Most of the people usually aware of only two (Ashwin and Chaitra) Navratri that come in a year. But there are four Navratri in a year that come after every three months, two of them are Pratyaksh Navratri or Main Navratri and two others are called Gupt Navratri. Like those main Navratris of Ashwin and Chaitra mas (Months), the two Gupt Navratris in months of Magh and Ashadh are also dedicated to Maa Durge and for accomplishing mantra practice.
Rituals in Gupt Navratri differ from region to region. Ashadh Navratri is religiously celebrated in all parts of India, but great significance of this festival can be noted in South India. A very blessed occasion has come for you. Delight Goddess Shakti and get her immense grace in your life. Devotions are certainly attached to Ashadh Navratri or Gupt Navratri which will be celebrated on June 20, 2012. As this occasion is nine-day festival it will be concluded on June 28, 2012.
Like Ashwin Navratri that comes in month of October or November, and Chaitra Navratri that comes on March or April, Ashadh Navratri is not known to everyone. This is why this great occasion is admired as ‘Gupt Navratri’. Gupt means ‘unheard of’ or ‘secret’. And for this reason only, you would not notice the grand celebrations in this Navratri like other two Navratri. Ashadh Navratri is basically an occasion to delight Goddess Durga with Tantra-mantra and with offering other invocations. Like other famous Navratri or Durga Pooja, Gupt Navratri of Ashadh mas is also dedicated to nine forms of Devi Shakti. It is also a nine-night festival for pleasing Goddess Durga. But you may not see the same custom, rituals, and grand celebration during Ashadh Navratri like Ashwin Navratri, as in Ashwin Navratri Dandiya, Garaba, nine-day fast, Vijya Dashmi and other big rituals are followed. But in Gupt Navratri you can only join holy worship of Maa Durga. During Ashad Navratri, Shakambari Utsavam or Shakambari Navratri are held. Shakambari Navratri is celebrated with lot of gusto in Banashankari temple. Gayatri Devi Navratri are also observed in some places during this Navratri.
Devshayani Ekadashi or Hari Shayani Ekadashi come on ekadashi tithi of Shukla Paksha in the Ashad month after the 9 days of Durga Puja. Chatur Mass will also be beginning from this day. Devshayani fast is considered to be the most important of all. A person fasting on this day is free from all sort of problems. All his wishes are fulfilled and he is blessed by the Lord. Lord Vishnu is worshipped on this day. Worshipping Lord Vishnu is considered to be very important on Devshayani Ekadashi. It is believed that Lord Vishnu’s resting time begins from this day. The resting time of Lord Vishnu is believed to be for four months which begins from the day of Devshayani Ekadashi. Therefore, religious activities are not carried out during these four months. He is believed to wake up on the eleventh of Kartik, hence called Prabodhini Ekadashi. The period corresponds with the rainy season in India. It is believed that Hindu gods and goddesses are at rest during this period and should not be disturbed, so no auspicious ceremonies, such as weddings and thread ceremonies, are held during the four months’ period. But there are some major Celebrations within this holy period include: Guru Purnima,Krishna Janmashtami, Raksha Bandhan, Ganesh Chaturthi, Navratri (Dashara – Durga Puja – Vijayadashami) and Diwali.
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