Mother Parvati or Durga is worshipped in nine forms. These nine forms are the different manifestations of Durga for a particular purpose. These manifestations are collectively called as Nava Durga. Shailputri is the first of these Nava Durga forms.
Who is Shailputri Mata
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The term ‘Shailputri’ means the daughter (putri) of the mountain (shaila). Goddess Durga is praised with this name Shailputri, since she was born in the family of the King of Mountains known as Himavan or Himalaya.
Description of Shailputri Mata
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Shailputri Mata wears a crescent moon on her forehead. She has two hands holding a lotus in the left hand and a trident in the right hand. She is mounted on a Nandi or bull. The place where Shailputri Mata resides in the human body is said to be the Mooladhara Chakra or the lowest energy disc located at the root of the spinal cord. Realizing her divine energy is the first step to move towards spiritual enlightenment.
The previous incarnation of Shailputri Mata
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In her earlier incarnation, she was Sati, the daughter of Daksha, the arrogant one who denounced Lord Shiva due to his ego. Once he performed a huge Yajna and Sati wanted to attend the event. Lord Shiva stopped her saying she must not visit her home that did not respect her husband. However, Sati said it was her duty to demand the respect that was not given to her husband and therefore visited his father’s home during the Yajna only to face a severe insult. She was not willing to come back to Shiva after such a humiliation and therefore gave up her life in the Yajna fire. In her next incarnation, sati was born as the daughter of Himavan getting the name Shailputri Mata.
Shailaputri Mata emerges as the supreme power
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Shailputri Mata, the daughter of the mountain king observed a severe penance for thousands of years and realized her origin as the consort of Shiva and her true nature as the supreme energy principle. Carrying the trident and lotus, she rode on her vehicle Nandi and undertook a massive campaign in all the three worlds. She subdued the egoistic gods and made them understand that she is the supreme power from which they have all got their energies. It is said Shailputri Mata is the embodiment of the combined powers of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. All the gods submitted in front of her and worship her with due reverence and devotion. The other names of Shailputri are Hemavati, Parvati and Bhavani besides many others.
The spiritual significance of Shailputri Mata
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The form of Shailputri Mata is worshipped on the first day of the Navratri. Shailputri Mata rules over the Mooladhara chakra which is the first chakra. As she rode on the Nandi to go on the voyage in search of her Lord Shiva, every individual soul begins its spiritual journey in the Mooladhara chakra. When prayed with devotion and dedication, Shailputri Mata assists the soul in its spiritual journey till it attains salvation. Therefore the worship of Shailputri Mata is highly significant and beneficial.