In the Hindu mythology Durga is the Mother Goddess and is known by a variety of names – including Devi, Shakti, Adi Parashakti and Parvati. The Navdurgas are the different forms of Devi.
The Navdurgas are the manifestations of the Mother recognized by the governing planet, iconography(in the form of a mount, number of hands and items held), mantra for invocation (usually repeated 108 times at each sitting during the period of Navratri), dedicated day of Navratri worship and respective prayers (pratharna, stuti, dyan):
Devi Shailaputri: It is believed that after self-immolation in her form as Sati, the Mother Goddess took birth as the daughter of Lord Himalaya. In Sanskrit, Shail means “the mountain”, due to which this form is known as Shailputri, the daughter of the mountain.
Day of worship: 1st day of Navratri
Governing planet: Moon
Mantra: Om Devi Shailaputryai Namahॐदेवीशैलपुत्र्यैनम
Iconography: She rides a bull, carrying a Trishul (trident) in her right hand and a lotus flower in her left hand.
Devi Brahmacharini : After the Kushmanda form, the Mother Goddess took birth at the home of Daksha Prajapati, as his daughter, Sati, who was born to marry Shiva. This unmarried form of the Mother Goddess is worshipped is called Devi Brahmacharini.
Day of worship: 2nd day of Navratri
Governing planet: Mars
Mantra: Om Devi Brahmacharinyai Namah ॐदेवीब्रह्मचारिण्यैनम
Iconography: Walks on bare feet, carrying a japa mala in her right hand and a kamandalu in her left hand.
Devi Chandraghanta: Is the married form of the Mother Goddess following on from Devi Shailputri and Mahagauri. After getting married to Shiva, Goddess Mahagauri started adorning her forehead with a half-moon(Chandra) shaped like a bell(Ghanta) due to which, she became known as Goddess Chandraghanta.
Day of worship: 3rd day of Navratri
Governing planet: Venus
Mantra: Om Devi Chandraghantayai Namah ॐदेवीचन्द्रघण्टायैनम
Iconography: Goddess Chandraghanta mounts the tigress. She wears the semi-circular moon(Chandra) on her forehead. The half-moon on her forehead looks like the bell (Ghanta) and hence, her name. She is depicted with ten hands. Goddess Chandraghanta carries Trishul, Gada, sword and kamandalu in her four left hands and keeps the fifth left hand in Varadamudra. She carries a lotus flower, arrow, Dhanush and Japa Mala in her four right hands and keeps the fifth right hand in Abhaya Mudra.
Special powers: This form of the Mother Goddess is ready for war with all her weapons, to protect the peace and welfare of her devotees.It is believed that the sound of the moon-bell on her forehead drives all types of spirits away from her devotees.
(to be continued tomorrow)
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