Puja Vidhi during Navratri

Ghatasthapana is one of the significant rituals during Navratri as it marks the beginning of nine days festivity.

Updated: September 19, 2018

Navaratri, literally means nine nights, also  spelled Navratri or Navarathri, is a nine nights and ten days Hindu festival, celebrated in the autumn every year. It is observed for different reasons and celebrated differently in various parts of the Indian subcontinent.

Ghatasthapana:

Ghatasthapana is one of the significant rituals during Navratri. It marks the beginning of nine days festivity. We have well defined rules and guidelines to perform Ghatasthapana during a certain period of time at the beginning of Navratri.
As it is invocation of Goddess Shakti, doing it wrong time might bring wrath of the Goddess Shakti. Ghatasthapana is prohibited during Amavasya and night time.
The most auspicious time to do Ghatasthapana is first one third of the day while Pratipada is prevailing. If this time is not available due to some reasons, then Ghatasthapana can be done during Abhijit Muhurta. It is advised to avoid Nakshatra Chitra and Vaidhriti Yoga during Ghatasthapana but those are not prohibited.
The most important thing to consider is that Ghatasthapana should be done before Hindu midday while Pratipada is prevailing.

Required Items for Ghatasthapana include:

  • Wide and open Clay Pot to sow Sapta Dhanya
  • Clean Soil to sow Sapta Dhanya
  • Sapta Dhanya or seeds of seven different grains
  • Small clay or brass Pitcher
  • Sacred water to fill the Kalash or Ganga Jal
  • Sacred thread / Moli / Kalaya
  • Scent or perfume
  • Supari (betel nuts)
  • Coins to put into the Kalash
  • 5 leaves of Ashoka or Mango tree
  • A Lid to cover the Kalash
  • Raw Rice or unbroken rice known as Akshat to put in the lid
  • Unpeeled Coconut
  • Red Cloth to warp coconut
  • Flowers and Garland preferably marigold
  • Durva or grass

Kalash Preparation for Ghatasthapana:

  • Step 1 : First take the wide clay pot to sow the grains. There should be three layers of soil and grain in it. Spread the first layer of the soil into the pot and then spread the grain seeds. Now add the second layer of the soil and grains. In second layer grains should be spread near the periphery of the pot. Now spread the third and final layer of the soil into the pot. If needed add little water to the pot to set the soil. This pot would be used to keep the Kalash.
  • Step 2 : Tie the sacred thread on the neck of the Kalash and fill it up with the holy water up to the neck. Drop Supari, scent, Durva grass, Akshat and coins into the water. Keep 5 leaves of Ashoka at the edge of the Kalash before covering it with a lid.
  • Step 3 : Now take the un-peeled coconut and wrap it inside the red cloth. Fasten the coconut and red cloth with the sacred thread and keep the coconut on top of the Kalash prepared in step 2. At last put the Kalash in the center on the grain pot prepared in step 1. Now we have Kalash ready to invoke Goddess Durga into it.

Invoke Goddess Durga:

Now invoke Goddess Durga and request Her to reside into the Kalash for nine days and accept your prayers and to oblige you.

Panchopachara Puja :

Panchopachara Puja is done with five Puja items as name suggests. First show the lamp to the Kalash and all deities invoked in it. After lamp offering, light Dhoop sticks and offer it to the Kalash, followed by flowers and scent. Finally offer Naivedhya which is fruits and sweets to the Kalash to conclude Panchopachara Puja.

Durga Puja Pushpanjali:

Pushpanjali is an offering of flowers to Hindu Gods and Goddesses. Pushpanjali is the combination of two words, Pushpam and Anjali. In Sanskrit, Pushpam means flower and Anjali means offering with folded hands. Hence Pushpanjali means offering of flowers with folded hands.
Pushpanjali is a must ritual during Durga Puja in West Bengal and other eastern states. Although Pushpanjali is offered on all days during Durga Puja, the day of Durga Ashtami is considered the most auspicious and significant to offer pushpanjali to Goddess Durga. Most Bengalis make sure that they offer pushpanjali at least once on the day of Durga Ashtami if not on all other days. Many devotees keep the day long fast during Puja days and break it after giving Pushpanjali to Maa Durga in the evening. The day long fast is broken by taking Bhog after evening Aarti and Pushpanjali. Pushpanjali is a community event which is arranged in various Pandals and temples. Devotees bring fresh flowers for the ritual of Pushpanjali. A Brahmin priest chants Pushpanjali Mantra and those who gather to give pushpanjali repeats the Mantra along with the priest. The fresh flowers and optionally Bel Patra are hold in Anjali and are thrown to the feet of the Goddess Durga after reciting the Mantra. Pushpanjali is repeated three times continuously along with three separate Pushpanjali Mantra.

Following Mantra is chanted during the ritual of Pushpanjali:

First Time Pushpanjali Mantra is:

Om Jayanti, Mangala, Kali, Bhadrakali, Kapalini
Durga, Shiva, Kshama, Dhatri, Svaha, Svadha Namostu Te.
Esha Sachandana Gandha Pushpa Bilva Patranjali Om Hreem Durgayai Namah.
The meaning of the mantra is: O, Jayanti, Mangala, Kali, Bhadrakali, Kapalini, Durga, Shiva, Kshama, Dhatri, Svaha, Svadha, my earnest dedication to you all. Maa Durga, salutation to thee.

Second Time Pushpanjali Mantra is:

Om Mahishaghni Mahamaye Chamunde Mundamalini
Ayurarogyavijayam Dehi Devi Namostu Te.
Esha Sachandana Gandha Pushpa Bilva Patranjali Om Hreem Durgayai Namah.
The meaning of the mantra is: O, Mahamaya, Chamunde, Mundamalini, give me long life, victory and liberation. The flowers of my Anjali, I'm giving to you. Maa Durga, salutation to thee!

Third Time Pushpanjali Mantra is:

Om Sarva Mangala Mangalye Shive Sarvartha Sadhike
Sharanye Tryambake Gauri Narayani Namostu Te

Srishti Sthiti Vinashanam, Shaktibhute, Sanatani
Gunashraye, Gunamaye, Narayani, Namostu Te

Sharanagata Dinarta Paritrana Parayane
Sarvasyartihare Devi! Narayani! Namostu Te
Meaning of the mantra is:
Auspiciousness of all things auspicious. O consort of Shiva, fulfiller of all our goals, Our only refuge, O three-eyed Gauri, O Narayani, Our salutations to you.
The power beyond all creation, preservation and destruction, O eternal one, O ground of the Gunas and embodiment of the Gunas, O Narayani, Our salutations to you.
Ever devoted to the salvation of the lowly and suffering who seek shelter with you, O destroyer of all misery, O Divine Mother, O Narayani, Our salutations to you.
Pushpanjali is also offered after Sandhi Puja which is even more significant than Pushpanjali on Durga Ashtami. Devotees keep a day long fast who offer Pushpanjali after Sandhi Puja. Pushpanjali after Sandhi Puja might fall late in the night as it depends on end time of Ashtami Tithi.


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