Parayana Krama or the Patha Vidhi is being translated below in English.This is the traditional way in which Brahamanas read the Durga Saptashati .Those who are not in a state to follow the prescribed methods of reading may do it according to their convenience. There is no hard and fast rule. Devi Mata will hear your prayers in which ever form you pray to her.
Parayana Krama or prescribed methods of reading
Devi Mahatmya is a story but each of its slokas is considered as mantras. There are two methods of how to start reading Devi Mahatmya. The first one is called Tryangam and consists of reading three prayers viz Devi Kavacham, Devi argalam and Devi keelakam followed by meditation and chanting of the Navakshari manthra given by
“Om Iym hreem kleem Chamandayai, viche namaha.”
This manthra is of very great power.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.
People who cannot do this should read the Pradhama charithra consisting of the first chapter on the first day, the Madhyama Charithra consisting of the next three chapters on the next day and the remaining Uthama Charitha consisting of the next 9 chapters on the third day.
Another method of completing the full reading by seven days viz one chapter on the first day, next two chapters on the second day, next one chapter on the third day, next four chapters on the fourth day, next two chapters on the fifth day, next one chapter on the sixth day and last two chapters on the seventh day.
It is important to know that daily the parayana should start with the trayanga manthras, text of Devi Mahatmya followed by the chanting of Devi Suktham.