Khetri, also known as the Kalash or Ghata, holds significant importance during Navratri. It is essentially a pot or a vessel filled with water and often adorned with leaves, coconut, and other auspicious items. The Khetri symbolizes the presence of the divine goddess and is considered a sacred representation of her during the festival.
Here are some key aspects of the Khetri’s importance in Navratri:
Representation of Goddess Durga: The Khetri is seen as a symbolic representation of Goddess Durga, and its placement in the puja area is akin to welcoming the divine presence into the home.
Auspicious Beginnings: Before starting any Navratri puja or any auspicious event during this festival, the priest or the person conducting the rituals will perform a ceremony called “Kalash Sthapana” or “Ghatasthapana.” This involves consecrating and establishing the Khetri, signifying the official commencement of the Navratri festivities.
Reservoir of Sacred Energy: The water in the Khetri is believed to absorb the divine energy and blessings of the goddess, and this sanctified water is later used in various rituals and pujas.
Prayer for Abundance: The presence of a coconut and other sacred items on the Khetri symbolizes a prayer for prosperity, abundance, and protection during the festival.
How to Keep Khetri Safe During Navratri:
Ensuring the safety and sanctity of the Khetri during Navratri is crucial, as it is a focal point of the festival’s rituals and ceremonies. Here are some tips to keep the Khetri safe:
Placement: Choose a clean and sacred place within your home for the Khetri. This area should be well-ventilated, away from direct sunlight, and free from disturbances.
Cleanliness: Ensure that the Khetri and its surroundings are kept clean throughout the festival. Dust or impurities should not accumulate around it.
Security: To prevent any accidental displacement or damage, secure the Khetri on a stable platform or table.
Water Maintenance: The water in the Khetri should be changed daily. Use clean and purified water to maintain its sanctity.
Protection from Pests: Keep the Khetri protected from insects or pests that might be attracted to the offerings like coconut and fruits. You can cover it with a clean cloth or a decorative cloth designed for this purpose.
Respect and Reverence: Approach the Khetri with devotion and respect. Avoid touching it with unclean hands and refrain from disrespectful behavior in its vicinity.
Regular Puja: Conduct daily pujas and rituals in front of the Khetri as per your family tradition and customs. This ensures the continuity of blessings and sanctity throughout Navratri.
Proper Dismantling: At the conclusion of Navratri, there is a specific procedure for dismantling the Khetri, which varies depending on regional customs. Seek guidance from a priest or knowledgeable individuals to do this correctly.
In summary, the Khetri is a sacred symbol of the goddess’s presence during Navratri, and it should be treated with reverence and care throughout the festival. By following these guidelines, you can ensure its safety and maintain its sanctity during this auspicious time.
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