Chaitra month of the Hindu calendar holds significant importance as it is known as one of the most spiritually blessed months. The entire month has different tithis and auspicious days that represent different forms of deities and religious festivals.
Chaitra Navratri is one of the most important times of the year that celebrates different forms of Goddess Durga. This holy festival is all about prayers, offerings, fasting, and meditating to seek blessings and support from Maa Durga. Ghatasthapana means establishing a Kalash that signifies the beginning of this festival. This means devotees should perform this ritual rigorously as per the scriptures to begin explicitly with the nine-day festival.
Ghatasthapana is known as the ritual of establishing the incarnation of Maa Durga that needs to be done on a particular auspicious muhurta. Vedic texts have stated that Ghatasthapana should not be performed at night and on Amavasya. The ideal time of performing this ritual is morning and preferably on Abhijit muhurta.
Scriptures have also mentioned all the steps and guidelines to perform this ritual successfully. So below are some of the essential elements for Ghatasthapana rituals.
- An earthen tray or a dedicated square created from mud and soil in the puja area
- Image or idol of maa durga
- Nav Dhanya, which means nine seeds of different grains
- Lamp, ghee, and cotton wick
- Incense sticks and dhoop
- A Kalash made up of copper or silver to use in aarti. Make sure the Kalash is not of any other material.
- Whole brown coconut
- Bunch of mango leaves or betel leaves
- Some Haldi
- A wooden chowki
- Some kumkum
- Some amount of Chandan
- Akshat, which means raw rice combined with turmeric powder
- Water for watering Nav Dhanya and for the Kalash.
- One red and one yellow fresh cloth piece for the Kalash and the chowki.
- Currency coins
- A gold coin, if possible
On the first day of Navratri, Ghatasthapana is performed to invoke Goddess Durga for the rest of the days. This ritual involves a Kalash that represents the feminine divine energy that is supposed to be worshipped along with Maa Durga’s image for every aarti and puja during Navratri time. First, the Kalash is filled with water and some coins. Then, the mango leaves or betel leaves are partially placed in that water surrounding the neck of the Kalash. Another thing is a whole coconut that should be placed on the top of the Kalash with the leaves.
Akshat, turmeric, sandalwood, kumkum, flowers, and various bhogs are offered to Goddess Durga at the time of Ghatasthapana. This part portrays the devotee’s prayers, faith, and dedication for maa Durga.
Ghatasthapana ritual includes a beautiful spiritual setup that becomes the epitome of Maa Durga and brings spirituality, positivity, and peace to the house. This official first ritual on the first day of Navaratri is a blessed moment where devotees gather around and welcome Goddess Durga for the next nine days so that they can worship her wholeheartedly.