Guidelines for reading the Devi Mahatmyam
Devi Mahatmyam (Durga Saptashati or Chandi Path) is a powerful text dedicated to Goddess Shakti. The reading procedure of Devi Saptashati is given here in detail version.
There are two methods to start reading Devi Mahatmyam – Trayangam and Navangam.Trayangam is a method in which we need to chant three prayers – Devi Kavacham, Argala Stotram and Devi Keelakam followed by Navakshari Mantram. Navangam is a method for which nine prayers are recited prior of starting reading the book. Navangam stotrams are: Devi Nyasa, Devi Avahana, Devi Namani, Argala Stotram, Keelaka Stotram, Devi Hrudaya, Dhala, Devi Dhyana and Devi Kavacha. As per the prescribed methods in ancient scriptures, Devi Mahatmyam should be read in one sitting. After finishing the recital of Devi Mahatmyam, one should chant the Devi Suktam (slokas 7 to 36 of Chapter 8).
Devi Saptashati Parayana in 3 days & 7 days
Apart from one sitting recital, devotees read Devi mahatmyam for three consecutive days: Prathama Charitra or 1st Chapter on first day, Madhyama Charitra (2, 3, 4 chapters) on 2nd day, and Uttama Charitra (5-13 chapters) on third day. Some devotees also read Devi Mahatmyam in 7 days. They chant 1st Chapter on first day, 2-3 chapters on 2nd day, 4th chapter on 3rd day, 5-8 chapters on 4th day, 9-10 chapters on 5th day, 11th chapter on 6th day and 12-13 chapters on 7th day. Each chapter should be read in single sitting. Due to any reason, Parayana is stopped in between a chapter; the whole chapter should be read again.The order of reciting Durga Saptashati Parayana daily is: Trayanga Mantra, Devi Mahatmyam text followed by Devi Suktam. Many devotees read Durga Saptashati during Navratri Durga Puja 9/10 days.. Here is the procedure to read Devi Mahatmyam during Navratri
How to read Durga Saptashati (Devi Mahatmyam) during Navratri festival
1st day: Chapter 1 (Madhu kaitabha samhaaram)
2nd day: Chapter 2, 3 and 4 (Mahishhasura samhaara)
3rd day: Chapter 5 and 6 (Dhuumralochana vadha)
4th day: Chapter 7 (Chanda Munda vadha)
5th day: Chapter 8 (Rakta biija samhaara)
6th day: Chapter 9 and 10 (Shumbha Nishumbha vadha)
7th day: Chapter 11 (Praise of Narayani)
8th day: Chapter 12 (Phalastuti – reciting merits or benefits)
9th day: Chapter 13 (Blessings to Suratha and the Merchant)
10th day: Chapter 14 (Aparadha Kshamaprarthana) on 10th day
You can also complete the recital on 9th day by chanting Devi Aparadha Kshama Prarthana Stotram on 9th day itself. The Siddha Kunjika Stotram should be read after completing the recital of every chapter.