Ghat sthapana of Navratri
Ghat spthapana is first step of Navratri puja. The inauguration of navratri is being represented with this ghat sthapana which is also known as kalash sthapana.
Significance of Ghat Sthapana
While doing ghat sthapana goddess shakti is being prayed and ghat is placed at the right time i.e. “shubh muhurat”. In this ritual, time is considered very important else it is considered as omen.
One should never do ghat sthapana in Amavasya or night time.Vase which is used in ghat sthapana is believed to bea form of Lord Ganesha. Hindus always start their every puja and other rituals by worshipping lord Ganehsa first. Similarly, before starting Navratri puja god Ganesha is worshipped in the form of a vase.
It is assumed that the ghat contains amrit, the elixir of life, and therefore it is considered as a symbol of wealth, wisdom, and immortality. Goddess durga is invited to stay in ghat for nine days, thus the ghat represents goddess Durga. This process is known as Avahana. It means to stay in the Kalash.
Rules of Ghat Sthapana
The very first day of navratri is considered most auspicious for doing ghat sthapana and the timing of puja should be in the morning only. If due to any reason, ghat is not placed in morning then it should be done in Abhijit Muhurta.
Nakshatra Chitra and Vaidhriti Yoga should be avoided during Ghatasthapana but not prohibited.
Mantras are chanted during ghat sthapana. Ghat sthapana items include:
- Clay pot
- Clean soil
- Seeds of seven different grains
- Sacred thread (moli) and sacred water (gangajal)
- Supari (betel nuts)
- Leaves of ashoka or mango tree
- Raw rice
- Unpeeled coconut
- Red cloth
- Flowers and garland
- Durva grass
Panchopachara Puja is also done to the kalash. In this firstly we show lamp to kalash and deities present in it. After lamp offering, flowers,scented dhoop sticks are lighted and offered to kalash. Then fruits and sweets are also offered.
How to do Ghat Sthapana
Firstly clean the area where you want to do ghat sthapana.
Step 1- Take the clay pot in which we can place the kalash, to sow the grains. Put the first layer of the soil into pot and then sow the grain seeds. Similarly add the second layer. In second layer grains should be spread near the edge of the pot. Now spread the final layer. Add little water to the pot so that it sets the soil.
Step 2 – red mauli is tied to the neck of the kalash. Fill it up with the holy water up to the neck. Drop betel nut, perfume, Durva grass, raw rice and coins into the water. Ashoka leaves are kept before covering it.
Step 3 – Now un-peeled coconut is wrapped in the red cloth. Tie the coconut and red cloth with the sacred thread.
Make sure that moisture is maintained in the pot. On the tenth day, the grains might have grown up to 5 inch and this is cut and given as Prasad to family members and friends.