Navratri is celebrated four times a year. They are Ashad Navaratri, the Ashwin Navaratri, the Magh Navaratri and the Vasant Navaratri. Of these, the Ashwin Navaratri and the Vasant Navaratri of the Chaitra are very important. The other two navratra's are known as Gupt Navratra meant only for Sadhaks (seekers).
The anushthan of Durga Saptashati helps the devotee to obtain the grace and care of maa durga. The reading of saptashati or devi mahatamya helps in attaining her blessings and protects us from all the evil forces.
It nullifies the negative effects of black magic and evil eye. It bestows the devotee with happiness, peace of mind, success in ventures and fearlessness.
The strongest of all anushthans’s this auspicious anushthan helps in removing the fear of death and accidents from one’s life.
Process / Procedure
Durga Saptashati Katha is part of the Markandeya Purana, written by sage Markandeya. The text contains Saptashata i.e. 700 verses and because of that the whole composition is known as Durga Saptashati.
The anushthan(chanting of Durga Saptashati Katha) is carried out under the guidance of trained pundits or sadhaks especially in the navratris for achieving the better results. The sadhak guides the devotee about the anushthan and perform anushthan strictly following the rituals as per given in the holy texts. The anushthan is compromises of awahanam, jaap, path of saptashati, yagya, hawan and enchanting of mantras. The beeja mantra is a part of this puja and cannot be neglected.
It is a long tradition that one reads the Devi-Bhagavatam or the Devi Mahatmyam (Durga saptashati, 700 verses on Durga) during Navaratra to invoke the blessings of Mother Durga. Devi Bhagavatam notes that Lord Rama meditated and fasted for nine days after Devi Sita was kidnapped by Ravana.
The reading of Durga Saptashati (Devi Mahatmyam) during Navaratri is to be done follows:
Chapter 1 (Madhu kaitabha samhaara) is to be read for 1st day,
Chapter 2, 3 and 4 (Mahishhasura samhaara) to be read on 2nd day,
Chapter 5 and 6 (Dhuumralochana vadha) on the 3rd day,
Chapter 7 (Chanda Munda vadha) on 4th day,
Chapter 8 (Rakta biija samhaara) on 5th day,
Chapter 9 and 10 (Shumbha Nishumbha vadha) on 6th day,
Chapter 11 (Praise of Narayani) on 7th day,
Chapter 12 (Phalastuti) on 8th day,
Chapter 13 (Blessings to Suratha and the Merchant)on 9th day