The three forms of the female principles embodied in Durga, Lakshmi and Sarasvati are the expressions of Valour,Wealth and Knowledge needed for the Humans.
All the three have to stay together if one were to lead a successful Life.
Hindu festivals represent these principles and they remind one of these Life’s Truths.
Durga represents Valor, Lakshmi wealth and Sarasvati Knowledge.
The Nine days’ festival, Navaratri represents this.
I have written articles on the procedure Mantras and dates assigned to each Goddess.
There is a sacred text, called Devi Mahatmiyam in Markandeya Purana which delivers the results equivalent to accruing by reciting all the mantras of the three Devis.
The Devi (mother Goddess) killed Madhu and Kaidabha as Vishnu Maya (Thamasic-base), killed Mahishasura as Lakshmi (Rajashic form-materialistic) and killed Shumbha and Nishumbha in the form of Goddess Saraswathi (Sathvic-spiritual).
All the three are combined in this Stotra.
It consists of Chapters 74 to 86 (13 chapters) of the Markandeya Purana and has 700 stanzas.
This is known as Devi Mahatmya in South India, Chandi in West Bengal and as Durga Sapthasathi in the northern parts of the country including Varanasi.
How to do Devi Mahatmiya Parayan
There are two methods.
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 Mahatmya should be read in one sitting. After finishing the recital of Devi Mahatmya, 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 mahatmya 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 Mahatmya 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, 11thchapter 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 Mahatmya 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.
You should read Siddha Kunjika Stotram after completing the recital of every chapter.
This manthra is of very great power and should not be chanted unless, it is taught by a Guru.
The other is Navangam, where nine prayers are recited before starting reading of the book. They are chanting of 1. Nyasa, 2. Avahana, 3. Namani, 4. Argala, 5. Keelaga, 6. Hrudhaya, 7. Dhala, 8. Dhyana and 9. Kavacha.
It is recommended that the entire Devi Mahatmya should be read in one sitting. After completion of the reading it is necessary to chant the Devi Suktham consisting of the slokas seven to 36 of chapter 8, is to be chanted. If the Guru has taught the navakshari manthra, then it should also be meditated up on.