On this first day, we should chant this shloka. This shloka must be chanted during the study of Devi Bhāgavatam, or when we behold the book. We prostrate to and praise Mother Goddess. By remembering Sri Mata, we get the wealth of Jnāna, we acquire land. Many wish to die in a house they own, they feel incomplete dying in a rented home. I don’t understand what this desire is, we can die anywhere. We can die on the road, on the bus, on the street, anywhere. Never mind! One gets wealth, education, Jnāna, radiance, etc., by remembering Sri Mata.
There are some rules to listen to, or study the Devi Bhāgavatam. We cannot follow all the rules, but we can do some. If you want to follow the rules, don't let others deter you from it. This is described in Skanda Purāna. Observing these rules with Bhakti (devotion) and Shraddha (keen interest/involvement) bestows the Mother's grace.
One must look for the auspicious day and time to listen to Devi Bhāgavatam. Therefore, Navarātri is a great time to do this. Guru Mantra bestows fulfilment when chanted during Navarātri. It is a Yajna to listen to Mother's praise and listen to Devi Bhāgavatam during these days. One must have desire to do seva, charity, during this time. Invite other people and entice them to come listen to this divine nectar. Even the Trinity and the Devatas heard this. Those with desires or without can listen to Devi Bhāgavatam these 9 days. While participating in all the sevas, come and listen to Devi Bhāgavatam. Listen for as many days as you can if you can't listen everyday.
Set up stage with wonderful decorations for the discourser. Set up a seat and let the discourser face the East (preferred) or North. Men and women should sit separately. Old people are exempted from sitting separately from their spouses, but others must sit separately. The discourser must be a worshiper of Mother. Men must tonsure their heads during this time. One must take a vow/deeksha to listen to the Purāna. Take bath and do your Puja. Put your heart solely into listening about Mother. First, pray to Ganapathi, then to Mother, and then to the book. At the beginning, and at the end, chant the mantra we just did. Believing the discourser to be Sage Vyasa himself, revere him. Don't see him as merely a discourser from the neighbouring town. Pray to Sage Vyasa, “O Sage Vyasa who is well versed in all Shāstras, please awaken the stories in our heart and remove our inner darkness. We prostrate to you everyday like this and will sit down. We cast away all worldly thoughts during this time.” Switch off your phones and avoid all worldly talks.
Eat only Sattvic food, and in moderation. Eat only once a day and let there be a bit of hunger throughout the day.
Sleep on the floor.
Speak only the truth. Wear a mask, it makes it easy.
Restrain the senses. There are some things, including some vegetables that should not be consumed during this time. Garlic and onions should be avoided. Alcohol and meat should be completely avoided.
Do not insult good people. Do not gossip. Do not engage with wicked people.
Be with compassionate, and have good conduct. Be patient. Those who are ailing or desiring children, or have ailing children, etc., should listen to Devi Bhāgavatam with great devotion. Even the unmarried ones will have all their desires fulfilled and attain the four goals of human life by listening to Devi Bhāgavatam.
The charity, homas and other rituals performed during this time bring infinite fruits. Dedicate all fruits to Mother, do not keep it to yourself. That is when our desires are fulfilled. One attains Mukti when they listen to the discourse without desires.
Chant Gāyatri Sahasranāma. Revere those who worship. At the end, chant Vishnu sahasranāma to remove all flaws and errors in the 9 days.
If you remember Lord Vishnu, taint of flaws and errors in Pujas, rituals, and Tapas, are removed. In the end, we should also do Chandi and Gayatri Homa. We should offer land, gold, clothes and jewellery during these days. When Guru is narrating, do not sit at an elevation above the Guru. That will give you a crow's birth next time. Those who engage in unnecessary banter during Guru's discourse are born as donkeys. Those who blame others and gossip will be born as donkeys. Those who create obstacles, or lie down, or disregard while the Mother's story is going on, will be relegated to hell. They attain very lowly births. If you feel that way, go pour cold water on yourself and come back and listen. You must not snooze while listening.
Worship the discourser, listen with rapt attention. Donate wealth, fruits etc to the narrator. Such a person gets Vaikuntha loka. May all of you get the grace of Durga Parameshvari, that is why I told you about all these rules.
Bhanan ID 427: gauri gauri gauri gauri guru rūpiṇi
Bhajan ID 683: gauri tāyē śaṅkara jāyē
Swamiji says He will stay indoors if devotees start making noise. Those who came in line today were able to open their hearts out...I could hear them well because you (others) were quiet. It was very good today. May every day be like this.