The festival of Navratri begins with the sacred ritual of Ghatasthapana, which is also believed to be an invocation of Goddess Durga. This day marks the victory of good over evil. Maa Shailputri is the first form of Maa Durga. Maa Brahmacharini, Maa Chandraghanta, Maa Kushmanda and other incarnations of Maa Durga are worshiped on this auspicious day. In Sanskrit, Shail means mountain and Putri means daughter. The full form of Mother Nature, Goddess Shailputri is also known as the daughter of mountains.
According to Hindu beliefs, Goddess Shailputri is an incarnation of Goddess Sati. In this incarnation, she was the daughter of King Daksha Prajapati who was the son of Lord Brahma. Goddess Sati was married to Lord Shiva. However, King Daksha was unhappy with this marriage as he did not consider Lord Shiva worthy to marry a girl from a respectable family. The story goes that King Daksha once invited all the gods to participate in a grand religious congregation (mahayagya). Since, he was against the marriage of Lord Shiva and Goddess Sati, he did not invite them.
When Goddess Sati came to know about this Mahayagya she decided to participate in it. Lord Shiva tried to explain that King Daksha did not want him to participate in the Yagya, but Goddess Sati insisted on participating in the ceremony. Lord Shiva understood that she wanted to go home and allowed her to go to the Yagya. But as soon as Goddess Sati reached there, she saw that none of the relatives were happy to see her. He was ridiculed by all the sisters and relatives except the mother of Goddess Sati. King Daksha made some derogatory remarks about Lord Shiva and also insulted him in front of all the gods.
Goddess Sati could not bear this humiliation and immediately jumped into the fire of Yagya for Mahayagya and committed self-immolation. As soon as this news reached Lord Shiva, he became enraged and immediately invoked a terrible form – Virahadra. Lord Shiva proceeded towards the Mahayagya and killed King Daksha. Later, Lord Vishnu intervened and King Daksha was brought back to life with the head of a goat from his body. Lord Shiva was still sad and carried the half-burnt corpse of Goddess Sati on his shoulders. He was unable to part with her and wandered the endless world.
Maa Shailputri is worshiped on the first day of Navratri as she is the incarnation of Maa Durga. She holds a lotus in one hand, a trident in the other and uses a bull (Nandi) as her vehicle. Maa Shailputri is worshiped with great enthusiasm and it is believed that devotees can lead a happy and successful life with her blessings.
Day 1 Colour: White
White color symbolizes purity and innocence. The color symbolizes peace and tranquility
Shailputri Puja Method:
The festival begins with Ghatasthapana and is followed by Panchopachar Puja.
Oil lamp, incense sticks, flowers, fruits and sweets are offered to Goddess Shailputr