Happy Durga Pooja (Dussehra) Navaratri (First Day)
Navaratri, the celebration of Adi Shakti, begins on Thursday with much fanfare.
The first day of Navratri begins with Kalash sthapana followed by offering puja to the goddess. Devotees worship nine different forms of the goddess during the nine days of Navaratri and Shailputri is the first of them.
Different regions of the country have different ways of worshipping the goddess and performing the rituals. Here, we talk about the traditions that originated near Banaras.
How to worship
Kalash sthapana: Place an earthen pot filled with water on a clean area. Put a branch with mango leaves over the pot. Place a plate full of rice above the pot and a coconut wrapped in red cloth on top of the plate. Draw a swastik on the pot with sindoor/roli. Offer water, flowers, akshat (rice). Take some water, akshat and flowers in your right hand and seek the goddess’s blessings to complete the Navratri puja.
Offering puja to Shailputri: Jasmine flowers are offered to Shailputri, along with kumkum and akshat. Offer beetlenuts, cloves and ghee to the goddess and chant this mantra ‘pratham durga bhavsagarah taaraneem, dhan aishwary daayinishailputri praanamabhyam trilojanani twahim paramanand pradeeyaman saubhagyarogya daayini shailputri pranamaabhyam charachareshaswari twahim mahamohah vinaashin mukti mukti daayini shailputri pramannaamyaham (First form of Durga, who saves the entire universe, blesses us with prosperity, fame , Shailputri, I bow before you. The one who created the three realms of this world, you are the one who blesses us with the divine bliss and good fortune. I bow before Shailputri, the goddess who blesses us with ultimate freedom)”.