Sadhna

Navdurga: 9 Manifestations of Adi-Shakti

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Navdurga: 9 Manifestations of Adi-Shakti

The names of the Navdurga are mentioned in the Devi kavach stotra of Durga Saptashati. There are innumerable forms of the Supreme Goddess or the feminine energy of the divine but these nine forms are considered the principle incarnations or forms of Adi-shakti (Durga). These Nine Goddesses are worshipped during Navratri. It is a way of acknowledging the feminine aspect of this Universe which is the source of all the creation and complements the spiritual journey of attaining Siddhis (mystical powers).


1. Shailputri

Shailputri literally translating as Daughter of the Mountains is the first form of Navdurga. Shailputri is also known as Parvati and is considered another birth of Sati. In her previous birth she was born as the daughter of Prajapati Daksh. Unable to bear the insult of her husband by her father she discarded her body in the flame of the havan which was organized by her father. In the birth of Sati she is believed to manifested herself into 10 forms of mystic wisdom known as 10 Mahavidya. Devi Shailputri is also known as Bhavani and Hemvanti. Her worship starts with the Ghatsthapana on the first day of Navratri. Nandi serves her as her vehicle.

This day is governed by the planet Moon (Chandra). Chanting Oṃ Aim Hrim Klim Devī Śailaputryai Namaḥ ( ॐ ऐं ह्रीं क्लीं देवी शैलपुत्र्यै नमः) is considered auspicious on this day. It is the best day to read the 1st adhyay of Durga-Saptashati. Wearing orange color on this day and offering Hibiscus flower to the Goddess is considered auspicious.


2. Brahmacharini

Brahmacharini literally means someone who is engrossed in the Brahma (supreme reality). This is the unmarried form of Parvati. Parvati after doing penance made herself eligible of being Shiva’s wife. Worshipping this form of the Goddess on the second day of Navratri is considered auspicious as it inculcates the ability of penance and purity in a sadhak. Brahmacharini is the form of Goddess in which she walks bare-feet and holds japmala on the right hand and Kamandala on her left. She is seen in pure white saree with a serene aura as that of Goddess Saraswati.

Mars (Mangal) is the ruling planet of this day and chanting Oṃ Aim Hrim Klim Devī Brahmacāriṇyai Namaḥ ( ॐ ऐं ह्रीं क्लीं देवी ब्रह्मचारिण्यै नम: ) is considered auspicious on this day. One should read Adhyay 2 and 3 of Durga-Saptashati on this day. Wearing white color on this day and offering chrysanthemum flowers to the Goddess is considered auspicious.


3. Chandraghanta

Devi Chandraghanta is the third Goddess amongst the Navdurga which is worshiped on the third day of the Navratri. She is the married form of the Goddess. After her marriage Goddess Parvati adorned her forehead with a bell shaped symbol of moon which explains the name she is referred with- Chandraghanta- Meaning Moon Bell. She is a courageous Goddess with a Tiger as her vehicle. She is always ready to show her wrath on Demons but has a motherly heart for her devotees. She signifies tremendous capacity with her 10 hands where her 8 hands are occupied with 8 different things. She carries Trishul, Gada, sword and Kamandal in her four left hands and carries lotus flower, arrow, Dhanush and Japa Mala in her four right hands. She keeps her remaining left hand in Varamudra and her remaining right hand in Abhaymudra.

Venus (Shukra) is the governing planet of this day and chanting Oṃ Aim Hrim Klim Devī Candraghaṇṭāyai Namaḥ (ॐ ऐं ह्रीं क्लीं देवी चन्द्रघण्टायै नम:)is considered auspicious on this day. One should read Adhyay 2 and 3 of Durga-Saptashati on the third day of Navratri. Wearing red color on this day and offering lotus flowers to the Goddess is considered auspicious.


4. Kushmanda

Kushmanda literally means inside the womb of warmth. She is the fourth Goddess amongst the Navdurga. In her Siddhidatri form Goddess started living in the Sun. Her ability to bear the Sun and emanate the glow like that of the Sun gave her this name. Other opinions suggest that she likes the offering of White Pumpkin known as Kushmanda which gave her this name. She is alternatively known as Devi Ashtabhuja as she has 8 hands. She holds Lotus, Chakra, Kamandala, Dhanush, arrow, Gada, rosary and a Jar of Amrit in her eight hands. She is believed to bestow health, wealth and strength. She rides on a lion and is worshipped on the 4th day of Navratri.

The energy of Sun (Surya) is most prominent on this day. Chanting Oṃ Aim Hrim Klim Devī Kūṣmāṇḍāyai Namaḥ (ॐ ऐं ह्रीं क्लीं देवी कूष्माण्डायै नम: ) is considered auspicious on this day. One should read Adhyay 5,6,7 and 8 of Durga-Saptashati on this day. Wearing Royal Blue color on this day and offering Jasmine flower is considered auspicious.


5. Skandamata

Skandamata as the name suggests is the mother of Skanda. Skanda is the childhood form of Lord Kartikeya. Skandamata is the Mother form of the Goddess where she is seen carrying Skanda on her one hand and posing in abhaymudra with the other hand. She carries lotus flowers in other two hands making the total count of her hands as four. She is thus also known as Mata Chaturbhuji. She rides on a Lion. Worshiping Skandamata on the fifth day of Navratri allows the worshipper to acknowledge the contribution of motherhood in his/her spiritual growth.

Mercury (Budh) is the governing planet of this day. Chanting Oṃ Aim Hrim Klim Devī Skandamātāyai Namaḥ  ( ऐं ह्रीं क्लीं देवी स्कन्दमातायै नम:) is considered auspicious on this day. One should read Adhyay 9 and 10 of Durga-Saptashati on this day. Wearing yellow color and offering Yellow rose on this day is considered auspicious.


6. Katyayani

Katyayani is the sixth form amongst the Navdurga and is worshipped on the sixth night of Navratri. She is depicted as a slayer of Mahishasura. In Skanda purana it is mentioned that she is created out of the anger of Gods and Goddesses. She is also known by the name Ashapura. Communities worshipping Ashapura mata as their Kuldevi believe that the temple of Ashapura Mata at Kutch(Gujarat) is situated at the place where Mahishasura was killed by Katyayani mata. It is believed that the Goddess incarnated as the daughter of Sage Katyayana and thus was named Katyayani. She is depicted with four, eight, ten or eighteen hands. She rides on the Lion and is considered to be the first fierce form of Durga. This fierceness increases when we see the Kalratri form of the Goddess. She is the bestower of boons and it is believed that she was worshipped by Sita, Radha and Rukmini and pleased by their worship they were blessed with a good husband.

Jupiter (Guru/Brihaspati) is the planet that governs the energy of this day. Chanting Oṃ Aim Hrim Klim Devī Kātyāyanyai Namaḥ (ॐ ऐं ह्रीं क्लीं देवी कात्यायन्यै नम: ) is considered auspicious on this day. One should read Adhyay 11 of Durga-Saptashati on this day. Wearing green color and offering Marigold flowers is considered auspicious on this day.


7. Kalratri

Kalratri is the seventh Goddess amongst Navdurga and is considered the Goddess of Night. Worshipping her on the seventh day of Navratri allows the Sadhak to connect with the immense potential of feminine energy. She is fierce and rides on a donkey. She is depicted with a black complexion and four hands. A sword in the right hand and an iron sickle in the left makes her look fiercer. But her devotees being blessed with courage are eligible to be blessed by her other two hands which are in Varamudra and Abhaymudra.

Saturn (Shani) governs the energy of this day. Chanting Oṃ Aim Hrim Klim Devī Kālarātryai Namaḥ (ॐ ऐं ह्रीं क्लीं देवी कालरात्र्यै नम: ) is considered auspicious on this day. One should read Adhyay 12 and 13 of Durga-Saptashati on this day. Wearing Grey color and offering Krishnakamal flowers on this day is considered auspicious.


8. Mahagauri

Mahagauri has got her name because of her fair complexion. She is fairest of all Goddesses. She is thus known by the name Mahagauri. She is graceful and is considered to be the Goddess of Sanctity and Purity. Worshipping this 8th Navdurga on the 8th day of Navratri allows a Sadhak to be free from his /her sins which makes the sadhak eligible of siddhi (mystical powers) on the ninth day.

Rahu governs the energy of this day. Chanting Om Aim Hrim Klim Devi Mahagauryai Namah (ॐ ऐं ह्रीं क्लीं देवी महागौर्यै नम: ) is considered auspicious on this day. One should read Adhyay 1-13 of Durga-Saptashati on this day. It is suggested to perform havan of Navarna Mantra on this day. Wearing purple color and offering Mogra and Jasmine flowers on this day is considered auspicious.


9. Siddhidatri

Siddhidatri is the ultimate manifestation of feminine energy of the divine which makes the process of creation possible. It is believed that during the process of Creation Trideva (Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh) worshipped the formless feminine energy known as Adi-Parashakti. Thereafter to make the creation possible Adi-Parashakti manifested herself as Siddhidatri and allowed the expansion of the powers of Trideva to make the creation possible. It is believed that on the Ninth day of Navratri this form of Navdurga bestows siddhis to the sadhakas and guides them to ultimate truth of this Universe. She makes the Sadhaks realize that she is everything and everywhere.

Ketu governs the energy on this final day of Navratri. Om Aim Hrim Klim Devi Siddhidatryai Namah (ॐ ऐं ह्रीं क्लीं देवी सिद्धिदात्र्यै नम: ) is considered auspicious on this day. One should read Adhyay 1 to 13 of Durga-Saptashati on this day. Wearing Peacock Green color and offering Champa flowers to the Goddess on this day is considered auspicious.

Appendices and notes.

  1. The shlok cited below is Devi kavach stotra of Durga Saptashati which mentions the names of Navdurga.

       प्रथमं शैलपुत्री च द्वितीयं ब्रह्मचारिणी।
       तृतीयं चन्द्रघण्टेति कूष्माण्डेति चतुर्थकम्।।
       पंचमं स्कन्दमातेति षष्ठं कात्यायनीति च।
       सप्तमं कालरात्रीति महागौरीति चाष्टमम्।।
       नवमं सिद्धिदात्री च नवदुर्गा: प्रकीर्तिता:।
       उक्तान्येतानि नामानि ब्रह्मणैव महात्मना:।।

2. Instead of chanting separate mantra everyday one can chant Navarna            Mantra or Devi Beejakshar Mantra to worship all the form of Goddesses            collectively.

        Navarna Mantra: Om Aim Hrim Klim Chamundaye Viche

ॐ ऐं ह्रीं क्लीं चामुण्डायै विच्चे

        Devi Beejakshar Mantra: Om Aim Hrim Shrim Klim Namah

ॐ ऐं ह्रीं श्रीं क्लीं नम:

  1. Navratri is not only the best time for worshipping Navdurga but also the best time to worship 10 Mahavidya, Kuldevi or any other form of the Goddess.

Hope this Navratri brings you the blessings of Navdurga.

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