Navaratri-A Nine Day Festival Dedicated to Goddess Durga
Navaratri is another name for Durga Puja. Among the Bengali Hindu communities, the worship of Goddess Durga is traditionally celebrated for five days. But among many Hindu communities, the worship of Goddess Durga is celebrated for 9 nights and 10 ten days after Mahalaya, which is known as Navaratri (festival that spans nine nights).
Autumnal Durga Puja or Autumnal Navratri is celebrated in the season of Sharat (autumn) and Basanti Durga Puja or Basanti Navaratri is arranged in the season of Basant (spring). It is also called Chaitra Navaratri. Nine different forms of the Goddess Durga (known as the Navdurga) are worshipped on each of the Navaratri. Let’s know these nine different forms of Goddess Durga.
The first form of Navadurga is Shailaputri. She became known as Shailputri as she was the daughter of Giriraj, Hamalaya. Her vehicle is an ox. She is depicted with a trident and a lotus in her two hands.
The second form of Navadurga is Brahmacharini. She gives self-knowledge to Brahma, and also makes the devotee attain Brahma. Mother Brahmacharini increases concentration.
The third form of Mother Goddess is Chandraghanta. Devaraja Indra gave her the Ghanta for the slaying of Mahisasura. The Ghanta contained the great power of Gajraj Airavat. Chandraghanta is more beautiful than the Moon. Mother Chandraghanta removes our worldly troubles.
The fourth form of Navadurga is Kushmanda. She holds the Kushma ( the troubles of this materialistic world) in her Anda (abdomen). Mother Kushmanda gives happiness and prosperity to Her devotees.
The fifth form of Divine Mother is Skandamata. She is the mother of god Kartikeya or Skanda. Mother Skandamata destroys any disturbance in the house.
The sixth form of Mother Goddess is Katyayani. She appeared as the daughter of Rishi (sage) Katyayan. The gopbalas of Braj prayed to Katyayani to get Nanda Nandan, Sri Krishna as their husband. Mother Katyayani destroys the enemies of her devotees.
The seventh form of Divine Mother is Kalratri. She appeared from the body of Kalbhairava dancing in the eternal space. She is known as Mahakalika or Kalratri. She is also narrated as the Goddess of Ratri Sukta in the Rigveda.
The eighth form of Mother Goddess is Mahagauri. She is an affectionate mother towards her children (devotees), consort of Lord Shiva and a happy image of Goddess Durga.
The ninth form of Navadurga is Siddhidatri. She is four-armed, three-eyed, and as beautiful as the morning sun. She is also called Yogamaya and Maheshwari. She fulfills all tasks of her devotees.