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The Nine Forms of Goddess Durga

Ma Shailputri_01
Day 1: Devi Shailputri

Salutations to the Devi, who is the daughter of the Himalayas.

On the first day of Navratri, we worship the form of Goddess Durga known as Shailputri. ‘Shail’ refers to the Himalayas and Putri means ‘Daughter.’ She is the daughter of the mighty Himalayas and she represents the determination and willpower to be successful on the path of spiritual pursuit. 

She is an incarnation of Shakti and the consort of Lord Shiva. 

Devi Shailputri has a half moon on her forehead. She holds a trident in her right hand and a lotus flower in her left hand. The Goddess can be seen seated on Mount Nandi. In this form, Devi is known as Mahavidya, Jaya or Chandika. 

She is owner of the Muladhara Chakra which signifies the starting point of the spiritual practice. That is why we commence the Nav Durga Sadhana with her worship. 

Ma Brhmacharini
Day 2 Devi Brahmacharini

Salutations to the Devi, who in her unmarried form practises severe austerities 

The second manifestation of Goddess Durga is referred to as Devi Brahmacharini. This name originates from the word ‘Brahma,’ signifying ‘Tapa’ or rigorous penance. She is also considered an embodiment of Uma or Parvati, who is a form of the Divine Mother Goddess Shakti. This form represents Devi’s extreme penance to win over Shiva. 

Devi Brahmacharini carries a Japa Mala in Her right hand and a Kamandalu in Her left hand. In this manifestation, she is walking on Her bare feet. 

Devi Brahmacharini is also known as Mahatantri, Vijaya or Chamunda. She symbolises simplicity and is a storehouse of knowledge and wisdom. 

Devi  as the owner of the Swadisthana Chakra helps us overcome our subconscious desires. 

Ma Chandraghanta_01
Day 3: Devi Chandraghanta

Obeisances to Devi who is the wife of Lord Shiva and adorns the half-moon which is shaped like a bell. 

During the third day of the Navaratri festival, devotees venerate Goddess Durga in her form known as Devi Chandraghanta. This name signifies “One who possesses a half-moon shaped like a bell.” Devi Chandraghanta is considered as the embodiment of both beauty and courage. 

Devi Chandraghanta has ten hands, eight of which display weapons and the other two hands bestow blessings. 

Devi is invoked as Chandi, Bhadra, or Subhaga and rides a tiger. 

In the form of Devi Chandraghanta, She is peaceful yet battle ready. To her devotees, Devi bestows courage combined with humility. Devi Chandraghanta is the owner of Manipura Chakra which is the storehouse of our spiritual power. 

Ma Kushmanda_01
Day 4: Devi Kushmanda

Salutations to the Mother who created the Universe with her soft smile. 

On the fourth day of Navaratri, the devotees worship Devi Kushmanda, a manifestation of Goddess Durga. Devi Kushmanda is believed to be the creator of the entire universe, having brought it into existence with her soft smile. The name itself signifies a “cosmic egg of energy,” representing the immense creative power associated with her.

Devi Kushmanda is depicted with eight hands holding different weapons and rosary beads. 

Devi has a solar  aura and She rides a tiger. She is invoked as Saptashati, Bhadrakali, or Kapalika. 

Devi Kushmanda is Adi Swaroopa, the primordial mother. With her merciful look and gentle smile, Devi blesses her devotees with creativity, intelligence and energy. 

Contemplating Devi Kushmanda in the Anahata or heart chakra invokes her presence. 

Ma Skandmata_01
Day 5: Devi Skandamata

Salutations to Devi Skandamata, the mother of warrior God Skanda who restored peace in the world. 

The fifth day of Navaratri commemorates the worship of Devi Skandamata. She is depicted as the mother of Skanda, also known as Kartikeya, the prominent warrior in the Gods’ army.

Devi Skandamata is depicted with four hands. Her upper two hands carry lotus flowers. 

Devi holds the baby Skanda on her lap and her other right hand is in Abhaya Mudra. 

Devi is seated on her ferocious lion. She can be invoked as Mritsanjivani, Sumukhi or Chamunda. 

As mother of Lord Skanda, Devi Skandamata signifies, Guyana-Shakti and Kriya-Shakti, practical wisdom with a bias for action. 

Focus on Visudhi or throat chakra to invoke Devi Skandamata.

Ma Katyayani_01
Day 6: Devi Katyayani

Prostrations to Devi Katyayani who is Devi’s supreme form, containing all the three gunas 

The sixth day of Navaratri is dedicated to the worship of Goddess Durga in the form of Devi Katyayani who is portrayed seated on a lion, her divine vehicle, and possesses three eyes and four hands. She is revered as one of the most formidable manifestations of Shakti, representing strength and fierceness.

She wields a sword and lotus with her two hands. She blesses us with Varada Mudra and protects us with Abhay Mudra. Devi rides a ferocious lion and can be invoked by Mahachandi, Dhurmukhi or Malini. 

Devi Katyayani is fiery, courageous and strong. She is the uplifting force for the entire humanity. 

As the slayer of demon Mahisasura, Devi helps us liberate ourselves from our ignorance and bondage. 

Devi Katyayani’s merciful form can be invoked on the Ajna Chakra. 

Ma Kalratri_01
Day 7: Devi Kalratri

Salutations to Devi Kalratri, who has the power of cosmic dissolution 

The seventh day of Navaratri is marked by the worship of Goddess Durga in her form as Kalratri. She is depicted with a complexion as dark as the night. Her worship instils fearlessness in her devotees.

Devi Kalratri is depicted as having four hands, carrying a scimitar and a torch while also blessing us with Abhay and Varada Mudra. 

Devi Kalratri rides a donkey, signifying her acceptance of everyone, regardless of their background. 

Devi Kalratri is also revered as Roopdipika, Pragya, and Yakshini. 

Devi Kalratri is extremely fierce yet most auspicious. 

As One who is the night of Darkness, Devi pushes us beyond the night of Darkness. Devi Kalratri pushes us beyond the limitations of our mind and conditioning. 

Her Darkness has the power to remove all fears, her darkness is the medicine, it is the path. 

Devi Kalratri can be contemplated on the Sahasrara chakra. 

Ma Mahagauri_01
Day 8: Devi Maha Gauri

Prostrations to Devi who signifies the dazzling light of pure knowledge

On the eighth day of Navaratri, devotees pay homage to Goddess Durga in the form of Devi Maha Gauri.

Devi Maha Gauri is renowned for her exceptional beauty, adorned with ornaments of pure white. Her skin is as radiant and pristine as snow. She embodies serenity and emanates wisdom in her divine presence.

Devi Maha Gauri is depicted with four hands, two hands carrying a Trishul and Dhamuru and the other two blessing her devotees. 

Devi’s mount is a bull just like Lord Shiva. 

She is revered as Chatuh – Shasta – Yogini, Vyaghramukhi or Vashatkarini. 

Devi Maha Gauri is the epitome of inner and outer beauty resulting from deep penance and perseverance. 

Devi brings material abundance so that we are content and can seek the highest goal of self realisation. 

On the day of Chandi Homa we worship three energies of creation – Ma Durga (energy), Ma Saraswati (Knowledge) and Ma Lakshmi (Abundance). 

Ma Siddhidatri_01
Day 9: Devi Siddhidatri 

Prostrations to Devi Siddhidatri to the One who grants us supreme spiritual attainment 

On the last day of Navaratri, the final form of the Goddess is revered as Siddhidatri. The name Siddhidatri translates to “One who bestows supernatural powers.” She possesses all the eight siddhis (supernatural abilities). Devi Siddhidatri is depicted seated on a lotus and receives worship from sages, Siddhas, practitioners of spiritual disciplines, and yogis.

Devi  Siddhidatri is shown as having four hands holding a Chakra, a Shankh, a mace and a lotus. 

She is seated on a full-bloomed lotus which represents enlightenment. 

She is also known as Parachandi, Simhamukhi or Narayani. 

Devi Siddhidatri blesses us with the things in advance, before we even desire that thing. 

She grants us the Siddhis so that we perform our Dharma to absolute perfection. 

Devi Siddhidatri brings knowledge and wisdom over ignorance and attachments. 

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