The auspicious occasion of Navratri begins today on October 7 and the first day of the nine-day Hindu festival is dedicated to Goddess Shailputri. Theoretically, there are four seasonal Navaratri. However, in practice, it is the post-monsoon autumn festival called Sharada Navaratri that is the most observed in the honor of the divine feminine Devi (Durga). The festival is celebrated in the bright half of the Hindu calendar month Ashvin, which typically falls in the Gregorian months of September and October.
Nine different avatars of goddess Durga are worshipped on each day of Navratri. Known to be a form of Parvati and a reincarnation of Sati, Maa Shailputri rides a bull and is represented with a lotus in one hand and a trident in another and is celebrated on the first day. She is also known as Hemavati, Bhavani, and Parvati. It is said that Goddess Sati was born as Shailputri to King Himalaya after her self-immolation. Shailputri is an amalgamation of two words- ‘Shail and Putri’ which means daughter of mountains. Worshipping Mata Shailputri on day 1 of Navratri brings good fortune and luck.
According to the pictorial depiction of Mata Shailputri, she is mounted on a bull, also known as Nandi.
The Navratri puja begins with Ghatashthapana after which Panchopachara puja is performed. Goddess Shailputri is offered chandan, flowers, incense, an oil lamp and fruits or Prasad.
This year, the Navratri Pratipada Tithi has fallen on a Thursday, hence, the lucky colour is yellow.
According to Hindu beliefs, Goddess Shailputri governs the Moon - the provider of all fortunes, hence blesses her devotees with good fortunes.
Om Devi Shailaputryai Namah