The Holy Navaratri, the nine nights for worship Of THE 9 DIVINE FORMS OF THE DIVINE MOTHER MAA DURGA And The Auspicious Durga Puja, a five-day festival of worship that marks The Victory Of MAA DURGA Over the demon mahishasura Arrive To Grace the devotees every year.
This year, The Sharada Navaratri will begin on Oct 15, 2023 and end on Oct 24, 2023. The dates of The Durga Puja this year are Oct 20, 2023 to Oct 24, 2023.
Maa NavaDurgas – The 9 Divine Forms Of Maa Durga
As lord brahmā spoke The Names, The 9 Forms Of Maa Durga Were Revealed in the Devi Kavacham.
“First, She Is Called Maa ŚailaPutrī; Second, Maa BrahmaCāriṇī; Third, Maa CandraGhaṇṭā; Fourth, Maa Kūṣmāṇḍā. Fifth, She Is Called Maa SkandaMatā; Sixth, Maa Kātyāyanī; Seventh, Maa KālaRātri; Eighth, Mahāgaurī. And Ninth, She Is Maa SiddhiDātrī.”
Verses 3 – 5 Of The Devi Kavacham, An Anga Of The Devi Mahatmya
The First Day Of Navaratri Is Dedicated To the worship Of Maa ShailaPutri.
Prarthana or Prayer Of Maa ShailaPutri:
वन्दे वाञ्छितलाभाय चन्द्रार्ध कृतशेखराम् ।
वृषारूढाम् शूलधराम् शैलपुत्रीम् यशस्विनीम् ॥
Vande Vanchhitalabhaya Chandrardhakritashekharam।
Vrisharudham Shuladharam Shailaputrim Yashasvinim॥
“I worship Maa ShailaPutri to fulfill my wishes, Who Is Adorned With crescent moon On Her Head, Rides On a bull, Carrying a trishul And Is Divinely Illustrious.”
Maa ShailaPutri, “Daughter Of the himalayas”, Is The Purest Embodiment Of Maa Durga. Maa ShailaPutri As Mother Nature Pervades the earth’s atmosphere, hills, valleys, Forests, and oceans.
Maa ShailaPutri Is Also The Emobident Of Patience And Is Associated With the muladhara chakra, which is the root of the spiritual energy latent in every human being. Maa ShailaPutri’s Journey Towards lord shiva Symbolizes the activation of the muladhara chakra and the patience and devotion required in spiritual discipline. Maa ShailaPutri Is The Divine Mother Of all that is apparent on earth, as well as the inward journey to attain liberation from all that is worldly.
Devotees should sincerely worship Maa ShailaPutri For A Blessed earthly existence. And the ‘seekers’ aspiring to evolve spiritually should devoutly meditate On Maa ShailaPutri to advance in their journey towards the realization Of The Higher Self.
The Second Day Of Navaratri Is Dedicated To the worship Of Maa BrahmaCharini.
Maa BrahmaCharini Mantra:
ॐ देवी ब्रह्मचारिण्यै नमः॥
Om Devi BrahmaCharinyai Namah॥
Maa BrahmaCharini Is The Divine Mother Of Devotion And Penance. She Is Maa Durga’s Second Divine Form Symbolizing the path of severe austerity, purity, and knowledge. It had been predicted In Her Childhood that Maa BrahmaCharini Would Unite With Lord Shiva. To Fulfill That Divine Intent, Maa BrahmaCharini Performed Extreme “Tapa” For Lord Shiva In harsh conditions and without food For thousands of years, until Her Divine Union With Lord Shiva Was Attained. Maa BrahmaCharini’s Steadfast Resolve To Attain Lord Shiva As Her Husband Is Symbolic Of the single-pointed dedication in the pursuit Of The Divine Self crucial for “seekers” seeking spiritual enlightenment.
By The Grace Of The Glorious Maa BrahmaCharini, devotees are Blessed With great emotional strength, sincerity, and truthfulness to perform all duties and overcome all life challenges.
The Third Day Of Navaratri Is Dedicated To the worship Of Maa ChandraGhanta.
Maa ChandraGhanta Mantra:
ॐ देवी चन्द्रघण्टायै नम: ॥
Om̐ Devī CandraGhaṇṭāyai Namaḥ ॥
Maa ChandraGhanta, Whose Name Means “The One Who Has A Half-Moon Shaped Like A Bell” Is The Third Divine Form Of Maa Durga. Maa ChandraGhanta Is Also The Married Form Of Maa Parvati, Who After Getting Married To Lord Shiva Started Adorning Her Forehead With A Half-Moon (Chandra). Maa ChandraGhanta Is Depicted Riding A Lion/Tiger That Symbolizes dharma or righteousness. Maa ChandraGhanta Symbolizes fearlessness and courage And Is Also Depicted With Her Third Eye Always Open, Symbolizing Her Perpetual Readiness For battle against evil. During battle, the thunderous sound Produced By Maa ChandraGhanta’s Bell Paralyzed And Stunned the demons. Maa ChandraGhanta Is The Warrior Form Of Maa Durga. In a ‘seekers’ journey on the path to spiritual enlightenment, Maa ChandraGhanta Symbolizes foresight and strength of leadership.
Maa ChandraGhanta Is Ready To Destroy the wicked, But To Her devotees She Is The Kind And Compassionate Divine Mother. Maa ChandraGhanta Destroys the foes of Her devotees And Eliminates all the sins, suffering and negativities from Her devotees’ lives.
The Fourth Day Of Navaratri Is Dedicated To the worship Of Maa Kushmanda.
Maa Kushmanda Mantra:
ॐ देवी कूष्माण्डायै नमः॥
Om Devi Kushmandayai Namah॥
Maa Kushmanda Is The Fourth Divine Form Of Maa Durga, Who Created “brahmanda” (the cosmic egg) With Her Divine Energy And Divine Smile. When the universe was non-existent and darkness prevailed everywhere, The Formless Light Of The Divine Mother Of the universe Appeared In The Form Of Maa Kushmanda. From Maa Kushmanda’s Divine Smile, A Body Of Energy Came Forth And From That Potent Energy, Maa Kushmanda Produced the brahmanda And Filled it with light and creation. Maa Kushmanda’s Divine Luminosity Is The Source Of the sun’s brightness, which sustains all life. As The Creator Of the universe And The Source Of life in all, Maa Kushmanda Is Known As Maa AdiSwarupa And Maa AdiShakti.
Maa Kushmanda Blesses Her devotees With AshtaSiddhis (eight perfections) And NavNidhis (nine treasures). The worship Of Maa Kushmanda Also Purifies the mind, body and soul, Awards relief from all ailments, And Destroys all hurdles.
The AshtaSiddhis and NavNidhis are as follows:
- Anima-Siddhi – The ability to decrease the size of one’s body and become smaller than the smallest particle
- Mahima-Siddhi – The ability to increase the size of one’s body, ultimately enveloping the universe
- Laghima-Siddhi – The ability to make one’s body lighter than air and fly at will
- Prapti-Siddhi – The ability to manifest any object one desires within one’s hand
- Prakamya-Siddhi – The ability to attain anything one desires
- Ishita-Siddhi – The ability to control the sub-potencies of the laws of nature
- Vashita-Siddhi – The ability to bring others under one’s control
- Kamavasayita-Siddhi – The ability to attain anything anywhere
- Padam-Nidhi – The attainment of children, grandchildren, gold, silver, i.e. the precious metals
- Mahan-Padam – One gets diamonds, rubies and other gems and jewels (precious stones)
- Kharab – Riches of all kinds
- Kund – Trading in gold
- Nil – Trading in precious stones, jewels, and gems
- Sankh – Delicious eatables (created from nowhere)
- Kachhap – Clothes and food-grains in abundance
- Mukund – Mastery in arts, music, and poetry
- Makar – Gives the art of using weapons and sovereignty on others
The Fifth Day Of Navaratri Is Dedicated To the worship Of Maa SkandaMata.
Maa SkandaMata Mantra:
ॐ देवी स्कन्दमातायै नम:
Oṃ Devī SkandaMātāyai Namaḥ
Maa SkandaMata Is The Fifth Divine Form Of Maa Durga. After Her Marriage To Lord Shiva, Maa SkandaMata Became The Mother Of Lord Skanda. Lord Skanda, Also Known As Lord Kartikeya And Lord Kumara Is The Powerful And Valiant God Of War Who Restored Peace And Harmony in the universe.
Maa SkandaMata Is Depicted Riding A Lion With Her Son Lord Skanda In Her Lap. Therefore, the worship Of Maa SkandaMata Is Twice Blessed, which means that when the devotees worship Maa SKandaMata, Lord Skanda Is Also worshipped. Thus, the devotees are Blessed With The Grace Of Both The Divine Mother And Her Divine Son. Maa SkandaMata Is Also Depicted Sitting On A Lotus While Meditating, And So Is Also Known As Maa Padamasani And Maa Vidyavahini.
Maa SkandaMata Blesses Her devotees with power and prosperity. When worshipped with utmost reverence, Maa SkandaMata Grants oceans of wisdom even to the most illiterate person, And Frees ‘seekers’ of spiritual realization from chitta vrittis and worldly bondage.
The Sixth Day Of Navaratri Is Dedicated To the worship Of Maa Katyayani.
“May This Gentle Face Of Yours, Adorned With Three Eyes, Protect us In every way. O Maa Kātyāyanī, Salutation Be To You.”
– The DeviMahatmya, 11.25
Maa Katyayani Is The Sixth Divine Form Of Maa Durga And The Slayer Of the tyrannical demon mahishasura. Maa Katyayani Is Depicted As Gentle-Faced And Adorned With Three Eyes.
Maa Katyayani Emerged From The Powerful Anger Of The Divine Mother Inherent in the male gods And Manifested As The Warrior Form Of Maa Durga, With Incomparable Effulgence Shinning Through the universe. All the gods presented Maa Katyayani With Weapons For the battle against mahishasura. After Slaying mahishasura, Maa Katyayani Began To Be Known As Maa MahishasuraMardini. Maa Katyayani’s Beheading Of mahishasura With Her Sword Is a metaphor for viveka, which is the ability to discern between the apparent and the real, the transient and the eternal.
The gopis of vrindavana are the ideal teachers from whom one can learn the art of pure love. The gopis are the eternal manifestations of the internal spiritual potency Of Bhagwan Shri Krishna. They symbolize The Highest Form Of Pure Love And Unwavering Devotion For Him. The gopis’ affection for Lord Krishna is a supreme tribute to the creative power of love, which transforms a gross physical emotion (kama) into divine love (prema). Traditionally, the gopis worshipped Maa Katyayani to attain Bhagwan Shri Krishna as their husband. Their worship reflected their purity of steadfast devotion and love. Women who can learn from the gopis and instill purity of love and affection in their hearts are Blessed with compatible life partners by praying To Maa Katyayani.
The Seventh Day Of Navaratri Is Dedicated To the worship Of Maa KalaRatri.
“She Holds A Glittering Scimitar, Drum, Head, And Drinking-Vessel. She Is Called The Solitary Warrior, Maa KalaRatri, Praised As The Granter Of desires.”
– MurtiRahasya (19), An Anga Of The Devi Mahatmya
Maa KalaRatri Is The Seventh And Most Ferocious Divine Form Of Maa Durga. The Divine Name “KalaRatri” Means the death of “Kaal” or Time. It Also Means “Black Night Of Destruction”. Maa KalaRatri Symbolizes That life also has a dark side And That Mother Nature Encompasses both life and creation As Well As death and destruction. Maa KalaRatri As Maa MahaRatri, Is The Great Night Of Final Dissolution Or The Force Of Cosmic Dissolution. This Is The Great Dissolution at the end of a cosmic cycle.
Maa KalaRatri Is Also Known As Maa Shubhankari, Which Means “Beswtower of Auspiciousness” Or “The Doer Of Good” in sanskrit. When worshipped wholeheartedly, Maa KalaRatri Grants the auspicious wishes of the devotees. Therefore, the worship Of Maa KalaRatri enables Her devotees to remain fearless of all misfortunes.
The Eighth Day Of Navaratri Is Dedicated To the worship Of Maa MahaGauri.
Maa MahaGauri Mantra:
ॐ देवी महागौर्यै नमः॥
Om Devi MahaGauryai Namah॥
Maa MahaGauri Is The Divine Mother, Who Manifests As A Form Of Maa Durga, Maa Parvati, And Maa Maha Kaali. Maa MahaGauri Is The “Great Shining One”. Maa MahaGauri Is The Divine Mother Of The Dazzling Light Of Knowledge And Is The Shining, Self-Luminous Consciousness. After The Harsh Penance Of Maa BrahmaCharini, dirt and dullness had accumulated on The Divine Mother’s Divine Body. After Taking A Bath In The River Maa Ganga, The Divine Mother Appeared In “Gaur Varna” Or Golden Complexion As Maa MahaGauri With Transcendental Purity And Divine Beauty.
Maa MahaGauri Symbolizes auspiciousness and brilliance And Protects the righteous devotees While Punishing those who perform evil deeds. Maa MahaGauri Enlightens spiritual seekers And Removes the fear of rebirth By Granting salvation. On The Pious Day Of Maha Ashtami, devotees should worship Maa MahaGauri with utmost purity for calmness, wisdom, and happiness.
The Ninth Day Of Navaratri Is Dedicated To the worship Of Maa SiddhiDhatri.
Maa SiddhiDhatri Mantra:
ॐ देवी सिद्धिदात्र्यै नमः॥
Om Devi SiddhiDatryai Namah॥
Maa SiddhiDhatri Is The Ninth Form Of Maa Durga. In Sanskrit, “Siddhi” means supernatural power or meditative ability, and “Dhatri” means Giver or Awarder. Therefore, Maa SiddhiDhatri Symbolizes The Divine Mother’s Power To Grant supreme spiritual liberation. According to vedic scriptures, at the inception of the universe, lord shiva attained the ashtasiddhis by worshiping
Maa SiddhiDhatri, Who Is The “Moola Roopa” Or Primordial Form Of Maa Aadi ParaShakti. Maa SiddhiDhatri Merged Into One Half Of Lord Shiva, Creating The Divine Half Female And Half Male “ArdhaNariEshwar” Form. Maa SiddhiDhatri Is Not Only worshipped by human devotees, but also by all devas, gandharvas, asuras, yakshas, and the siddhas.
Devotees and spiritual “seekers” should worship Maa SiddhiDhatri sincerely to be Blessed With the removal of ignorance, attainment of knowledge, and spiritual liberation.
Maa Durga’s Triumph Over mahishasura
Maa Durga’s Slaying Of the demon king mahishasura Symbolizes the conquest of ego-based attachment and all its consequent pain.
The impetuous, ill-tempered mahisharusa, whose name means “buffalo demon”, symbolizes the ego-based sense of attachment. his behavior embodies the guna of rajas, which is the fiery, active energy that manifests as restlessness, desire, rage, and corrosive passion. mahishasura also represents more than anger. Whenever Maa Durga Attacks, he eludes Her Deadly Blows by using the protective shield of his changing forms. Until he reveals his true form, he remains elusive and seemingly unconquerable.
In the same way, human delusion dons an array of guises to mask and protect an ego ruled by attachment, aversion, and deep-seated fear. Personal demons will continue to bedevil in one form or another until recognized for what they are.
mahishasura’s unwillingness to reveal himself stems from a sense of self-preservation of the falso ego, which deceptively appears as true self. Maa Durga Forces the revelation By Piercing him With Her Spear, Which Symbolizes The Penetrating Light Of Higher Knowledge.
When mahishasura emerges in his true form, Maa Durga Decapitates him With Her Sword, Which Is A Metaphor For viveka, the ability to discern between the selfish, harmful impulses and the noble selflessness that promotes harmony and points toward Unity.
During The Auspicious Durga Puja festivals, the devotees not only celebrate Maa Durga’s Triumph over mahishasura but also sincere and devotedly worship Maa Durga To Receive Blessings By Which they can eradicate all ego-based ignorance and attachments and move closer to the realization Of The Higher Self and attain spiritual liberation.