Navratri, meaning nine nights, is one of the most significant Hindu festivals which is celebrated with a lot of fervor. It is dedicated to the worship of Goddess Durga and is observed twice a year. The first Navratri was in the month of Chaitra (March-April) and was celebrated during the Shukla Paksha of Chaitra. The second Navratri which is known as Shardiya Navratri or Maha Navratri is celebrated in the pratipada of the bright fortnight of the month of Ashvin. It is observed during Sharad i.e (September-October). During Navratri, nine avatars of Goddess Durga are worshipped.
This year Shardiya Navratri will be celebrated from 1st October to 10th October. On the first day of Navratri, people sow barley seeds in a small pot which is kept in the prayer room and on the tenth day, these seeds which grow into small shoots are pulled out and given to devotees as a blessing from God. Ghatasthapana or Kalash Sthapana is one of the important rituals which mark the beginning of Navratri. It is the invocation of Goddess Shakti and this ritual involves placing a Kalash symbolizing Goddess Durga in the prayer room. Durga Saptshati is recited and people light Akhand Jyoti that keeps burning throughout the nine days of Navratri. Goddess Shailputri is worshipped on the first day of Navratri and devotees observe fasts during the nine days of the Navratri.
The most auspicious time to perform Ghatasthapana or Kalash Sthapana is considered to be the first one-third of the day while Pratipada is prevailing. If in case, it cannot be done during this time, Kalash Sthapana can be performed during Abhijit Muhurta.
Muhurat of Kalash Sthapana / Ghatasthapana Navratri 2016
Ghatasthapana Muhurta - 06:17 to 07:29 (1 hour 11 mins duration)
Ghatasthapana Muhurta falls on Pratipada Tithi
Pratipada Tithi begins - 05:41 on 1st Oct. 2016
Pratipada Tithi ends - 07:45 on 2nd Oct. 2016
Puja procedure of Kalash Sthapana / Ghatasthapana for Navratri 2016
On the first day, Lord Ganesha and Goddess Durga are worshiped and seeds of barley are placed in a vessel made of mud. Devotees take the resolution to fast and the place is purified by sprinkling Ganga jal and then kalash is placed. Sand of seven colours is mixed and a peeth is prepared on which the kalash is placed. In this puja, all the Gods, Yoginis and nine planets are invited and offered to sit in the kalash. Seven types of sands, betel nuts and coins are kept and decorated with five types of leaves.