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Ashwayuja Masa-First day of Navaratri Oct 8th-Kalasha Sthapana


Today is the start of  Navaratri in the holy month of Ashwayuja and is the day for Ghata Sthapana or Kalasha Sthapana.Many may wonder regarding the symbolism behind the Kalasha/Ghata/Kumba . The Kalasha also takes a prominent place in other ceremonies such as marriages, pujas,rites pertaining to education and new houses.

First let us look at the components of the Kalasha. The pot used as Kalasha is primarily made out of copper or brass.Earthern pots are also used as Kalasha.Tender mango leaves are arranged on the mouth of the pot and a fresh coconut is placed on top of the leaves .The pot is decorated with various sacred yantras and patterns .Waters from the holy rivers are placed in the pot along with moist soil .Nine different kind of grains are also placed in the pot so that they sprout over the period of nine days. The Nine grains offered are the famous Navadhanya mentioned at various places in the scriptures.

The Navadhanya are basically

Bengal Gram- Brihaspati

Wheat – Surya

Horse gram-Ketu

Green Gram- Mercury

Rice- Soma/Moon

White beans- Shukra/Venus

Black Sesame – Shani

Chickpeas- Mangal/Mars

Black gram – Rahu

Also the same grains represent one aspect of the Devi from her nine divine forms. The planets are also an representation of different energies emanating from the mother goddess and they serve a certain purpose in maintaining the natural equilibrium of the world. Devi as Adi Para Shakti is the mother goddess animating the entire cosmos and she is the form of creation itself. Creation of this planet occurred in the primordial waters of life and the kalasha containing water and the seeds represents the Devi herself with the nine forms contained within her . Even if you look at the other symbols in Hinduism , you will find similar images. Lord Vishnu the creator also reclines on Adi sesha on the waters of life . Tender mango leaves always represent the life principle or prana shakti animating the various creatures on planet earth. The water filled coconut is a representative of the human body and ego . Hence the ritual of breaking the coconut at the end of the puja symbolizes the process of transmuting one’s ego into something divine.

Kalasha Sthapana is done on the first day of Navaratri .It involves setting up the sacred pot and invoking the presence of the mother goddess into the pot .There is a particular auspicious time for setting up the pot and sowing the seeds. The pot is not to be disturbed untill the end of Navaratri at which point the sprouts are distributed as prasad among the devotees. The muhurta for today was from 06:00-09:00 AM.

The goddess is worshipped as Shailaputri on the first day of Navaratri. Shailaputri is none other than ( Shaila -Mountain Putri-Daughter ) goddess sati who was reborn as Parvati the daughter of Himavanta .Please refer to the previous stories on the blog to learn of the beautiful story of the wedding of Lord Shiva and Parvati.


Kalasha containing the divine essence



Ghata Sthapana-Earthern pots



Ghata Sthapana



Sahasra Kalasha Aradhana- Omkarananda Ashram Haridwar



Goddess Parvati as Shailaputri observing penance for Shiva



May my head be always bowed at your lotus feet O Mother


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