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Durga Ashtami: Myths and Facts

Durga Puja or Navratri is one of the most important and revered of all Hindu festivals. This Pan-Indian festival involves the ceremonial worship of Goddess Durga in nine forms spread over nine nights and is celebrated in different ways across various parts of India. The festival falls in the month of Ashwin, typically September or October, and is widely popular not only in India but also in neighbouring countries. 
Durga Ashtami- The Eighth Day
Ashtami, in particular, is celebrated with a great passion and fervour, especially in West Bengal. The ten-armed goddess riding the lion is highly regarded in this part of the country and even the weapons of Goddess Durga are worshipped while reciting mantras in a ritual known as Astra Puja. Ashtami marks the eighth day of the festival and on this auspicious day, devotees tend to observe rigorous fast, feast and worship for Goddess Durga who symbolizes strength. A celebration of traditional culture and customs, massive idols of Goddess Durga are installed throughout India while enormous puja pandals are set up at various places for devotees to visit and worship.
Lore Behind Durga Ashtami
Durga Ashtami celebrates the victory of Goddess Durga over the evil buffalo demon, Mahishasura. Legend has it that owing to a boon bestowed upon it by Lord Brahma, Mahisasura could only be defeated by a female warrior. When Lord Indra was vanquished in the battlefield, the holy trinity, Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, created Durga and each part of her body was blessed with strength with the energies of different male Gods. On this day, Durga Ashtami, she made use of the weapons that symbolized their masculine strength to defeat Mahisasura with her trident.
In this festival, women tend to take the center stage while being a stark reminder of how women used to hold a lot more power and status in ancient India. Here are some of the many myths associated with this festival: 
• In certain parts of the country, especially West Bengal, Odisha and Assam, animal sacrifices are performed at temples to commemorate the occasion. 
• In South India, computers, vehicles, books, & work equipment are worshipped on the ninth day as an expression of gratitude for the blessings received in the previous year. By offering the tools of their trade to God, one commits to performing all work as worship.
• On the day of Ashtami, before breaking the fast, nine girls below the age of ten are worshipped and are fed sumptuously and, amongst other things, presented with new clothes.
A Significant Time to Make Investments
One of the many reasons why this festival is widely celebrated is to receive blessings of the Goddess with the aim of being granted wealth, prosperity, as well as knowledge. Every festival celebrated in India has a profound attachment and significance with buying investments in the form of gold, silver, properties. This is because festivities are usually associated with wealth and people strongly tend to believe that investing in something significant or start something new on such auspicious events will bring in more happiness and prosperity for the following year.
However, what could be considered more precious than life itself? It’s good to make diversified investments but what better way to safeguard your personal and family’s safety and security than to make an investment in Life Insurance!  
Life insurance is often ignored by people citing reasons that they don’t need it or simply terming it as a luxury they can do without. However, no matter what your financial position is today when tragedy strikes, the true value of having proper Life Insurance often comes to the fore. This Durga Ashtami, make a difference to yourself and your family by investing in Life Insurance which will help provide a financial safety net that will not only take care of yourself but also those you love especially when you need it the most. 
AN Oct 36/18

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