New Delhi: The auspicious occasion of Navratri, the nine days of festivities to welcome Goddess Durga, begins on Saturday (October 17). Like a ray of hope, this Indian festivity is more significant this time because of the favourable planetary positions this year. This year, the festivities begin on October 17 and end on October 25.
The nine days of Navratri are dedicated to worship nine different forms of Durga or feminine power, and is one of the most celebrated festivals in India.Maa Durga is worshipped in nine forms and each day is dedicated to one of her avatars.
The first night of Navratri is dedicated to Shailputri, the daughter of the mountains.
According to the Hindu mythology, Goddes Shailputri was born after Goddess Sati self-immolated herself. Also known as Parvati — the daughter of Himalaya — Goddesss Shailputri is worshipped on the first day of the Navratri across the country.
According to Drik Panchang, it is believed that Goddess Shailputri governs the moon — the provider of all fortunes.
Shailputri is worshipped as an absolute form of Mother Nature. The goddess is depicted with a crescent on her forehead, a trident in her right and a lotus in her left hand. She is mounted on the back of a bull.
Chant this mantra to seek Shailputri's blessings:
वन्दे वांछित लाभाय चन्द्रार्द्वकृतशेखराम्।
वृषारूढ़ा शूलधरां यशस्विनीम्॥
Vande Vanchhitalabhay Chandrardhakritshekharam
Vrisharudham Shooldharam Shailputreem Yashasvineem
Durga, the most powerful, was created by the holy trinity - Brahma (the creator), Vishnu (the preserver) and Shiva (the destroyer) to eliminate a demon named Mahishasur, who's treachery ruined peace and sanctity in the three worlds.
Here's wishing one and all a very Happy Navratri.