is one day after Amavasya and ends on the ninth day, thereafter. On the tenth day, Dashami is celebrated and the next day the udhyapana is performed.
Some people have Devi Nityakalyani at their homes and they worship her the entire year. This should be celebrated only in homes where there are elderly ladies, which again is being performed at our home.
To be continued…