Durga is a form of “Shakti” – Maha Saraswati, Maha Lakshmi and Maha Kali (the three main forms of Shakti) each gave rise to three more forms and the total outcome of nine manifestations of Goddess Durga are worshipped as Nava Durga during Navaratras.
Each deity has a special appearance and significance. Each day of Navratra is dedicated to one of these Goddesses turn by turn. Prayers are done according to their likings and to obtain their blessings in the best possible way.
Shailputri is first among nine expressions of Durga Maa. She is worshipped on the first day of Navratri. Riding on a bull and carrying a trident and a lotus in her two hands, she is blissful and endows happiness, peace and prosperity upon her devotees. The second day of the nine divine nights is dedicated to Bhramacharini. This form of mother Goddess practices devout austerity. She is the way to emancipation – Moksha. Chandraghanta is the third aspect of Shakti. Those who worship this form of Devi, get eternal strength, happiness, peace and serenity. She has a moon on her forehead which appears as a ‘ghanta’ – a bell. The sound of bell wards off evil spirits from her devotees. The gold bodied deity rides on a lion. She has ten hands out of which eight carry weapons to destroy the evil, while two hands always give blessings and help to her devotes in stopping harm. One should offer milk, sweets and kheer to please her.
The fourth incarnation of Maa Shakti is Kushmanda. She has the power or capability to live inside the Sun. Worshipped on the fourth day of Navratri, the Goddess is depicted with eight hands carrying kamandal, dhanush, bhala and kamal in right hands. The Goddess has amrit kalash, japmala, gada and chakra in her left hands. She has all the powers to bestow Siddhis and Niddhis. Worship her with red coloured flowers and the sacrifice of pumpkin. Devotees can achieve name, fame and other comforts of life with her blessings. Skand Mata, the fifth Goddess is the commander in chief in the war against demons. This facet of Durga is worshipped on the fifth day of divine Navaratras. Mother of Skanda and Lord Kartikeya, she is the aspect of bravery and possesses great strength to fight in the battle against demons. It is believed that even the fool becomes an ocean of knowledge by praying Maa Skanda Mata. The sixth manifestation, Katyayani is regarded as the daughter of sage Katyayan. She is the warrior of Goddesses and the fiercest facet of Shakti. Taking recourse to mantras and yantras dedicated to the Goddess are a sure way to attain her love and blessings.
Kaalaratri is the seventh form of Goddess worshipped on seventh day of Navratras to obtain her enormous grace. Maa destroys agony of awry influence from life of mankind. She bestows her devotees with power, position, and eminent status on earth. She protects her devotees against evil influence of demons and wrong people. Devi Kaalaratri has three round eyes and scattered long black hair. She wears a bead that gleams like fire of electronic power. She is shown carrying a sword and the deadly iron hook in her left hands. Night-blooming jasmine also called ‘Raat Ki Rani’ in Hindi is the favourite flower of Devi kaalaratri. Regarded as the eighth aspect of Durga’s nine forms, she is worshipped on the eighth day of Navratri festival. The skin of Goddess is white in colour depicting extreme purity with sparkle. Named as Maha Gauri, she fights all evil of the past, present and future. She helps prolong the life span of the spouse, helps those seeking partners, helps imbibe good qualities in chosen life partners and keeps enemies and evil presences at bay. The Goddess has the innocence of a child and adorns a white and green attire. She has four hands, and three sets of eyes. She holds Trishul in one of her hands and a drum in other. She rides on a graceful bull. Offer custard apple in her divine feet along with a lighted lamp in the morning and by dusk eat this custard apple as Prasad. Maa loves jasmine flowers and clothes as well. The ninth day of Navratras is dedicated to Maa Siddhidatri. The Goddess sits on Lotus flower and rides on the lion. She has four hands and holds a gada in the lower right hand, a chakra in the upper right hand, a lotus flower in the lower left hand and a shankha in the upper left hand. Maa grants her devotees all sorts of achievements and occult powers. She also grants her worshippers six different siddhis which she possesses. On maha Navami, little girls up to 12 years of age are fed sacred Prasad which consists of halwa, poori, chana, fruits and coconut. The favourite colour of Maa in this form is purple. So don’t forget to wear purple on this day.
Participate in Navratara Vrat-Pooja to clear your karma and receive the blessings of Maa Aadi-Shakti. Fill your heart with renewed happiness. The festival holds a prominent place in Hindu mythology and inspires devotees especially female worshippers to face challenges and perceive the inherent strength within. The glory and power of these nine pious nights are infinite.
Offer your dedication and reverence to the Goddess Shakti this Navratri for new fruitful beginnings- Jai Mata Di