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The Story of Ma Mahagauri

Ma Mahagauri_01

In the story of Devi Brahmacharini, the second manifestation of Nav Durga, we narrated the story of Ma Shailaputri undergoing intense penance to become Ma Brahmacharini, and moved Lord Shiva to appear before Her in the form of an old Brahmachari.

We saw yesterday on the seventh day of Navratri, how after Goddess Ambika (also known as Kaushiki and Chandika) comes forth from the body of Goddess Parvati, Ma Parvati’s skin turns extremely dark (almost black, like the hue of dark clouds). Therefore Ma Parvati is given the names ‘Kalika’ and ‘Kalaratri’.

Indra’s sovereignty over the three worlds and his portions of the sacrifices in the Yagnas were taken away by the asuras, Shumbha and Nishumbha. Likewise these two asuras usurped the kingdoms of the sun, the moon, Kubera, Yama, Varuna, Vayu and Agni. The asuras started exercising authority over the respective functions of all devatas. 

Deprived of their freedom to function in the creation, the devas were defeated and expelled out of devaloka by these two great asuras. All the devas invoked the Devi and sought her refuge as She had granted them the boon, “Whenever you remember me in great dangers, I will at once ward off all the calamities and protect you.”

Thus recalling Mahadevi’s promise, the devas went to Himavan, lord of the mountains, and there they extolled Devi’s infinite virtues, who is the illusive power of Lord Vishnu as Narayani. They began eulogising Mahadevi with the devotional verses of Devi Suktam. 

While the devas were thus engaged in singing the glories of Divine Mother, Ma Parvati came there for Her ablutions in the waters of the holy Ganga. She, the lovely-browed, asked those devas, ‘Who is praised by you here?’ At that very moment, an auspicious Goddess, sprung forth from Her own physical sheath (Kosha), and replied thus: ‘This hymn is addressed to none other than me by the assembled devas facing the atrocities in the battle with Shumbha and Nishumbha.’

Since Devi Ambika came out of Ma Parvati’s physical sheath (Kosha), she is glorified as Kaushiki in all the three worlds. After Devi Kaushiki sprung out of Ma Parvati’s own physical body, Ma Parvati turned dark as the darkest of clouds and was called Kalika, stationed in the pristine Himalayas.

She then transformed into Chandi and killed demon Dhumralochan. Chanda and Munda were killed by Goddess Chamunda who appeared from the third eye of Chandi. Chandi then killed Raktabeeja and his clones, while Chamunda drank their blood as Ma Kalaratri. Ma Parvati turned into Kaushiki again and killed Shumbha and Nishumbha, after which she again went to take a dip in the holy Ganges, transforming back into the Gaura Varna (fair complexioned) Devi Mahagauri. Thus Ma Parvati killed Shumbha and Nishumbha, gaining the titles of Mahasaraswati and Ambika in the Shiva Maha Purana and the Devi Mahatmya (part of the Markandeya Purana) respectively.

Another story from Shiva Mahapurana tells the story of Devi Mahagauri’s origin. Devi Parvati proved Her unshakeable love and bhakti(devotion) for Lord Shiva, even as He tried to shake Her off the path of devotion for Him. 

Pleased by Devi Parvati’s steadfastness and her ability to discern the divine amidst the mundane, Lord Shiva revealed his true resplendent form emanating divine light with the brilliance of thousands of rising suns. 

Aeons of harsh penance for Lord Shiva had worn out Devi’s physical body. Her skin shriveled, cracked and wrinkled, covering her once youthful soft skin with grime and dust.  Pleased with Her penance, Mahadev blessed Her by pouring the holy water of Ma Ganga from His matted hair locks. As the pure and sacred waters cascaded upon her, Her skin regained its pristine radiance, transforming to an exquisitely luminous aura. Her complexion became as radiant as the moon’s glow, earning her the name Mahagauri, the goddess with the resplendent milky white complexion (Gaura Varna).

The tale of Mahagauri carries profound significance in the realm of spirituality and devotion. It symbolises the transformative power of unwavering faith, the triumph of tapas and inner purification, and the eternal bond between the divine masculine and feminine energies. Devotees invoke the blessings of Mahagauri during Navratri, the auspicious nine nights dedicated to the nine forms of the Goddess, seeking her grace to purify their minds, bodies, and souls.

Esoteric Meaning of the story of Mahagauri

Purifying our own restive tendencies and annihilating our own darkness is the Sadhana of evolving spiritually, as Mother’s grace helps you see through the gruelling effort of Atmasuddhikaran. Your consciousness mired with lifetimes of hardened proclivities are washed clean in the Ganges of your surrender and devotion, to come out as an immaculate reflection of Her own pristine self – a heart that loves unconditionally, a heart that has no grudges or sorrow, a healed and tamed mind, oozing with kindness, compassion and empathy. Devi Mahagauri symbolises austerity denoting that no fruitful result can be tasted without putting in hard work and effort. 

Devi Mahagauri, the eighth Nav Durga

Devi Mahagauri, the eighth form of Nav Durga, radiates purity, peace and tranquillity. Her name itself signifies her luminous milky white complexion, as “Maha” means great, and “Gaur” refers to fair or bright. She is adorned in pristine white garments, symbolising her transcendence over darkness and impurities.

Mahagauri, the embodiment of purity and grace, stands as an inspiration for seekers on the path of spirituality. Her story serves as a reminder that through unwavering devotion, perseverance, and the pursuit of inner purification, one can attain the divine union with the supreme consciousness.  On this auspicious eighth day of Navratri, the Maha Ashtami, Devi Mahagauri is invoked with great devotion. 


The iconography of Devi Mahagauri

Mahagauri or Shwetambardhara is worshipped on Ashtami tithi.

The whiteness of the conch, moon and the Kunda flower are no match for Her fair exquisite beauty. Her luminescence takes your breath away!

Draped in a pure white sari, bedecked with diamond studded ornaments, gracefully seated on a white bull, She dazzles with the brilliance of a thousand suns! Being Chaturbhuji, four armed, she holds a trident and a Damru in two hands while Her other two display Abhaya and Varada mudras.

🌸White garments represent Her brilliant, pure, and glowing form; it indicates absence of all colours, meaning no opinions, no judgements, rather a pure objectivity; white also refers to shuddha sattva, which is transcendent purity that is untainted by the qualities of material nature.

🌸Right hand’s varad mudra: grants boons and blessings of fortune (śubhaṁ)

🌸Trident (trishul): represents the dissolution of past, present, and future karmas and sins

🌸Left hand’s abhay mudra: bestows fearlessness

🌸Tambourine (damaru) stands for Nada – infinity. The sounds from the damaru emanate the rhythm of the cosmic vibrations and the energy is activated by Divine Mother or Shakti.

In essence, Mahagauri is the pure, stainless shakti whose divine reverberations (spandan) vibrate the entire universe into manifestation. As a Mother, she takes care of Her children‘s karma and sins, fulfils their pure desires, and removes fear and sorrow, leading them to the path of righteousness and self realisation.

Her divine presence exudes tranquillity, and Her gentle countenance brings solace to troubled hearts. Mahagauri is worshipped for Her ability to purify the souls of Her devotees, washing away their sins and impurities. No matter how dirty a child gets while playing in mud, a mother always lovingly wipes her child with her anchal. If our earthly mothers are so loving and caring, imagine how much more is the loving grace of Jaganmata (Mother of the Universe)! Her benevolent grace helps in restoring our inner balance and instilling peace within.

Devotees invoke Devi Mahagauri’s blessings during the auspicious eighth night of Navratri, seeking Her divine intervention in their lives. Adorn Her with Mogra flowers; chant Her auspicious names to access your pure inner state of consciousness. Her remembrance confers peace, happiness and abundance no matter how stained our inside may be. Like a mother, she handholds a sadhak through various ups and downs of life, paving the way for spiritual evolution.

The immense blessings of worshipping Ma Mahagauri

Devi contends in the Durga Saptashati, that the one who with utmost focus and dedication performs Her Nitya Puja, will receive the infinite grace for a hassle free life. The one who shall ruminate over and contemplate on the essence of Chand Mund vadh, Mahishasur vadh, Shumbh Nishumbh vadh, Madhu Kaitabh vadh would be blessed in all aspects of life. The lessons from her conquests are so potent and powerful that they bear the sinew to extricate one from Maya, instantly raising the energy of the place and individuals engaged in Her sweet remembrance. Being immersed in Her divine leela charitrams, one becomes free of all the phobias, negativity, ill health, poor financial situations, poor familial relations and Her name itself is effective in giving the imaginable and the unimaginable to all seekers alike!

Mother Divine says in Durga Saptashati: In whichever form we invoke Ma, She shall, with Her benign presence bless us in that very form! 

Divine Mother is Para Prakruti. How to get from the universe whatever you want? You can attract love, wealth, good people, and many other things into your life. You only ever get what you give. You give money, you get money; you give love, you get love; you give appreciation, you get appreciation, and so forth. Once you start giving something, not only do you start getting that back, but much more. And, Nature always returns multifold. This is the unfailing Law of Nature, you must be willing to part with what you wish to attract. If you have ever been to the mountains, you may have experienced the phenomenon of echo. Whatever you say out loud, it is said back to you multiple times.

The more you shout, the louder it comes back to you. This is the law, the fundamental principle. If you shout me, me, me, the universe shouts back at you me-me-me-me-me… If you say, I want money, it says I-want-money, I-want-money, I-want-money… If you shout give me love, it echoes back give-me-love, give-me-love, and so forth. Nature’s magnitude is much greater than yours. By shouting, you cannot win. The more you want, the more it wants too.

Once you start to give, it starts to give you back. When you start to say, I want to give, it says back I-want-to-give multiple times, when you shout I am grateful, it shouts back I-am-grateful… When you say, I don’t want anything, it also says back I-don’t-want-anything… You sow one kilogram of rice, you get four kilograms back. You can only ever reap what you sow and you can do so only after you have sown it.

This is how Nature operates. When you give without expectations, Nature will give you back without condition.

What is more important to you: getting what you want or receiving what you need, being careful about what you have, or being careworn about what you lack? Giving makes you light. When you give, Shakti starts to work for you.

If Nature chooses you as a medium to give, you are one fortunate person. To get what you want, you must start giving it first. And, learn to exercise patience. Nothing happens in a jiffy in the play of Nature.

To attract iron, you must become a magnet, to attract bees, you need to become a flower. There is no room for artificiality. Genuinely be the magnet, and you will attract naturally.

Devi Mahagauri’s luminous presence continues to inspire countless souls on their spiritual journey, guiding them towards self-realisation and inner transformation. She teaches us the power of purity, the strength in perseverance, and the beauty of embracing our own divine essence.

Devi Mahagauri was invoked by Ma Janaki before Her swayamvar. She prayed to Mother Divine for Sri Ram to be able to string Lord Shiva’s Bow and win Her hand in marriage. 

🌸She is an epitome of radiance and beauty. Where She is invoked, there will exist beauty and all good things in life. 

🌸Her energy brings peace and solace. Worshipping Her alleviates anxiety and stress. Where there is peace and calm, harmony co-exists. Hence, She is the bestower of harmony in relationships and fosters happy marital life. 

🌸Devotion to Her brings positive changes in one’s life, fulfils desires and grants spiritual upliftment.

🌸As Goddess Parvati got married to Lord Shiva after severe penance, those seeking a suitable alliance in marriage, specially unmarried girls, must seek the blessings of Mahagauri. 

Ma Mahagauri and Kundalini

If you recall, Goddess Shailputri, the first Nav Durga, is extremely beautiful and fair. She was known as Gauri. She also adorns Herself in a pristine white Saree. The vehicle (Vahana) of Devi Mahagauri as well as Shailaputri is a white bull. What is the connection?

In the human body, Devi Shailputri resides in the first root chakra, and offers inspiration while pointing her attention and vital energies upwards (Urvdhvamukhi) toward Lord Shiva.

Devi Mahagauri who resides above the Sahasrara crown chakra is the result of Gauri as Shailputri evolving to Mahagauri in the course of  these nine days of Navdurga Sadhana as, the shakti rises, transforming our basal tendencies to our own Higher Self.

The eighth day is a very important day to perform Sadhana, for the energy has now lifted beyond the crown and results are more palpable, in proportion to the inner purification and deep transformation that takes place. Focus on Mother’s calm and peaceful disposition. Chant Her mantra with utmost surrender.  Meditate on her blessed form in the Divya Chakra ( situated 6 inches above the Sahasrara Chakra) and continue the Sadhana by chanting her mantra to attain oneness with Lord Shiva.

Sadhana today has the power to wash away all sanchit karmas of lifetimes.

She takes care of the future too. You will begin to feel fearless, self-reliant, supremely liberated from your limitations and master the art of spreading love and joy around you.

Ask Mother for something today, you will feel taken care of and satisfied. Not sure what to ask for? Ask for Her devotion, She will point you in the direction of Lord Shiva! She is Shivagyanpradayini.🔱

The Tantric invocation of Devi 

Tantric invocation: Chatuh-shashta-yogini, Vyaghramukhi, Vashatkarini

On the eighth day of Navratri, The tantric  forms of Devi are invoked as Vashatkarini, Vyaghramukhi, and Chatuhsashtayogini as per the Durga Tantra and Vamkeshvara tantra. ‘Va’ means “this”; ‘Shat’ is six and ‘Kara’ means “one who is known as”. Vasatkarini is the one whose energy moves us through the six phases of birth, existence, growth, change, decay and death. Every living being undergoes these six states – jaayate (birth), asti (exists), vardhate (grows), pariNamate (changes), apaksheeyate (decays), mriyate (dies). Through these six stages, the Devi alone enables all beings to learn their soul lessons, pay back karmic debts, evolve as a consciousness and then merge into our Higher Self who is verily the Devi Herself. When ghee is poured into the sacred fire during Yagnas, the word ‘Vashat’ is uttered. This name indicates that the Devi is antaryami (all knowing) and the inner controller of all. Maha Aghori, Lord Shiva, unites with His consort, the fierce form of Devi and releases the one performing Her sadhana from the ashtamahapashas (eight great nooses or bonds) of sense gratification, anger, greed, obsession, fear and hatred so that an aspirant experiences Her true nature and merges into Sadashiva. 

May the grace of Devi Mahagauri descend upon you!

⛰️Om Devi Mahagauryai Namaha⛰️

🌸Jaganmatruke Pahimam! 🌸

🔱Om Namashchandikaye! 🔱


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