Goddess Shailputri is worshipped on first day of Navratri
वंदे वाद्द्रिछतलाभाय चंद्रार्धकृतशेखराम | वृषारूढां शूलधरां शैलपुत्री यशस्विनीम् || Vandē vāddrichatalābhāya candrārdhakr̥taśēkharāma | vr̥ṣārūḍhāṁ śūladharāṁ śailaputrī yaśasvinīm || Durga MataOne of the most popular festivals in India, Navratri is celebrated with fervor and gaiety across the country. During Navratri, Goddess Durga is worshipped in nine forms. The first form of Goddess Durga – Maa Shailputri is worshipped on the first day of Navratri. Goddess Parvati took rebirth as the daughter of Lord Himalayas and was known as Shailputri. In Sanskrit, Shail means mountain and hence, Goddess Parvati was known as Shailputri (daughter of the mountain). The festival holds tremendous significance for the devotees. While, Navratri is marked by celebrations, fasting as well as relishing on various delicacies, dance and prayers, this festival also includes certain myths and a number of do’s and don’ts. According to legends, Lord Shiva allowed his wife Goddess Durga to visit her mother for nine days during this time and hence, Navratri is celebrated nine days; “nav” means nine and “ratri” means night. During this auspicious festival, one should not get hair or nail cut; should not stitch clothes; should not consume alcohol, and non-vegetarian food items including onion and garlic and students should not study on the last day of the festival that is Dussehra. durga-puja5330On the other hand, devotees must strictly follow some rituals during the festival. Some include offering milk and food to Goddess Durga, having a shower early in morning, reciting mantras related to the Goddess, among others. According to legends, Goddess Durga fought a battle with demon Mahishashura during this time and killed him. Thus the festival is celebrated to show devotion towards the Goddess for protecting her devotees from evil forces. Goddess Durga, who epitomizes power, has nine different forms; two of them are Laxmi and Saraswati. The nine-day-long festival also witnesses worship for Laxmi and Saraswati, who symbolise wealth and knowledge, respectively. The last day of Navratri, called Dussehra, ends with huge effigies of Ravana being burnt as it symbolises Lord Rama’s triumph over the lord of demons. The Legend According to legends, Ma Bhagwati in her previous birth was the daughter of Daksha Prajapati and was called Sati who was married to Lord Shiva but in a ceremony organised by Daksha, she self-immolated in the yogic fire as she couldn’t bear the insult meted out to her husband by her father. Lord Shiva was not invited to the ceremony but Sati went against the wishes of her husband. Vaishno DeviLater Sati was reborn as Goddess Parvati, the daughter of the Parvat Raj Himalayas. She got married to Lord Shiva. She is the first and the most significant among the Nava Durgas worshipped during Navratri. During the puja, one must place red cloth on a chowki where Goddess Shailputri’s picture is placed. Write ‘Sh’ with kesar on it and place Gutika there. One must take red flowers in the hand and pray to Goddess Shailputri while chanting this mantra: Om Aim Hreem Kleem Chamundaye Vichaye Om Shailputri Dewya Namah While chanting the mantra, offer flowers and gutika to the Goddess and place them on her picture. After that, one must offer bhog and chant the mantra (Om Shan Shailputri Dewya) at least 108 times. Pratham Durga Twahi BhavsagarTardeem Dhan Aishwarya Dayini Shailputri PranmabhyahumTrilojanani Twahi Paramanand PradiyamaanSaubhagyarogya Dayini Shailputri PranmabhyahumCharachareshwari Twahi Mahamohvinashin Mukti Bhukti Dayini Shailputri Pranmabhyahum. One of all nine forms of Devi Durga is worshipped every day in Navaratri. The first form of Maa Durga is Shailputri, who was born to the King of Mountains. “Shail” means mountain and “putri” means daughter. So she is called Shailputri – the daughter of mountain. Maa Shailputri, an absolute form of Mother Nature, is worshipped on the first day of Navratri. Maa Shailputri is shown as a divine lady, holding a trishul in her right hand and lotus flower in her left hand. She rides on Nandi, a bull. Maa Shailputri is the goddess of the muladhara chakra or root chakra, and upon awakening this Shakti one begins their journey to spiritual awakening and to their purpose in life. Without energising the muladhara chakra one can’t have the power and strength to do anything worthwhile. One should worship Maa Shailputri to make full use of the precious human life.