Devotees offer flowers, fruits, sweets, an oil lamp, and incense sticks next to Maa Shailputri. The Goddess is also offered bhog made of Desi Ghee. This day marks the beginning of the Navratri celebrations.
Today marks the beginning of Navratri, a prominent Hindu holiday that lasts for nine auspicious days. It's dedicated to the worship of Maa Durga and her nine divine forms. Each day of the festival honours a different incarnation of the goddess, or Shakti, in celebration of the divine spirit. Maa Shailputri is worshipped on the first day as she is a manifestation of Parvati and a reincarnation of Sati. During this time of year, devotees seek the blessings of the Divine Mother, embracing spirituality, and engaging in various rituals and celebrations.
The initial day of Navratri is dedicated to the worship of Maa Shailputri, who is revered as the first form of Goddess Durga. The term "Shail" to mountains, while "putri" translates to daughter. She is also recognised as Parvati, Hemavati, and Sati, embodying the very essence of the earth's strength. Maa Shailputri is depicted riding a bull, while gracefully holding a trident and a lotus in her hands. White is a colour that is often associated with qualities such as purity, innocence, peace, and calmness. Devotees seek her divine guidance to acquire strength, stability, and prosperity. It is widely believed that the act of worshipping Maa Shailputri on the initial day of the auspicious festival of Navratri has the potential to forgive one's previous sins and grant them divine blessings.
The significant Ghatasthapana or Kalash Sthapana ritual takes place on the first day of Navratri. During this puja, a holy pot is placed inside the home and a lamp is kept burning all nine days of the festival, called the akhand jot. Coins, supari (betel nut), and akshat (a mix of raw rice and turmeric powder) are then added to a kalasha with Ganga Jal. At the top of the Kalash, there is a coconut and five mango leaves around it. An important ritual also involves putting water, nine different kinds of grains, and mud into a wide clay pot. Devotees put flowers, fruits, sweets, an oil lamp, and incense sticks next to Maa Shailputri. The Goddess is also offered bhog made of Desi Ghee. This puja marks the beginning of the Navratri celebrations in homes where the Navratri festival is observed.
According to the Panchang, the best time to start the Navratri puja is between 11:48 a.m. and 12:36 a.m. on October 15 on Pratipada Tithi during the Abhijeet Muhurta. This is when devotees can do the Kalashstapna or Ghat.