The Sharad Navaratri Puja, or Devi puuja in Navaratri falls in the month of Ashwiyuja (generally Oct. ) over a 10 day period. The 10th day is called Vijayadashami, which is auspicious for starting any new venture, initiating the alphabets for children, learning new languages, music or for developing new (improved) relationship with one’s spouse or children or office colleagues.
According to legend, Goddess Durga sat on the tip of a needle for nine days, doing a severe penance to destroy the evil Asura Mahisha. On the first three days, she meditated as Herself, the next three days as Mahalakshmi and the last three days as Sarasvati. This signifies progression from Tamasik, to Rajasik to Satvik and eventually obtaining liberation. The tenth day is called Vijayadasami to signify the victory on the day of Dasami.
In India, Navaratri is celebrated four times a year. They are Ashada Navaratri, the Sharad Navaratri, the Maha Navaratri and the Vasantha Navaratri. Of these, the Sharad Navaratri of the month of Ashwiyuja / Puratashi and the Vasantha Navaratri of the Vasantha kala are very important. The Agni purana states that Ashwiyuja and Chaitra (Puratashi and Panguni (in Tamil months)) are like the two jaws of Lord Yama. If one wants to escape the mouth of Yama, then one should celebrate Navaratri on these two occasions.
A similar analogy is presented in the Devi Bhagavatam. Devi Bhagavatam also sets forth in detail about how one should observe fasts, and how one should meditate/work on these days. It is a long held tradition to read the Devi-Bhagavatam or the Devi Mahatmyam (Durga Saptasati, 700 verses on Durga) during this period. Devi Bhagavatam notes that Rama meditated and fasted for nine days after Sita was kidnapped by Ravana. There are numerous such incidents on how people’s wishes were fulfilled. A lot more details are available in Devi Bhagavatam.
Navaratri Devi Puja is now available in multiple Indian scripts (Thanks to Aksharamukha transliterator). Please see the links below for the pdf file of your choice:
Navaratri Devi Puja – Sanskrit
Navaratri Devi Puja – Tamil
Navaratri Devi Puja – Malayalam
Navaratri Devi Puja – Telugu
Navaratri Devi Puja – Kannada
Navaratri Devi Puja – English
The Panchang details are available at the Puja Calendar page http://mantraaonline.com/satsangh-calendar-2011/ – Please update your files accordingly.