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Navratri : Maa Shailputri

Navratri is one of the important festivals of India. It begins on Ashvin Shukla Prathama and ends at Ashvin Shukla Navami. In these nine days, different manifestations [roops] of Goddess Durga are worshipped. This religious festival occurs in the lunar calendar in March and April, and is known as Chaitra Navratri. It falls again in September and October as Sharad Navratri. According to Hindu Panchang, Chitra Navratri in 2016 is beginning from 8th April 2016. Each of these 9 days is dedicated to different incarnations of Goddess Durga.

Read below about which Goddess to worship on day 1.

1st DAY OF NAVRATRI

In Hinduism, nature has been given the most important place. For this reason, the daughter of mighty mountains, Goddess Shailputri is worshipped on the first day of Navratri. In Hindi, ‘Shail’ refers to the ‘mountains’ and ‘putri’ means ‘daughter’. Goddess Shailputri is associated with the Root Chakra or Muladhara Chakra, which reclines on the lowest point of spinal cord and results in the nourishment of the spiritual improvement of a person. Hence, it is said that by worshipping this roop or manifestation of Goddess Durga, one can gain the strength and evoke spiritual side of their soul. Mata Shailputri, also known as Goddess Parvati, is the mother of Lord Ganesha and Lord Kartikeya, and is worshipped along with her partner, Lord Shiva.

MYTHOLOGICAL STORY

As stated in Shivpuran, Devi Sati was the offspring of Prajapati Daksha, who got married to Lord Shiva. The marriage was not given acceptance by King Daksha. One day, he arranged a yagya and called all his near ones except Lord Shiva and Sati. Hearing this, Sati felt insulted and sacrificed her life by burning herself in the yagya kund pyre. After this incident, Lord Shiva went on Himalayas and practiced meditation. Sati took re-birth as Mata Parvati and worshipped Lord Shiva with full dedication to achieve the divine love of Lord Shiva. After many years of hard glorification, she got married to Lord Shiva. This untiring puja empowered Parvati with the roop of Shakti.

COLOR DEDICATED TO MATA SHAILPUTRI

  • This Shakti Roop of Mata is framed as an Angelic lady in red color Saree, with a lotus in one hand, a trident (trishul) in second hand, a half moon on her head and is often seen riding on Nandi, the bull.
  • One should wear red color dress on this auspicious day.

PUJA ON FIRST DAY OF NAVRATRI

On the first day of Navratri :
  • The devotees should take bath early in the morning. They should clean and put tilak on the idol of Goddess Durga and then on their forehead.
  • Devotees should sit with their faces towards the North East direction and should worship goddess Shailputri by chanting the following mantras.

Om Devi Shailpuri Swaha (One should chant this mantra for 108 times)

“Vande Vanchit Laabhaay, Vrisharudham Shooldharaam Shailputriim Yashaswinim” (This mantra should be chanted for 11 times)

  • A mud or clay pitcher is filled with soil and seven different grains are sown in it. The devotees should worship the urn by making a Swastika and must offer red color flower on it. This is called Ghatasthapana.
  • An akhand deep should be lighted, which should continuously burn for all nine days.
  • People fast for nine days to get the blessings from Goddess Durga. Many people (who do not observe fast) avoid onion and garlic in these auspicious days.
  • On the ninth day, Kanya Pujan is done and devotees worship nine little girls (kanyas) and offer them gifts and food.
  • The puja should be done with a clean heart, in order to get divine blessings of the Goddess.

    Jai Mata Di

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