Navratri Puja Procedure

India is a culturally diverse country and is known across the world for its rich culture and bright festivals. One of the biggest Hindu festivals in the country are the Navratris. Celebrated in devotion to the 9 forms of the Almighty Goddess, the occasion is accompanied by a juvenile atmosphere across the country. The devotees offer their prayers to the Goddess following a set of rituals better known as the Vidhi for the Navratri Puja. Navratri puja cleans the whole bad thoughts from the mind and give some positives thoughts to the mind and also purify the heart as well. To follow the vidhi while offering prayers is considered to be ominous; it is believed that prayers offered with proper Navratri Pooja procedure pave ways for success and prosperity into the household. As great sentiments are attached to the vidhi, it is essential to know the correct procedure for doing so.

“Mannattein puri hoti hain sabki - chahe mange koi;
Puja wahi safal kehlati hai - jo pure vidhi vidhan se hoi.”

Navratri Puja Vidhi (Procedure) -

Navratri Puja is offered to request the almighty Goddess for peace, prosperity and sustenance of the same. It is very important to know the right method to conduct the pooja.

- First and foremost is to ensure very clean and tidy surroundings for the Navratri Puja. As it is a very well-known fact that, “Cleanliness is Godliness.” Below are the navratri puja procedure rituals, which one need to follow..

Sthapna -

A kalawa is tied to the pitcher’s helm followed by placing the beetle leaves at the opening in a coverall formation and lidding the same by placing a coconut amidst the leaves. This pitcher is placed in front of the idol or photograph at the praying location. The best time for the sthapna is considered to be in the early hours of the morning.

Akhand Jyot -

If people opt to instil an Akhand Jyot (never ending lamp) for the 9 days, it has to be a protocol for atleast one person to stay in the house throughout the duration of the Navratri. Akhand jyot is lit at the time of sthapna.

Thapa -

People place a hand imprint dipped in turmeric paste of the eldest member in the family on a piece of paper next to the chowky. It is believed to work as a gateway for the Goddess to shower her blessings.

Pooja Routine for 9 Days -

After the sthapna, people should follow a strict routine for praying two times i.e. morning and evening. In the morning, the verses from the Durga Saptashati are to be recited after singing the hymn (Aarti). Many people fast during the 9 days wherein they eat proper food only one time in the day and are allowed to eat on Falari Aahar (Fasting food) during the other times.

Prerequisites to the Navratri Pooja -

The devotees must procure the following list of products before the Navratri Starts.

- An idol or a picture of goddess. In case of a picture, the one which depicts all the 9 devis is recommended.

- A decorative dupatta or saree, which are mostly red or green in colour for the goddess’s idol or photograph.

- A brass, copper or earthen Kalash (pitcher) filled with pure and clean water. Ganga water is also recommended.

- The Durga Saptshati book for reciting in front of the chowky before or after the aarti.

- A bundle of sacred Kalawa aka Moli.

- A small bottle of ettar (Perfume).

- A handful of Areca nuts (Supari).

- 5-7 Beetle Leaves.

- Incense Sticks, Dhoop Sticks, Matches and cotton balls (Batti) for the diyas.

- The traditional powders viz. turmeric (haldi), Gulal, and Vermillion (Roli).

- Some Flowers and floral garlands to beautify the chowky.

- 5 Different types of fruits and Sweets to be served as Prasad.

- A sitting mat, as it is not advised for the offerings to be made while sitting on the ground.

Significance of Navratri Pooja

Navratri festival reminds the people about their traditional values, religion and keeps closer to goddess. For the new generation people, this is the time to connect with the traditions and to understand why we celebrate it, what is the navratri puja procedure and rituals. After Navratri Puja, people perform the prayers, chant mantras, sing bhajans and do the Jagaran also. By these devotional activities, people make the whole environment very religious, which gives some peace of mind. Second significance of navratri puja is, navratri festival purify the mind & heart by removing all the negativities. By the time, bad thoughts and evils take places into people's mind & heart. Navratri pooja completion, increase the spiritual knowledge of the person, which kills all the evils & bad thoughts and purify the mind.