Ghatasthapana Puja marks the commencement of the nine-day festival of Navratri. The meaning of Ghata is ‘container’ and Sthapana means ‘to establish’. It’s also known as Kalash sthapana Puja. This puja involves invoking Goddess Durga on the occasion of Navratri; where the Kalash is representative of this powerful deity. The Kalash is filled with soil, water, barley seeds and cow dung. A coconut is then placed on top of it. Following which, the earthen pot is worshipped on all the days of Navratri. It is a crucial ritual with specially laid out rules as to when the puja should be performed. Ghatasthapana in 2016 occurs on Sunday on the first of October.
Goddess Durga is one of the most powerful Hindu goddesses. Also known as the divine mother, she possesses the power Goddess Lakshmi, Goddess Kali and Goddess Saraswati. Navratri is a festival that is celebrated to rejoice the death of Mahishasura at the hands of Goddess Durga. It seeks to invoke strength from the Goddess in all spheres of life. Additionally, it is a celebration of the start of the battle between good and evil. The Kalash is worshipped throughout the festival followed by the Kalash Visrajan on the tenth day or Vijayadashami.
Ghatasthapana puja is a way to invoke Goddess Durga using the Kalash. She is the embodiment of power; a source of strength, and worshipping her or observing a puja in her honour is said to have many benefits. Some of the advantages include:
This puja is observed during the period of Navratri. Certain Vedic rules need to be looked into before doing this puja, one such is appropriate timing. If done at the wrong time, instead of gaining blessings, one will end up invoking the wrath of the Goddess. The puja should be done before sunrise and never on a no-moon night. It is mostly done during the morning or at the time of Abhijit Muhurat.
This puja involves offering worship to the Kalash for nine days. At the tenth day, the seeds that have sprouted into small plants are distributed as Prasad. After the festival is over, the Kalash is either kept in the house wrapped in the cloth or immersed in water. Care should be taken not to neglect it at any cost.
The shubh muhurat for this puja is for the year 2016 is: 05:37 am – 06:41 am. The tithi begins at 05:41 am on the 1st of October and ends at 07:45 am on the 2nd of October.
During the puja vidhi, mantras dedicated to Lord Varuna are chanted. In the course of the aarti, the bhajans of Navratri or hymns in praise of Goddess Durga are sung.
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