Major Rituals of Bada DashainBy Nepali Patro in Festivals .
Navratra / Navaratri starts from Ashwin Shukla Pakchya’s Pratipada tithi or date. This Navratri’s solemn vow is said to bring great accomplishment, of very rare virtue, destroying all enemies and is described as an excellent vow that benefits all living beings. Since all desires are fulfilled, this vow is considered an excellent vow for the benefit of all creatures. This vow is also called Mahavrat as one can attain ultimate happiness, prosperity, enjoyment, strength, speed, glory, wealth, wife, son, knowledge, wisdom, good fortune, kingdom, etc., from this vow-
महासिद्धिप्रदं धर्म्यं सर्वशत्रुनिवर्हणम्।
क्रत्वर्थं ब्राह्मणाद्यैश्च क्षत्रियैर्भूमिपालने।
गोधनार्थं विशा वत्स शूद्रैः पुत्रसुखार्थिभिः।।
सौभाग्यार्थं स्त्रिया कार्यमाढ्यैश्च धनकांक्षिभिः।
महाव्रतं महापुण्यं शंकराद्यैरनुष्ठितम्।।
Bhagwati Jagdamba, Durga Bhawani is specially worshiped in Bada Dashain. Durga is worshiped for gaining power (shakti). Bada Dashain is known with names as Dashain, Bijaya Dashami, etc. The Dashain festival celebrated as a national festival in Nepali society is celebrated for fifteen consecutive days with special rejoicing from Ashwin Shukla Pakchya Pratipada until the full moon day of Kojagrat Purnima.
Worships and adorations of the Goddess starts from the first day of Ashwin Shukla Pratipada of Bada Dashain. On this day, according to the scriptural method, the Jamara is kept at the auspicious time, Durga Bhawani is invoked and Chandi mantras are started to be recited at home with puja and offerings to Bhagwati on a daily basis. Regular Chandi mantra is recited daily followed by continuous worshiping of Bhagwati established till the second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth day of Navratri. Whereas, on the sixth day, one should go to a wood-apple (bel) tree, perform a puja and it should be invited. This act should be done in the evening.
On the seventh day, like other days, regular worship of Goddess Bhagwati should be performed and bring leaves of wood-apple tree, along with many kinds of flowers, fruits and nine worshipping materials placed at the main door of the house or shrine and with great joy and enthusiasm Fulpati (mixture of all above mentioned elements) should be brought/imported inside the house. In the context of Nepal, the importation of Fulpati is considered very important. On the same day, Fulpati is brought from the Gorkha Durbar to the Hanuman Dhoka shrine in Kathmandu with state honors, and Fulpati are brought into most of the homes of Nepalese with dances and great rejoices. Happiness increases when Fulpati is brought in.
Ashtami, Navami and Dashami are special days of this festival. On Ashtami or Maha Ashtami, worship of Shailputri and offerings to Navdurga, sacrifices etc. are performed. On this day, while worshiping Navdurga Bhawani, nine heaps of rice are placed from south to north direction and all the goddesses are worshiped from the south to the north in the order of one goddess at one time. In the first for the worship procedure is goddess Shailaputri, the second is Brahmacharini, the third is Chandraghanta, and continuing with goddess Kushmanda, Skandamata, Katyayani, Kalratri, Mahagauri and Siddhidatri Bhagwati, thus one should worship all forms of Nava Durga. Similarly, bel leaves, new leaves, betel nuts, different sweets offerings, fruits, Dakshina etc. are also offered. On the same day, new weapons and old tools such as spades, plowshares, pickaxes, khukuri (typical nepali gurkha knife), different types of swords, knives and other tools are also worshiped. Apart from certain places and functions, Kushmandadi’s sacrifice includes coconut sacrifice, banana, cucumber, pumpkins etc. which are offered as sacrifice in the front yard of the house. In this process, famous verses used for the sacrificial purpose like ‘जय देवी भैरवी…’ (‘Jai Devi Bhairavi…. ‘) etc. should be recited. But, in Sattvic (pure, particular kind of puja practised by worshippers of Durga ) worship, bali (sacrifice) is not used or done. This is one of the most important day of the Bada Dashain festival. According to the Tithi (date), Kalratri Puja is also performed on this night. On Mahanavami, daily worship, worship of Bhimsen, Chandipath (reciting chandi mantras), worship of nine virgins, yagya etc. are performed.
On the day of Dashami, after completing the daily worship, special worship of Aparajita Bhagwati including Jaya, Bijaya and also the main deity and other goddesses established in Ghat (copper jar like an urn), are taken out from the worship room in an auspicious moment or time which concludes the offerings. Then, Durga Bhawani’s offerings (prasad) which include Tika and Jamara are received from Guru, the priest and from all the elders of the family wearing clean new clothes etc. This is the main and important time of Bijaya Dashami. After this, there is a religious tradition of going to the houses of the elder relatives to receive blessings with Tika Jamara. This process continues till the full moon day of Kojagrat Purnima and on the day of Kojagrat purnima (full moon night) during the night, the festival is concluded by worshiping Goddess Mahalakshmi, playing cody etc. with family gathering together, bidding farewell to the full moon of Kojagrat the Bada Dashain festival also concludes.