A pure, Satvic, simple and yet supremely sacred way of doing the Navratri Poojan

A pure, Satvic, simple and yet supremely sacred way of doing the Navratri Poojan



The procedure for performing the 'Navratri Puja' rituals, as given in the editorial from 'Dainik Pratyasha' dated September 14 2017, is given below. This procedure has been provided in both Hindi and Marathi languages. Every Shraddhavaan can perform the Navratri Poojan at home in this manner.  

Pratishthapana (installation):  

 1) Before starting Poojan on the first day of Navratri, a layer of geru (गेरू) should be applied to the Ishtika from all sides. (This step is not required in the case of Ambadnya Ishtika)     
2) After that, take the required amount of soil in a Paraat (परात) and sprinkle some water on it.     
3) After the soil has been adequately moistened, sow wheat seeds in it. Sprinkle some water and soil over it again.     
4) Then spread a Sovale (dhoti) or a green-coloured blouse piece (खण/चोळीखण) over a paat (पाट) or a table or a Chaurang (चौरंग - a wide four-legged short stool).          
– At least Rangoli is required to be drawn under this arrangement and around it.     
5) After that, this Paraat should be kept at the place of poojan while chanting the gajar 'Jai Jagadamba Jai Durge'.         (paat/chaurang/table)     
6) Then, place the Ishtika in the Paraat which  has soil mixed with wheat in it, such that its flat side faces you.    
7) After that, draw the eyes, nose and lips of the Devi (Goddess) on the flat part of the Ishtika.     
8) Then a Chunari of the colour of your choice should be offered on this Ishtika. It is to placed like a Padar (पदर) of a saree.

From the next day onwards, Shraddhavans may offer a Chunari or blouse piece in the Nitya poojan. After the offering, the blouse piece should be placed on one side of the Ambadya Ishtika and not over it. It will mean that the Chunari offered on the first day over the Ambadya Ishtika will remain on it for all the days of Poojan, and the blouse pieces can be removed and kept aside after the offering. (Dated – September 27, 2019)  

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9) After that, one Tulsi leaf and one Bel leaf should be planted in the soil on both sides of the Ishtika - now this 'Ambadya Ishtika', that is, the 'Maatrupashan', that is the 'symbolic representation of the Aadimata Durga' is ready for the poojan.   
10) If one wishes, they may keep a photo (तसबीर), Taak (टाक - a deity embossed on a thin tin/metal sheet) or an idol of their respective Kuladevata behind or in front of this sacred Paraat as per convenience.     
– If the photo is big, it should preferably be placed at the back, while in case of a Taak or a small idol, they should be placed in front of the Paraat in a small Tamhan on Akshata (rice grains) mixed with Kumkum.     
11) After that, as per one's convenience and desire, a couple or a single person should sit or stand in front of this arrangement in Shraddhavaan attire.                
From the next day onwards, the Poojan can be performed by any other member of the house. Also, a different member of the house can perform the Poojan every day. Anyone above 14 years of age can perform this, Poojan.     
12) One should then apply Turmeric and Kumkum to the 'Ambadnya Ishtika' while chanting 'Om Namash Chandikayay (ॐ नमश्चण्डिकायै)'.     
13) Then join your hands and chant 'Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha (ॐ गं गणपतये नमः)' five times.     
14) After that, the 'Namamantramala' of the Navadurga should be chanted once or thrice or five times or nine times, and offerings of Kumkum Akshata, Haridra (Turmeric) Akshata, Bel leaves, Tulsi leaves, and flowers should be made to Aadimata.     
15) By chanting the Navadurga-Namamantramala, any mistakes made unintentionally in the Poojan are rectified.    
16) One may offer a Veni or Gajra (types of floral garlands adorned on hair) to Aadimata daily.     
17) A garland of marigold flowers should then be placed around the Paraat.     
18) After that, the Naivedya should be offered consisting of Puran-Varan (पुरण-वरण).      - Apart from Puran, Varan (Dal) and rice, you may certainly offer any food items according to your wish and preference. However, it is most beneficial for vegetarians and non-vegetarians to offer only vegetarian offerings. There is no restriction on preparing other food items using onion and garlic. Consuming non-vegetarian food items should be avoided if possible.     
- However, while offering the Naivedya, a Tulsi leaf should be kept on only the Puran.     
19) Then, perform the Aarti 'Mate Gayatri Sinhaarudha Bhagawati Mahishasurmardini... (माते गायत्री सिंहारूढ भगवती महिषासुरमर्दिनी….)' by lighting a Diya (lamp).       
- Do not perform any other Aarti at this time.      
– It is necessary to perform this Aarti on the first night as well. Then offer Naivedya of milk and sugar (mixture) and distribute it as Prasad.     
20) After this, all those present at this time should recite the Mantrapushpanjali - 'Om yadnena yadnyamayajanta... (ॐ यज्ञेन यज्ञमयजन्त….)' and then all those present can offer flowers, Bel leaves, and Tulsi leaves.      
21) Aadimata should be offered Dhoop (incense) after that.     
 22) Perform Lotangan, that is, prostrate in obeisance.     
23) Sprinkle water on the soil daily.     
Nitya Poojan:     
24) Do this poojan in the morning on the first day.          
- After that, do all the procedures mentioned from Point Number 13 and perform the Poojan every evening.       
- Perform the Nitya Poojan in the Shraddhavan attire after taking a bath.     
25) However, on the next day, while doing the Poojan, the Chunari from the previous day should be kept as it is, and one Chunari of a different colour should be offered over it before Aarti daily.          
(There is no problem even if all the Chunaris are of the same colour.) 

Also refer to the paragraph after point 8 above.   

26) When poojan is performed on other days, the Naivedya of milk and sugar mixture must be offered every morning.     
27) Sometimes, when the Navratri happens to be of only eight days, offer two Chunaris on the day before Vijayadashami (Dasara). If the Navratri happens to be of ten days instead of nine, offer one Chunri each day till Vijayadashami. (A total of 10 Chunris will be offered.)      
28) Navadurga-Namamantramala     
Om Shree Shailaputryey Namaha |     
Om Shree Bramhacharinyey Namaha |     
Om Shree Chandraghantaayey Namaha |     
 Om Shree Kushmaandaayey Namaha |     
Om Shree Skandamaatre Namaha |     
 Om Shree Kaatyaayanyey Namaha |    
Om Shree Kaalaraatrey Namaha |     
Om Shree Mahaagauryey Namaha |     
Om Shree Siddhidaatryey Namaha |     
29) You may perform a variety of Aartis while performing the Aarti in the evening.        
- At this time, one may perform Aartis in any order.      
30) On the morning of Vijayadashami, one should offer Haldi-Kumkum (Turmeric and Kumkum) to Aadimata and then offer milk and sugar mixture and Puran only as Naivedya.          
And then, by offering Akshata and flowers, one should ask for the forgiveness and grace of the Aadimata in one's own words.     
31) And then join both the hands and chant the following Mantra.  
आवाहनं न जानामि न जानामि तवार्चनम्।   
पूजां चैव न जानामि क्षमस्व परमेश्‍वरि॥  
Aavaahanam na jaanaami na jaanaami tavaarchanam |  
Poojaam chaiva na jaanaami kshamasva Parameshwari ||   
32) Then chant the following Mantra while taking three Pradakshina (rounds or circumambulations) around oneself.  
यानि कानि च पापानि जन्मान्तरकृतानि च।          
तानि तानि विनश्यन्ति प्रदक्षिण्यां पदे पदे॥  
Yaani kaani cha paapaani janmaantarakrutaani cha |  
Taani taani vinashyanti pradakshinyaam pade pade ||      
33) After  doing three Pradakshinas around oneself, one must sprinkle milk on the grass grown in the Paraat with a flower. Chant the 'Gurukshetram Mantra' while offering Kumkum Akshata to Aadimata and then move the Paraat a little.     
34) After this, as per your desire and convenience, one should do the Punarmilap of the Ambadnya Ishtika in water. Offer some soil from that Paraat to the Tulsi plant and plant one wheat grass plant from the Paraat in the Tulsi pot. Perform the Visarjan (ritual of immersion in water) of all other plants in it.     
– After the Punarmilap Poojan, the Punarmilap of the Ambadnya Ishtika should be done in water on the day of Vijayadashami or any time in the next three days. However, until the Punarmilap is done, the offering of milk and sugar mixture should be made every morning and evening.     
* One can perform this poojan even during Soyar or Sutak (the period of abstention observed after birth or death of a family member) * Women can take Darshan and do Namaskar during their menstrual cycle (periods).     
* During Navratri, one can perform the Poojan even if one is staying at a place other than one's residence.     
* Devotees can independently decide whether to continue the Navratri Poojan or not if a family member or relative passes away during Navratri. But if you want to perform the Punarmilap before the prescribed period, chant 'Aadimata Shubhankara Stavanam' 11 times, offer Akshata and then perform the Punarmilap.     
* If one starts this Navratri Poojan anew in one year in his house, it is not obligatory to do this Poojan every year. Nevertheless, in the homes of those where the Navratri Poojan is already being performed as a family tradition, it is necessary for them to perform the Poojan every year.     
* If the Navratri Poojan is being done in a house regularly since before, then it is obligatory for the next generation to continue this Poojan.     
* If a person starts performing this poojan anew, then while starting the poojan, he should resolve that 'every future generation will decide whether to continue the Poojan or not.'     
* One can do this Poojan during Chaitra Navratri too.     
* On other auspicious and good occasions in the house, one can perform this Poojan for one day. At the time of such a one-day poojan, one should take the wheat in a Paraat and place the Ambadnya Ishtika over it. Afterwards, they should donate the wheat to the needy.      
* Shraddhavaans can undoubtedly perform the Poojan according to their old methods. Nevertheless, if the Poojan is performed in the above manner, one does not have to bear the results or consequences of the errors and mistakes or personal faults committed in the Navratri Poojan.