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Navdurga: Nine forms of Energy

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During Navratri the mother goddess is said to appear in 9 forms, and each one is worshipped for a day. These nine forms signify various traits that the goddess influences. The first among these nine forms is Goddess Shailputri…  

Goddess Shailaputree

Navaratri Tithi: Pratipada, Day – 1, Thursday-25.9.2014

She is the first one among the nine roopa’s of Goddess Durga. "Shail" in Sanskrit means Mountain and "Putri" means daughter. Thus Shailputri means daughter of Mountain. She is known as such because she has incarnated from Himalaya the Emperor of mountains. Mounting a bullock, the mother has a lance in her right hand and the lotus flower in the left. 

Goddess Parvati, the daughter of the King of the Mountains Himalava, is called as 'Shailputri". In her previous birth she took birth in the house of Dakhsa, the Prajapati, as his daughter. She was also known as Sati. Once Prajapati Daksa organized a very big sacrificial ceremony in which he invited all gods to receive their sacrificial share. Lord Shiva was the only exception.

Married to lord Shiva, when Sati came to know about the festivity arranged by her father, she expressed her desire to attend the yagna performed by her father to Lord Shiva and solicited his permission. Lord Shiva replied that as Daksha has not invited us hence it shall not be proper for you to go there.' Sati was not convinced with the piece of advice given by the Lord. The Lord saw that Sati was very keen to go there, so he gave permission. 

On reaching her father’s place, Sati found no affection in any eyes except her mother. She was greatly pained with the insulting attitude of her own relatives. The entire atmosphere was surcharged with a sense of disrespect towards Lord Shiva. Daksha passed certain humiliating remarks intended for Lord Shiva. She could not bear the insult of her spouse. Instantly, she jumped into the Yagna fire and sacrificed herself. The news of her demise reached Lord Shiva and he decided to teach a good lesson to Daksha. The entire sacrificial canopy along with all paraphernalia was completely destroyed by his lieutenants.

In her next birth, Sati incarnated her as Parvati the daughter of Himalaya and among Nava Durgas she has been referred to as Sailaputri who was again known as Haimavati. The first and the most prominent among Nava Durgas, Sailaputri is of immense importance and her glories are endless. On the first day of Navratra, it is she who is worshipped. The seeker should keep his or her mind concentrated on Muladhara. This is the starting point of their spiritual discipline.
Mantra to be chanted on this day: Om Shailaputraye Namah.

Offerings made to the goddess on this day include Banana & Ghee made of cow milk. 

“Sree Durga Saptashati” Patha to be recited: Adhyay - 1 

Color for the day is Yellow. 

Goddess Brahmcharini

Navaratri Tithi : Dwitya, Day – 2, Friday- 26.9.2014

The second Durga Shakti roop is of Goddess Brahamcharini. Brahmacharini originated from the word “Brahma” that is who observes penance (tapa) and good conduct. Thus she is the one who practices penance. It is said - Veda, Tattva and Tapa are synonyms for Brahma. The idol of this Goddess is very gorgeous. One hand holds a "Kamandal" or water pot, and the other holds a rosary. She personifies love and loyalty. Bhramcharini is the store house of knowledge and wisdom. Rudraksha beads are her most adored ornaments!

The form of Brahmacharini is tremendously effulgent and extremely majestic. In her previous birth when she incarnated as the daughter of Himalaya, then influenced by the instructions of Narada, she practiced terrible penances in order to obtain Lord Shiva as her divine consort. Due to her unearthly penances she was termed as Brahmacharini. After the rigorous penance for several thousand years her body became extremely lean and thin. She was reduced to skeleton. Watching her pitiable condition, mother Mena was very much pained. In order to divert her attention from the rigorous penance she exclaimed - 'U' 'Ma' meaning 'O! No, no, not'. Since then Goddess Brahmacharini was named Uma. This happened in her previous incarnation itself.

Brahmachaini Durga is capable of providing unending benefits. By worshipping her one gets success and victory. On the second day, the mind of the striver moving upward is established in Swadhisthana Chakra. The worshiper, who makes his mind stay in this Chakra, gets the devotion and blessings of the Goddess.
Mantra to be chanted on this day: Om Brahmachaarinnya Namah 

Offering made to goddess on this day includes traditional unsalted Butter and Sugar. 

“Sree Durga Saptashati” Patha to be recited: Adhyay – 2 and 3

Color for the day is Green. 

Goddess Chandraghanta

Navaratri Tithi : Tritya, Day – 3, Saturday- 27.09.2014

Third among the Shakti Roopas is Goddess Chandraghanta. Chandraghanta originated from the word Chandra (Moon) and Ghanta (Bell). She has crescent moon on her forehead and her roaring voice is like a tumultuous sound of a bell that makes the atrocious demons tremble. This Goddess gives extreme peace and provides ultimate good. She is full of charm and bright. She is Golden in color, possesses ten hands and three eyes. Eight of her hands display weapons while the remaining two gestures bestowing boon and stopping harm. This Durga Shakti rides a tiger.

By the blessings of Goddess Chandraghanta, all the sins of the worshiper are burnt and obstacles are removed. Her worship is instantly fruitful. A very good quality that develops in those who worship her is bravery and fearlessness accompanied by serenity and humility. Wherever the devotees of mother Chandraghanta go, they disperse peace and blessings among the people. By worshipping her one can get rid of all worldly sorrows, and attain the supreme goal spontaneously

During Navaratras, the third day is of great importance. On this day, the mind of the worshiper enters Manipura Chakra. At this stage, by the grace of mother Chandraghanta, the seekers become capable of seeing unearthly and divine things. They smell the divine fragrance and become capable of hearing many types of divine sounds. However, on this day and in this stage of discipline, the striver is required to be most careful.

Mantra to be chanted on this day: Om Chandraghantaaye Namah 

Offerings to be made on this day must include Kheer & Milk. 

“Sree Durga Saptashati” Patha to be recited: Adhyay – 4

Color for the day is Gray. 

Goddess Kooshmanda

Navaratri Tithi : Chaturthi, Day – 4, Sunday– 28.9.2014

The fourth among Shakti Roopas is goddess Kushmanda. Kushmanda (Ku+Usma+Anda) has been originated from the world 'Ku' means 'a little'; 'Usma' is warmth, heat or energy and 'Anda' means the cosmic egg or universe. She resides in the universe, in the inner portion of Surya loka and she emanates a solar aura. It is believed than when there was only darkness prevalent all around, Goddess Kusmanda created the universe with her Sankalpa as a mental projection. Religious scriptures state that Primodial Shakti created this universe as an ‘Anda’ i.e. egg when she just emitted a splendid laughter. The abode of Kushmanda is Bhimaparvat 

Also called as Ashta-bhujadhari, Goddess Kushmanda has eight arms. In her seven hands, she holds Kamandalu, bow, arrow, lotus, a jar of nectar, discus and mace, respectively. In her eighth hand there is rosary capable of giving eight Siddhis and nine Nidhis. She rides on a lion. Kusmanda in Sanskrit stands for pumpkin, which she likes most as a sacrificial offer. 

On the fourth day of Navratra, the mind of the worshiper enters and stays in Anahata Chakra. As a result of her worship, the devotees get rid of all ailments and sorrows and are blessed with a long life span, fame, strength and health.

Mantra to be recited on this day: Om Kooshmandaaye Namah 

Offerings to be made on this day must include traditional Sugar & Malpua. 

“Sree Durga Saptashati” Patha to be recited: Adhyay – 5, 6, 7 and 8.

Color for the day is Orange. 

Goddess Skandmata

Navaratri Tithi : Panchmi, Day – 5, Monday, 29.9.2014

The fifth among the Shakti Roopas is Goddess Skandmata. Skandmata is also called Parvati, Maheshwari and Gauri. Being the mother of Skanda she is Skandamata. Riding a lion, she holds her son Skanda in her lap. She displays three eyes and four hands - two hands holds lotus while the other two hand display defending and granting mudras, respectively. It is said that by pleasing Skandmata, even a fool becomes a master of knowledge.

As per the legend, once upon a time demon Tarakasur did extreme penance to please Brahma. As a boon, Tarakasur asked for death by the hands of Lord Shiva’s Son. The boon was granted. As lord Shiva was reluctant to get married Tarkasur thought that he would never die. Tarkasur considered himself invincible and started tormenting the world. Later on, appeased by the persistent requests from Devtas, Lord Shiva got married to Parvati. Kartikeya or Skandkumar was born to Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, and he later killed Tarkasur. Skanda or Kartikeya, who was chosen by gods as senapati in a war against demons, is also called Devsenapati.

On this day of Navratra, the seeker’s mind reaches Visuddha Chakra and stays therein. At this stage, the mind of the seeker is extremely calm. By worshipping the goddess in the form of Skandamata, the devotee gets all his desires fulfilled. It opens the path of salvation to him. Being the presiding deity of sun god, she bestows an uncommon luster and radiance on her devotee.

Mantra to be recited on this day: Om Skandmaatraaye Namah
 
Offerings to be made on this day includes Banana and Cow’s milk 

“Sree Durga Saptashati” Patha to be recited: Adhyay – 9 and 10 

Color for the day is White. 

Goddess Katyaini

Navaratri Tithi: Shasthi, Day – 6, Tuesday, 30.09.2014

The sixth among the Shakti Roopas is Goddess Katyaini. As per the legends, once upon a time there was a sage named Kata. His son was Katya. In his lineage Katyayana became a sage of worldwide repute. He practiced penance for several years to propitiate mother Goddess. At the time of boon he requested Mother Goddess to take birth as his daughter. The goddess was pleased to accede to his request.

After sometime when high-handedness of Mahishasura, the demon, crossed every limit, the trinity of Gods - Brahma, Visnu and Shiva, got infuriated and they created a goddess by apportioning some part of their splendor, in order to destroy the demon. The sage Katyayana had the first privilege to worship her, so she was called Katyayani.

She accepted the worship of Katyayana for three days and then killed the demon Mahisasur. She is an established presiding deity of Braja area. Her form is extremely divine and radiant. Her complexion is golden, bright and beaming. She has 4 arms. Her upper right hand is in a pose of allaying all fears and the lower one is in a pose of granting boon. In her upper left hand, she holds a sword and a lotus flower adorns her lower left hand. Her vehicle is lion.

On the sixth day of Navratra, the mind of the worshiper stays in Ajna Chakra. If the worshiper completely surrenders himself to the goddess, he or she is bestowed boons by mother Katyayani. All the four objects - Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksa are in easy reach of a Sadhaka who worships mother Katyayani with devotion and faith. 
Mantra to be recited on this day: Om Kaatyaayannye Namah 

Offerings to be made on this day includes Kheer and Honey 

“Sree Durga Saptashati” Patha to be recited: Adhyay – 11 

Color for the day is Red. 

Goddess Kaalratri

Navaratri Tithi : Saptami, Day – 7, Wednesday, 1.10.2014

The seventh among the Shakti Roopas is Goddess Kaalratri. The destroyer of darkness and ignorance, Kaalratri is the enemy of darkness. Goddess Kaalratri is extremely frightening to look at but she is always auspicious in effect. This is why she is otherwise known as Subhankari (doing well). 

She has dark skin color with disheveled hair. A necklace flashing like lightning adorns her neck. She has three eyes, which are circular in the form like cosmic egg, which always eject rays. Terrible flames appear when she inhales or exhales air through her nostrils. Her vehicle is a donkey. Her raised right hand always seems to grant boons to all and sundry. Her right lower hand is in the pose of allaying fears. Her left upper hand holds a thorn-like weapon made of iron and in the lower left hand there is a dagger. 

Her worshipper does not fear fire, water, wild beings, enemy or night. Goddess Kaladatri destroys the Danava, Daitya, Raksasa, Bhuta, Preta and all other evil spirits.
On the seventh day of Navratra, the mind of the worshiper reaches Sahasrara Chakra. For such a striver, the door of all Siddhis of the universe start opening. On this day, all the sins and obstacles in the way of worshipers are completely destroyed. 
Mantra to be chanted: Om Kaalraatrayee Namah 

Offerings to be made must include Milk & Molasses

“Sree Durga Saptashati” Patha to be recited: Adhyay – 12 and 13 

Color for the day is Royal Blue. 

Goddess Mahagauri

Navaratri Tithi: Ashtami, Day – 8, Thursday, 2.10.2014

The eighth among the Shakti Roopas is Goddess Mahagauri. Her complexion is like that of a conch, moon or Jasmine. She always remains eight years old. With four arms and the fairest complexion of all the Durgas Shaktis, Mahagauri radiates peace and compassion. Her upper-right hand is in the pose of allaying fear and lower-right hand holds a trident. The upper-left hand holds a Damaru and the lower one is in the pose of granting boons. Dressed in a white or green sari, she holds a drum and a trident and is often depicted riding a bull. 

As per legends, Goddess Parvati practiced severest possible penance with a desire to have Lord Shiva as her divine consort. Due to the severe penances her body became black. Lord Shiva was so pleased by her penance that he washed her body with the holy water of Ganga. As a result, her complexion transformed. Since then she is known as Mahagauri. 

Those who worship her, was away all their sins. The devotee of Mahagauri gets purified in all aspects. She channels the thought waves of the devotees towards the path of the virtue and destroys Asat.

Mantra to be recited: Om Mahaagaurya Namah 

Offerings to be made must include Banana and Coconut 

“Sree Durga Saptashati” Pathato be recited: 1-13 Adhyay 

Color for the day is Pink. 

Goddess Siddhidatri 

Navaratri Tithi : Navami, Day – 9, Thursday , 2.10.2014

The ninth among the Shakti Roopas is Goddess Siddhidatri. According to Markandaya Puran, there are eight Siddhis - Anima, Mahima, Garima, Laghima, Prapti, Prakamya, Iishitva and Vashitva. It is said in "Devipuran" that the Supreme God Shiva got all these Siddhis by worshipping Maha Shakti. With her gratitude, half body of Shiva merged with the Goddess and he got his name "Ardhanarishvar". Ardhanarishwar swaroop is Shiva+Shakti. 

Goddess Siddhidatri is four-armed. Her vehicle is lion. She sits on a lotus flower and holds a Chakra in her lower right hand and a mace in the upper. In the lower left hand there is a conch and in her upper left hand a lotus flower.

On the ninth day of Navratra, if a seeker worships the goddess with complete faith, he acquires all the Siddhis. There remains nothing unattainable in the universe. Goddess Siddhidatri is the grantor of 26 different wishes to Her devotees.

After the completion of Siddhidatri's worship the devotees spiritually moves in the divine abode of the Devi and is always blessed by her forever.

Mantra to be recited on this day: Om Siddhidaatrye Namah

Offerings to be made on this day includes Butter and Dhaan ka Lawa (Khoi) 

“Sree Durga Saptashati” Patha to be recited: 1-13 Adhyay 

Color for the day is Pink. 
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