From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Durgāṣṭamī-vrata literally means ‘the religious vows to be observed on the eighth day devoted to the worship of the goddess Durgā’.

Vratas and utsavas[1] are an important aspect of the religion. A small work named as Devīpurāna refers to Durgāṣṭamī-vrata. This vrata does not refer to the exploits of the goddess Durgā like the killing of Mahiṣāsura. It is entirely different from the Durgāpujā or Durgotsava.

It is observed on all the śukla aṣṭamī days falling in a year. It begins from Śrāvaṇa-śukla-aṣṭamī.[2] Important rituals of this vrata consists of:

  1. Feeding virgin girls
  2. Feeding brāhmaṇas
  3. Worship of goddess Durgā


  1. Vratas and utsavas are the religious vows and celebrations.
  2. Śrāvaṇa-śukla-aṣṭamī falls on the eighth day in the bright fortnight of the month of Śrāvaṇa usually in July/August.
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore