Kanya Pujan, also called as Kumari Pujan, is a significant ritual related to the Hindu festival of Navratri. Devotees who pray to Goddess Durga during Navratri perform kanjak, a ritual in which little girls, preferably nine girls (called as Kanya) are worshiped in the nine form of goddess Durga (called as Navdurga).
Although, Kanya Pujan can be performed on any day of Navrati, most people prefer Ashtami and Navami tithi as these are the most auspicious days of Navratri. It is believed that by observing Kanya Pujan, devotees get blessed and all their wishes are fulfilled by Devi Maa. More details related to Navratri Kanya Pujan 2023 such as date, time, puja vidhi, significance, etc can be found here from this article.
Kanjak 2023 Date & Time
Chaitra Navratri Kanya Pujan Date
- Ashtami: 29th March 2023
- Navami: 30th March 2023
Shardiya Navratri Kanya Pujan Date
- Ashtami: 23rd October 2023
- Navami: 24th October 2023
Navratri Kanya Puja Vidhi
On the day of Kanya Pujan, the devotees are required to get up early and clean their homes. One should invite nine girls and one boy for Kanya Pujan where nine girls represents nine forms of Goddess Durga and the boy represents Batuk Bhairava. Wash the feet of the children with milk or water and offer them a clean place to sit. After that prayers should be offered to Goddess Durga and the girls and the boy are worshiped in the form of Navdurga and Bhairav. Food comprising of kheer, puri, halwa, chana, etc are then offered to the children. In the end, donations of handkerchiefs, fruits, toys, etc are made to the children and blessings are taken by touching their feet. This concludes the Kanya Pujan vidhi.
Although it is recommended to invite nine girls and one boy to Kanya Pujan, people who find difficulty in finding children for puja can invite any number of children as per their convenience. It is believed that for the service and protection of Adi Shakti, Lord Shiva has appointed one Bhairava along with every Shakti peeth. It is therefore considered necessary to worship at least one boy in the form of Bhairava along with the Goddess.
Story behind Kanjak
Once upon a time, there was a man named Sridhar who was a devotee of Goddess Durga. He used to live in a small village, few kilometers from Katra town in Jammu and Kashmir, with his wife. The couple had no children and this had made them quite sorrowful.
On one Navratri, the couple decided to invite some girls over for worship and offered them puri, chana and halwa to eat. After the puja was over, every girl went home except one. It was the Goddess herself who took the form of a little girl and came to the Kumari Pujan.
The little girl requested Sridhar and his wife to hold a bhandara and invite everyone from their village and surrounding areas. The couple hosted the bhandara as told by the girl and was blessed by a child.
It is thus believed that performing Kanya Pujan makes the goddess happy and she fulfils every wish of her devotees.
Why is Kanya Pujan a significant part of Navratri?
According to religious beliefs, only girls between 2 years and 9 years of age are worshiped during Kumari Pujan. Girls of different ages are manifested as different forms of Goddess Durga and brings blessings in different ways as discussed below.
Girls of 2 years of age are considered as Kumarika and worshiping them is believed to remove all kind of sorrow and poverty.
Girls of 3 years of age are considered as Trimurti and worshiping them is believed to bring welfare to the entire family.
Girls of 4 years of age are considered as Kalyani and worshiping them is believed to bring happiness and prosperity.
Girls of 5 years of age are considered as Rohini and worshiping them is believed to bring relief from deadly disease.
Girls of 6 years of age are considered as Kalika and worshiping them is believed to bring wisdom and fame.
Girls of 7 years of age are considered as Chandika and worshiping them is believed to bring happiness and opulence.
Girls of 8 years of age are considered as Shambhavi and worshiping them is believed to bring fame, triumph and popularity.
Girls of 9 years of age are considered as Durga and worshiping them is believed to removes all obstacles and destroys enemies.