Navratri is a festival that worships the nine manifestations of goddess Durga and according to Hindu mythology and belief, goddess Durga resides in the little girls and that’s why Kanya Pujan or Kanjak Puja is held to worship nine child girls as different forms of Maa Durga those are also called Navadurga. People across the country conduct Kanya Puja either on the eighth day (Ashtami) or the ninth day (Navmi) of Navratri.
According to Hindu philosophy that people have been following since ancient times, it is believed that the rituals of Kanjak Puja are based on the fact that the females are the universal creator of different forces. As per the legends, it was Navami during Navratri when Gods requested to kill the evils and demon and Shakti transformed into the avatar of Goddess Durga who later wiped out all the bad evils.
One more thing is also associated with the belief of Hindu people that worshipping the nine girls also depend upon the caste they belong. Yes, if the worshipper desires to gain knowledge then he should worship a Brahmin young girl, if he desires to gain power then he should worship a girl child belonging from a Kshatriya background, similar to that if he desires to gain prosperity and wealth then he should worship a different caste girl child.
9 avatars of Goddess Durga which are worshipped during Navratri:
1) Maa Shailputri
2) Maa Brahmacharini
3) Maa Chandraghanta
4) Maa Kushmanda
5) Maa Skandmata
6) Maa Katyayani
7) Maa Kaalratri
8) Maa Mahagauri
9) Maa Siddhidatri
What is the procedure of Kanjak Puja?
Nine young girls are invited at home by the worshipper and he/she washes their feet when they come. They are made to sit on a pedestal and a holy thread known as Kalawa is tied around their wrist and they are offered with Goddess Durga’s favorite food Halwa, Puri, and Chana. They are also given money and gifts. The Kanya Puja ends with everyone touching their feet at last.