Question — What, if any, is the relation between the Navgrahas Flag and Nav Durga Flags? What is the significance?
Answer: (Taken from Guruji, Pt. Ram Hardowar’s lecture on Monday, 10.3.2011, during Navratri Puja by K. Sandra Singh)
There are NINE flags for Navgrahas, representing the 9 planets and 9 flags for Nav Durga, representing the nine primary forms of the Mother.
In reality, there should be 9 Murtis representing the 9 planets, in absence of these planetary Murtis, flags are used to represent their presence for Puja rituals. Each planet is represented by a different color. These flags are set up in a “boxed” or square formation.
NAVGRAHAS: Nine Planets and their respective Flag colors
1) SURYA Dev (Sun): RED
2) CHANDRAMA (Moon): WHITE
3) MANGAL (Mars): RED (popularly refer to in the Western World as the “Red Planet”, but this fact goes way back to the Hindu Shaashtras)
4) BUDHHA (Mercury): Green (representing vastness, knowledge)
5) BRIHASPATI (Jupiter): YELLOW (more of a yellowish hue) – this planet represents ALL Devtas
6) SHUKRA (Venus): WHITE
7) SHANI (Saturn): Black (Paap (sin) Graha) – but also increases your Bhakti, because of all of your troubles, you are constantly praying, meditating…
8) RAHU (this is a *shadow* planet; eclipser of the Sun and Moon): LIGHT BLUE/SMOKY/TWILIGHT
9) KETU (this is a *shadow* planet; head of the *stars* planet): Dark Blue
The *PLANETS* (Grahas) are worshipped because every actions (Karma Phal) of human being from the past life has an effect/result. These actions (Karmas) from past life are what determine your time of birth in your next life. (No amount of planning around the planetary positions; like going to the Astrologer, who will consult the *Panchang*, where a mathematical calculation will be made to determine the position of the planets) can prevent the birth of a child from happening in the planetary period destined; in other words, you cannot “trick” God).
The planets *Grahas* takes on “good and bad” actions. Our actions (Karma) determine our planetary birth. There are FIVE Paap Grahas. We are all affected by all planets, depending on our overall “actions” (Karmas).
Prayers to “Paap” (Grahas) will “minimize our suffering, because we are constantly in a prayerful, meditative, somewhat detached (from material wants, needs etc.) mode. BUT it will not “REMOVE” the results of our negative Karma Phal. With prayers we will develop the inner strength necessary to deal with the negative effects of our past karmas.
Navgraha Puja is mandatory for ALL pujas. Just as it is mandatory for pujas to Ganesh Deva, Kalsa, Lakshmi Maa, Gauri Maa, Dharti Maa and Agni Dev; before proceeding with *main* Puja/Pujas.
NAV DURGA: Nine Primary Forms and respective Flag colors
1) SHAILAPUTRI: RED
2) BRAHMACHAARINI: YELLOW
3) CHANDRAGHANTE: WHITE
4) KUSHMANDE: GREEN
5) SKANDA MAATA: BLUE
6) KAATYAYINI: WHITE
7) KAALARAATRI: BLACK
8) MAHA GAURI: YELLOW
9) SIDDHI DHATRI: RED
Nav Durga *flags* are usually placed on the Alter during Durga Maa pujas/Nav Ratri observances. Nav Durga flags are placed in a “line” formation. For major Durga Maa Yagna, 64 Flags can be used to represent Charushti Yogini and 16 Flags for the Matrikas.