Durga is a Goddess of strength and justice who brings peace, calm, compassion and order to the chaos in all situations. She looks completely serene and composed dressed in a red silk saree, carrying various weapons and tools in her eight to eighteen arms and sitting on a tiger. Durga appears in many of her manifestations. She takes various divine forms to engage in each battle and face whatever situation appears.
Durga’s famous festival called Navaratri is celebrated by Hindus all over the world to invoke and propitiate Devi’s various forms. Each day is dedicated to one form of the Goddess and all rituals are performed to pray that form of Maa Shakti in a special way. Devotees bring offerings of flowers and foods which are favourite to every form of Shakti on a particular day. These include:
On the first day of Navaratri, fast is observed for Goddess Shailaputri. Hibiscus flower and pure ghee are offered to the deity in her feet and the deity blesses her devotees with a disease-free life.
Goddess Brahmacharini is worshipped on the second day. She blesses her devotees with purity and piousness if she is offered chrysanthemums or shevanti flowers. She loves sugar in food. The Goddess also blesses you with long life.
The third day is dedicated to Chandraghanta. Worshipping this form of the goddess with lotus flower and milk or milk sweets may help you get rid from all sufferings and worldly problems.
Kushmanda Devi loves jasmine flowers. Her favourite food is maal pua. These two offerings can please her and when she is pleased, she bestows her devotees – power, strength and intellect.
On the fifth day, Skandamata is worshipped with yellow rose flowers. Banana is her favourite bhog. Offer these things to the goddess to get liberated from all the problems in your life and keep yourself physically fit.
Marigold is the favourite flower of Goddess Katyayani. On the sixth day of Navaratri, devotees worship this form of Nava Durga with jasmine flowers and offer her honey as bhog. The goddess blesses her devotees with good health, wealth and prosperity.
Kaalratri is the seventh incarnation. Offering her pass flora or Krishna kamal flower and jaggery may make you fearless, tension-free and calm.
On the eighth day, Mahagauri is worshipped by offering her Arabian Jasmine or mogra flowers and coconut. The goddess may bless you with peace and tranquillity. She also fulfills the wishes of childless couples with child.
Siddhidatri Devi loves to be worshipped by champa flowers. Sesame seeds are offered to please her. The goddess may bless you with power and energy. Also, she may remove the unpleasant things and happenings from your life.
It is said that Durga has a stronger presence at this time. Various forms of Durga have the specific power and energy to confront various demon she faces. So she is worshipped in all her nine forms ritualistically. She is ultimately the great Shakti behind it all.