Fasting Rules during Navratri
This festival occurs twice a year , each time when the season is at the brink of change from winter to summer and again when the air starts to get a bit chilly.
Coincidentally this is also the time when our immunity is low and it is advisable to eat light and nutritious food.
Onion and garlic are avoided while fasting as from an ayurvedic perspective these foods attract and absorb negative energy and should be avoided during a seasonal change. This as a period of Fasting enables us to detoxify our body. It also eliminates gas, lightens the body, improves mental clarity. It also helps the body desalt itself.
The same fasting rules apply for fasts during the Ekadashi , Janamashtmi and
Foods you can eat during fast
Kuttu ka atta – you can make pakora , poori ,halwa with this atta.
Sama ke chawal – you can use to make uttapam, tikki, poori.
Singhare ka atta – you can make halwa, poori, pakoras of this atta.
Sabudana – used in making khichdi, vadas, kheer ladoos,
Makhana –you can make kheer, roasted makhanas, sabzi
All varieties of available fruits.
Spices and herbs allowed on navratra fast
Rock salt (saindha namak ).
Black pepper powder.
Cumin or cumin powder.
Green cardamom (chhoti eliachi).
Anardana (pomegranate seeds).
Ginger, lemon, green chilly.
Ajwain/ carom seeds.
Coriander powder, red chilly, kala namak, amchoor, coriander leaves, mint leaves . Some folks include and some do not .
Vegetables allowed in navratra
Potatoes – you can make tikki ,jeera aloo , Halwa,chips etc.
Petha – can make halwa, sabzi .
Sweet potato – tikki ,chaat.
Raw banana – you can make sabzi ,chips.
Tomatoes – chutney, in vegetables .
Some folks also use lauki , cucumber, carrot.
All milk products like paneer , curd ,white butter, cream , ghee , khoya , malai can be use ; but all should be preferably home made during fasting .
Sugar, honey, gur .
Coconut – you can use coconut in your dishes like ladoos ,halwa, chutney .
Peanuts – peanut or ground nut oil for frying and ghee for all dishes.
Foods to be avoided –
Onion and garlic are strictly avoided.
No lentils and legumes.
Turmeric , hing, mustard, fenugreek seeds, garam masala, dhania powder.
Non vegetarian food like eggs, meat,chicken,fish.
Icecream from outside,
Corn, flex seeds, oats ,
Oil made from seeds like sunflower oil.
All types of grains and flours like sooji ,wheat, maida, besan,
Navratra vrat vidhi & Puja :
First of all clean the house as you are inviting the Goddess mother in your house. Specially clean your temple and sprinkle ganga water in it.
It is better to keep fast on last two days instead of first and last day of navratra.
Because if you do fast on first day then you start eating all foods from second day onward.
Many people grow barley seeds during this period. For this they collect , clean mud from an auspicious or clear place. This mud is put in a earthen pot. Clean and wash the barley to remove any insects or impurities and soak them in water for 15-30 minutes and then put these barleys or jau on the top of the mud. Make a thin layer of mud on top of barley so as to cover it. Do not put too much mud otherwise barley will not grow and put just enough water to soak the barley. On the last day of navratra the khetri is immersed in moving water body like river or even a pond. If there is no water body nearby to your house then you can put the khetri under peepal tree in a temple. One diya or lamp is burned throughout the 9 days .It is Akhand jyoti. This jyoti will destroy all the negativity in your house. Along this , one mature coconut is kept in the house temple.
Many families do kanya pujan on 8 th or 9th day. In the kanya pujan nine girls who have not reached the puberty stage are worshiped.
You should chant mantras – “ Om Aaim heem klim chamundaye vichche “ 108 times in the morning and evening.
Jai mata di
Dr. Suman Setia BAMS DNHE
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