Festival of Navratri starts at the very First Day of Shukla Paksha in the month of Ashwin according to our Hindu calendar. Devotees of Maa Durga worship the nine manifestations of the supreme goddess (as referred to in Hindu mythology). The goddess has 9 Avatars primarily, and each has its own significance.

Here you will get to know about these 9 avatars of Maa Durga which are also known as Navdurga (नवदुर्गा).

navdurga
Image source: Wikipedia

In our religious texts and stories, Maa Durga has been considered as one the most powerful among all the gods & goddesses. In a way, she is a form of Adishakti who came into the picture after Asuras attacked the city of Devas (heaven). As per ancient Hindu mythological stories, there was bloodshed in this Devasur Sangram and the existence of Devas was challenged by demons.

After knowing the seriousness of the situation, all the gods decided to go to Lord Shiva seeking help. Lord then asked Maa Parvati to consider the request of Gods and to do what had been needed. Devas then prayed and worshipped her & decorated her weaponry by giving one of their own weapons. Maa Durga holds the power that all the gods & goddesses collectively cannot hold. Her fierce and kindness are unparalleled.

Here are the 9 avatars of Maa Durga:

  1. Shailputri (शैलपुत्री)
  2. Brahmacharini (ब्रह्मचारिणी)
  3. Chandraghanta (चंद्रघंटा)
  4. Kushmanda (कूष्मांडा)
  5. Skandamata (स्कंदमाता)
  6. Katyayani (कात्यायनी)
  7. Kalaratri (कालरात्री)
  8. Mahagauri (महागौरी)
  9. Siddhidatri (सिद्धिदात्री)

1. Shailaputri (शैलपुत्री)

The literal meaning of Shailputri is the Daughter of the Greatest Mountain(Himalaya).

2. Brahmacharini (ब्रह्मचारिणी)

Brahma means “the one self-existent Spirit, the Absolute Reality, Universal Self, Personal God, the sacred knowledge”. Charini means “occupation with, engaging, proceeding, behavior, conduct, to follow, moving within, going after”. She is the goddess of asceticism and penance, as her name is the female equivalent of one who practices Brahmacharya.

3. Chandraghanta (चंद्रघंटा)

Chandraghanta is made up of the words Chandra meaning moon and ghanta meaning bell. She is the representation of beauty and bravery.

Chandraghanta is the married form of the Mother Goddess. After getting married to Shiva, she adorned her forehead with a half-moon shaped like a bell, which explains the origin of her name.

4. Kushmanda (कूष्मांडा)

Ku means “a little”Ushma means “warmth” or “energy” and Anda means “egg”, referring to the universe(cosmic egg). It is believed that Maa Kushmanda created the whole universe.

5. Skandamata (स्कंदमाता)

Mother of the war god Skanda(Kartikeya).

Skandmata who possesses the brilliance of the sun fulfills all the desires of her devotees. It is believed that she grants her devotees with salvation, power, prosperity, and wisdom.

6. Katyayani (कात्यायनी)

The daughter of sage Katyayana was incarnated to help the devas to destroy the demon Mahishasura. Maa Katyayani is known for her anger, vengeance and ultimate victory over the demons. She will bestow boons upon those who worship and revere her with a pure heart if she is pleased.

7.Kalaratri (कालरात्री)

This is the most fierce and the most ferocious form of the Maa Durga, in which she manifests to destroy the demons Sumbha and Nisumbha. Kalaratri, meaning the night of death (death night). All-time, light, emotions, life forms and others all blend into her. She is the death of time and is greater than Kala (time) himself.

8. Mahagauri (महागौरी)

Mahagauri is known as the goddess of purity and cleanliness. The man who pleases her, by her grace, all of his flaws, faults, and mistakes will be forgiven and he will be redeemed.

9. Siddhidatri (सिद्धिदात्री)

Siddhidhatri is the one who removes ignorance and provides the knowledge to realize true reality. The Siddhi that she provides is the realization that only she exists. She represents calmness and exhibits wisdom.

These 9 Avatars of Maa Durga (Navdurga) also showcase the diverse, vast, protective, courageous & caring nature of a woman along with the role she plays in our society. Undoubtedly, she is well acclaimed & respectable in every form of her.

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