Ghatasthapana is a ritual that marks the beginning of Navratri, the nine-day festival of worshipping Goddess Shakti in her various forms. It is also known as Kalash Sthapana, which means placing a pot or urn filled with holy water. The word Ghatasthapana literally means “establishing a pot”.

Ghatasthapana is performed on the first day of Navratri, either during Chaitra Navratri (in March-April) or Sharad Navratri (in September-October). It is considered one of the most important and auspicious rituals of Navratri, as it invokes the presence and blessings of Goddess Shakti.

The ritual involves placing a copper or earthen pot filled with water on a bed of soil or sand in a clean and sacred place. The pot is decorated with flowers, turmeric, vermilion and other items. A coconut wrapped in red cloth is placed on top of the pot. The pot symbolizes Goddess Shakti and her creative power.

The soil or sand bed is sown with barley seeds, which are watered daily during Navratri. The seeds sprout into green shoots, which are called Jamara. These shoots represent prosperity and fertility. They are offered to Goddess Durga on the tenth day of Navratri, known as Vijayadashami.

The ritual of Ghatasthapana has to be performed at an auspicious time according to the Hindu almanac. There are specific rules and guidelines for performing this ritual in order to avoid any negative consequences. The ritual should not be done during Amavasya (new moon), night time, Ashwini Nakshatra (constellation) or Chitra Nakshatra.

Ghatasthapana is a ritual that expresses devotion and faith towards Goddess Shakti. It signifies that she resides in every living being and every element of nature. It also signifies that she bestows her grace and protection upon her devotees who worship her with sincerity and purity.