Explore details about Navdurga - each of the nine divine forms of Goddess Durga that are worshipped during Navratri festival.
Navratri Navadurga - Navadurga could be defined as the nine forms or manifestations of Goddess Durga, worshipped specifically during Navaratri and Durga Puja. They are generally considered a single divinity among the Hindus or the Shaivism and Shaktism sects. The nine forms are the nine phases Goddess Durga went through while fighting a nine-day long war with Mahishasura. On the tenth day, she finally defeated the demon-king, hence it is celebrated as Vijayadashami.
Navaratri is held either in early October or in late September. Each night, devout individuals honour Durga and her various appellations. They believe that worshipping Durga with passion, sincerity, and earnestness will fill their lives with rejuvenated happiness. During the festival, nine unmarried girls, aged nine years or below, are fed as they are perceived as incarnations of the nine goddesses.
To show respect to Navadurga, people fast, which detoxifies and renews their bodies. It is also necessary to eliminate negative emotions and feelings. Your nervous system is reinforced if you agree to perform a particular meditation every night of Navaratri. Revitalizing minds and nerves makes bodies capable of getting rid of diseases and succeeding in life. Navaratri and celebrations alike motivate us to contribute to the society as we tend to enjoy the fruits of the actions performed by the society earlier. Prayers fill us with substantial amounts of positive energy so we can lead a contented life for an eternity.
The following write-up specifies the 9 divine forms of Maa Durga in detail.
Shailaputri is the first avatar of Goddess Durga. Parvati, Bhavani, and Hemavati are few of her other names. Shailaputri means ‘daughter of mountains’ and the goddess is the daughter of the king of Himalayas, Hemavana. She is the purest personification of Durga and Mother Nature.
Shailaputri is depicted holding a lotus blossom and a trident, riding a bull, Nandi. The trident represents the present, past, and future, and the lotus stands for devotion and transparency. She has two hands and a crescent moon on the forehead.
Brahmacharini is worshipped on the second day. Her name means – ‘one who practices profound austerity’. She has divine grace and immense powers. Hindus believe worshipping Brahmacharini can bring forth prosperity, peace, and happiness. She is the only way to attain emancipation or Moksha.
Goddess Durga was born to Daksha Prajapati as Sati. The unmarried form of Sati is worshipped as Brahmacharini. Brahmacharini holds a water utensil and a rosary in her hands. The former symbolises prayers while the latter depicts marital bliss. Her favourite flower is chrysanthemum and color is white.
The third form of Navadurga is Chandraghanta. She represents tranquillity, peace, and affluence. The goddess’s name can be divided into two parts - Chandra meaning half moon and Ghanta meaning bell. Chandraghanta bears a close resemblance to Maa Durga. She rides a lion, has ten limbs, each limb holds a weapon, and three eyes.
With a golden complexion, the goddess is ready to fight evil no matter what direction it comes from. People with several enemies and obstacles worship Chandraghanta so they can free themselves. Chandraghanta is always in a warring posture, eager to ruin the foes of the devotees. In case a devotee smells divine fragrance and hears varied sounds, he/she is believed to be blessed by Mother.
Kushmanda is the fourth manifestation of Maa Durga. Her name means - ‘universe’s creator’. She is noted for bringing light to dark cosmos. Like other different forms of Maa Durga, Kushmanda has several limbs, ten or eight, in which she clutches weapons, a rosary, glitter, and many holy objects. She rides a lioness that depicts courage and strength.
Kushmanda’s appearance exudes power - the power she utilizes to kill and suppress the wicked. If you worship Maa Kushmanda, you will successfully open the doors to glory, respect, and fame.
Skandamata is mother of Lord Kartikeya or Skanda. She is worshipped on Navaratri’s fifth day. Skandamata has a divine and pure nature, hence, she is seated on the lotus. She has three eyes and four arms. She holds her infant Kartikeya in one of her right arms. If you pray to Skandamata selflessly, you will surely be able to achieve your dreams.
Katyayani is worshipped on the sixth day. She looks fearsome, with wild hair and holding weapons in eighteen arms. The goddess was born in a fit of anger and divine rage, thus, she emits a light that neither evil forces nor darkness can hide. Regardless of her appearance, according to the Hindus, Katyayani can provide the devotees with a sense of peace and calm. She rides a lion and is ready to eliminate the evil at all times.
A girl who has been facing difficulties in getting married can pray to Katyayani Maa for a smooth conjugal life. She makes sure all married lives are peaceful and happy. Worshipping the goddess can also eradicate the negative impacts the planets in your horoscope have been inflicting.
Also known as Shubhamkari, Kalaratri has an extremely fearsome appearance. She has a dark complexion, three eyes, four arms, and dishevelled hair. She releases flames from her mouth and lighting comes out from her necklace. Like Goddess Kali, Kalaratri aims to destroy the evil and protect her devotees. She holds a dagger and a spiked club in her left hands. She uses these weapons to get rid of the negative forces. Her right hands provide blessings to the faithful.
Chanting the Kalaratri mantra can remove unnecessary fears from your heart and make you self-confident and brave. Occult practitioners and yogis use this mantra to gain mystic powers.
Mahagauri means ‘excessively white’. The goddess has an illuminating beauty that radiates from every part of her body. She is worshipped on Navaratri’s eighth day. According to the Hindus, worshipping Mahagauri will wash away all their present, past, and future sins, ensuring inner peace.
Mahagauri has four limbs, wears a white attire, and rides a bull. She holds a tambourine and a trident in two of her hands. With the rest, she grants blessings to the devotees. Mahagauri symbolizes endurance and her puja is conduced during the Ashwin Shukla Ashtami.
Siddhidatri is the last manifestation of Maa Durga, and she is worshipped on the final or ninth night of Navaratri. Her name means – ‘provider of supernatural powers’. As per the Hindu mythology, she gives blessings to all devotees and deities. Siddhidatri grants insight and wisdom to people who worships her with enough affection and reverence. She can do the same for gods and goddesses who appeal to her.
Siddhidatri rides a lion and has four limbs. She carries a spinning disc, also known as Sudarshan Chakra, a trident, a lotus, and a conch shell. The conch or shankha stands for longevity while the Chakra represents timelessness.
According to the Hindu scriptures and traditions, Navadurga has other forms too. They are listed in Agni Purana as Rudrachanda, Prachanda, Chandogra, Chandanayika, Chanda, Chandavati, Chandarupa, Atichandika, and Ugrachanda. Nine forms of Goddess Raja Rajeshwari are also worshipped during Navaratri as Navadurga at Kanaka Temple in Vijayawada.