Navratri Day One – Invoking Shailaputri Devi

Navratri Durga Puja 2015

Ya Devi Sarva Bhuteshu Shakti Rupen Sansthita
Namah Tasmai Namah Tasmai Namah Tasmai Namo Namah

Navratri Day One – October 13, 2015 – Ghatsthapana

Invoking Shailaputri Devi

Shailaputri Ma

Shailaputri Ma

On the first night of Navratri, on the New Moon, we worship Parvati Ma, the consort of Shiva, known on this occasion as Shailaputri, “Daughter of the Mountain” which is what the name Parvati means.

On the first day of Navratra, after purification with Ganga Jal, the kalash is established in a ritual known as the ghat sthapana or kalash sthapana. Sand of seven colours are mixed and an altar is prepared on which the Kalash is established. In this puja, all the nine planets, Gods and Goddesses are invoked and invited to sit in the Kalash. Seven types of Barleys and grains are sown below the Kalash which are harvested on Dashmi date. All the Gods and Goddesses are worshipped for nine days with the murti of Goddess Durga in the middle. On the right side, there may be Ganesh and Mahalakshami, and on the left, Kartikeya and Goddess Saraswati. If Ganga Jal (water from the Ganga) is not available, water from an important river, or a spring, or a creek is suitable.

Ma Durga, all the Gods and Goddesses, Yogis, and Yoginis inhabit the vessel for the duration of the nine days, and bring us blessings.

Cover the holy water vessel with a coconut surrounded by 5 large leaves (mango if possible) and place it in the middle of the altar of sand and barley. Icons and pictures of Durga, Lakshmi, Ganesh, and any other favorite or family deities may surround the altar. Having done all this, invoke the Mother Goddess, ask Her for her darshan and blessings.

You can use this stuti for worshipping Her:

YA DEVI SARVABHUTESU MAM SHAILAPUTRI
NAMASTASYAI NAMO NAMAH

This is a simple way to begin the Navratri observances.

Many devotees also plant barley in clay pots and place next to images of the Mother Goddess. Establishing the kalash maintains the auspiciousness of the period during the fast. It is said to be a form of Lord Ganesha and worshipped first of all the Gods. The Kalash is established before beginning the fast, filled with holy water, and covered with a coconut, and then the akhand jyoti deepa of Bhagawati Devi.

Shailaputri Devi

Shailaputri, also known as Parvati or Hemavati, is the first form of Goddess Durga to be worshipped. ‘Shaila’ means mountain and ‘Putri’ means daughter. Parvati, the daughter of King of the Mountain, Himavan, is called ‘Shailaputri’. She rides a bull, holding a trident and a lotus flower in her hands.

The Goddess was born as Sati to the King Daksha, a son of Brahma. Sati was a stoic devotee of Shiva, who had done severe penance to win her Lord’s heart and married him. King Daksha had organized a Mahayajna in which all the Gods except Shiva was invited.  Sati the Mahayajna despite Shiva’s warnings, and when Daksha insulted her divine husband, Sati sacrificed herself to the yagna fire. After that, she took birth as the daughter of Himavan and was called Shailaputri.

About the Author

Baba Rampuri, author of "Autobiography of a Sadhu, a Journey into Mystic India," and frequent commentator on Oral Tradition, Sacred Speech, and Consciousness, is an American expatriate,  the first foreigner to be initiated into India's largest and most ancient order of yogis, the Naga Sannyasis of Juna Akhara.  He has lived in India since 1970, where he practices and teaches the oral tradition of the Sanatan Dharma, conducts sacred ceremony and rites, and hosts workshops and retreats.

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