Navratri Starts! What are the 9 Avatars of Maa Durga

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New Delhi: Navratri, meaning “nine nights “, is one of the most popular and widely celebrated Hindu festivals in India. During the Navratri festival 9 incarnations of Goddess Durga, known as Navdurga, are worshipped. Each night, one form of Goddess Durga is worshipped. This year, Navratri celebrations will begin today on Monday, September 26 and will end on October 4. On this auspicious occasion, here’s a look at nine different forms of the Goddess Durga:

SHAILAPUTRI

On the first day, Maa Shailputri is worshipped. She is also known as Hemavati and Parvati. According to mythology, the name Shailputri is derived from two words— Shaila in Hindi means mountain and Putri means daughter. She is known as the daughter of Mountain King Himalaya. She rides a bull and holds a trident and a lotus flower in her two hands. She is considered as the previous form of Goddess Parvati. She is believed to be the provider of fortune and prosperity.

BRAHMACHARINI

The second day of Navratri is dedicated to Goddess Brahmacharini. Goddess Brahmacharini pursued severe penance to get Lord Shiva as her husband. Her unmarried form is worshipped as Goddess Brahmacharini. She carries Japa Mala (string of beads) in one hand and a Kamandal in another hand. She is barefoot and adorns a white cloth. White is considered as her favourite colour and to please Maa Brahmacharini devotees offer her white flowers and clothes.

CHANDRAGHANTA

Goddess Chandraghanta is worshipped on day three of Navratri. She is the married form of Goddess Parvati. After her marriage to Lord Shiva, she started adorning her forehead with half Chandra (Moon) and thus came to be known as Goddess Chandraghanta. Goddess Chandraghanta’s mount is a tigress. She has eight hands and carries chakra, mace, japa mala, kalasa (pot), lotus flower, bow, an arrow and kamandal in her hands. She is known for fighting against all evil forces in the universe.

KUSHMANDA

The fourth day of Navratri is dedicated to Devi Kushmanda. She is known as the creator of the universe and controls all energy for new creations. Her mount is a lioness. She is known as Aadi Mata, the supreme mother behind the creation of this universe. She bestows her devotees with glory, fame and prosperity.

SKANDMATA

Goddess Skandamata is worshipped on the fifth day of Navratri. Goddess Skandmata is a four-armed deity, who carries a lotus in two of her arms. She holds little Skanda or Kartikay on her lap with one of her right hands and the other hand is in Abhaya Mudra that deflects all fears and everything evil. She is also known as Goddess Padmasana as she is seated on a lotus. The name is derived from his son Kartikeya, who is also known as Skanda. Skandamata in Sanskrit means the mother of Skanda, who is the son of Lord Shiva and the warrior god.

KATYAYANI

On the sixth day, Goddess Katyayani is worshipped. She took the form of Katyayani to destroy the demon, Mahisasura. She rides on the lion and has ten hands. She is called Katyayani as she is the daughter of Sage Katyaayan. According to mythology, Sage Katyaayan worshiped Goddess Durga and pleased with the devotion of the sage Maa Durga agreed to take birth as his daughter. Maa Katyayani blesses her devotees to get rid of all their sins and attain material wellbeing.

KAALRATRI

On Saptami or the seventh day, the Kaalratri form of Goddess Durga is worshipped. It is believed that she sacrificed her golden skin color to kill demons. Kaalratri is the most ferocious form of Goddess Durga. She is depicted with a dark complexion and has four arms. Her right hands are in Abhaya and Varada Mudra and she carries a sword and a hook in her left hands.

MAHAGAURI

The eighth day is dedicated to Goddess Mahagauri. The name signifies one who is extremely bright or bright like the moon. She rides a white bull. She adorns white clothes only and is also known as Shwetambardhara. She blesses her devotees with wealth and wellbeing. She also helps her devotees to attain salvation.

SIDDHIDATRI

On the final day, Navmi tithi, Goddess Siddhidhatri is worshipped. Goddess Siddhidatri sits on a lotus flower and her mount is a lion. She is depicted with four hands carrying a Gada in one right hand, Chakra in the other right hand, a lotus flower in the one left hand, and Shankh in the other left hand. Goddess Siddhidatri is worshipped by devotees for receiving Siddhi and Nidhi, wisdom and wealth.

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