Mumbai: Ghatasthapana or Kalash sthapana marks the beginning of the rituals of Navratri - the nine-day-long festival dedicated to Goddess Durga.
The Sharadiya Navratri, celebrated ahead of the onset of winters after the monsoons, is the most famous among the total number of four Navratris.
This usually coincides with the months of September/October according to the Gregorian calendar.
The Sharadiya Navratri begins on October 10 and ends on October 18 this year.
It is time to begin preparations for Maa Durga’s arrival and gear up for a nine-day-long period of festivities.
Ghatasthapana is a ritual that symbolises feminine power.
It is assembled using a number of Puja items that are symbolic and holy.
Here’s how it is put together:
A shallow utensil with a wide mouth made of clay is often used as the base. Three layers of each of mud and seeds of Sapta Dhanya / Navadhanya (seven or nine different grains) are scattered in the pan. Water is sprinkled so that the seeds get enough moisture to thrive and germinate.
A Kalash (made of brass/copper or silver) smaller than the mouth of the claypan is filled with Ganga Jal or regular clean water. A few currency coins, supari, Akshat (Raw rice mixed with turmeric powder) and Durva grass are put in the water. Then five leaves of the mango tree are placed around the neck of the Kalash. And finally, the neck of the Kalash is covered by placing a coconut with its fibre protruding upward. Some people put raw rice, coins, dried turmeric fruit and kumkum in the Kalash instead of water.
This Kalash is then kept right in the middle of the pan filled with the mud and Navadhanya.
Then a Haldi-kumkum tika is put on the Kalash.
You can even cover the Kalash with a fresh piece of coloured cloth and put a small garland around it.
Once the Ghata is prepared, place it in your Puja room on a wooden platform. Then you need to invoke Goddess Durga in the Kalash and thus invite her to your home to accept your offerings and prayers.
After invoking the Goddess (which is similar to Prana Pratishthan), you need to perform the Panchopachara Puja wherein you would be required to greet her with Chandan, flowers, incense, an oil lamp and fruits or Prasad.
Check out the Ghatasthapana Timings here:
According to Drikpanchang.com, Ghatasthapana Muhurta is between 06:22 to 07:25 AM on October 10.
Pratipada Tithi is from 09:16 AM on October 9 till 07:25 AM on October 10.