During the festival of Navratri, Goddess Durga Devi is worshiped in nine avatars. During these nine holy days, each day of goddess Durga Mata is worshiped in different avatara.
First day of Navratri – Kalasha Sthapana (Kalasha Pooja) or Ghata Sthapana – Shailaputri Puja
Second day of Navratri – Preeti Dwitiya – Brahmacharini Puja
Third day of Navaratri – Chandrakanta pooja or Chandraghanta puja
Fourth day of Navaratri – Kushmanda pooja
Fifth day of Navratri – Skandamata Puja – Lalitha Panchami
Sixth day of Navratri – Katyayani Puja – Maha Shashti or Durga Shashti
Seventh day of Navratri – Kaalratri Pooja – Durga Saptami or Maha Sapthami
Eighth day of Navaratri – Maha Gauri Pooja – (Durgashtami Puja/Maha Ashtami/Veerashtami)
Ninth day of Navaratri – Siddhidatri Puja – (Mahanavami/Maharnavami or Durga Navami)
Tenth day of Navratri – Aparajitha Puja or Shami Pooja – Vijaya Dashami or Dasara
Nine Forms Of MAA Durga Devi:
Mata Shailputri – First Avatara of Durga :
Mata Shailputri is a daughter of ‘Parvata raju’ (mountain king) – Himalaya / Himvanth. She is the first among nine avatars of Durga and worshiped on the First day of Navaratri . In her previous birth, she was ‘Sati Bhavani Mata’, the daughter of King Daksha. Mata Shailputri, also known as Parvati got married with Lord Shiva. On the first day of Durga Navratri, Paravathi Devi she is worshipped. Mata Shailputri holds a ‘Trishul’, a weapon, in her right hand and a lotus in her left hand. She rides on bull. She has pleasant smile and blissful looks.
Mata Brahmacharini – Second Avatara of Durga :
Mata Brahmacharini is worshipped on second day of Navarathri. Brahmacharini is the goddess who performed ‘Tapa’ (penance) (Brahma – Tapa , Charini - Performer ). Mata personifies love and loyalty. She holds japa mala in her right hand and Kamandal in left hand. She is also called as ‘Uma’ and ‘Tapacharini’ and provides knowledge and wisdom to her devotees.
Mata Chandraghanta – Third Durga :
Mata Chadraghanta is worshipped on the thrid day of Navratri. She is very bright and charming. Durga Maa is astride a tiger, displays a golden hue to HER skin, possesses ten hands and 3 eyes. Eight of HER hands display weapons while the remaining two are respectively in the mudras of gestures of boon giving and stopping harm. Chandra + Ghanta, meaning supreme bliss and knowledge, showering peace and serenity, like cool breeze in a moonlit night.
Mata Kushmanda – Fourth Durga :
Mata Kushmanda is worshipped on the fourth day of Navrathri. . She shines brightly with a laughing face in all ten directions as the Sun. She controls whole Solar system. In her eight hands, she holds several types of weapons in six hands and a rosary and a lotus in remaining hands. She rides on Lion. She likes offerings of ‘Kumhde’, hence her name ‘Kushmanda’ has become popular.
Ma Skanda Mata – Fifth Durga :
Skanda Mata is worshipped on the fifth Day of Navratri. She had a son ‘Skandaa and holds him on her lap . She has three eyes and four hands; two hands hold lotuses while the other 2 hands respectively display defending and granting gestures. Its said, by the mercy of Skandmata, even the idiot becomes an ocean of knowledge. The great and legendary Sanskrit Scholar Kalidas created his two masterpieces works “Raghuvansh Maha Kavya” and “Meghdoot” by the grace of Skandmata. Mata is considered as a deity of fire. She rides on Lion.
Mata Katyayani – Sixth Durga :
Mata Katyayani is worshippedon the the Sixth Day of Navratri. Rishi Katyayan observed a penance to get Jaganmata as his daughter. She blessed him and took birth as his daughter on the bank of river Jamuna for getting Lord Krishna as a husband. She is considered as prime deity of Vraj mandal. Ma Katyayani has three eyes and four hands. . One left hand holds a weapon and the other a lotus She rides on Lion.
Mata Kalratri – Seventh Durga :
Mata Kalaratri is worshipped on the Seventh Day of Navratri . She is dark and black like night, hence she is called as ‘Kalratri’. Her hairs are unlocked and has three eyes and four hands.while the remaining 2 are in the mudras of “giving” and “protecting”. HER vahana is a faithful donkey. The destroyer of darkness and ignorance. She spills out fire from her nostrils. She holds a sharp Sword in her right hand and blesses her devotees with her lower hand. As she blesses her devotees with prosperity, she is also called as ‘Shubhamkari’.
Mata Maha Gauri – Eighth Durga :
Mata Maha Gowri is worshipped on the Eight Day of Navratri. Maha Gauri looks as white as moon and jasmine. She has three Eyes and four hands. Peace and compassion radiate from HER being and SHE is often dressed in a white or green sari. SHE holds a drum and a trident and is often depicted riding a bull . Her above left hand is in fearless pose and she holds ‘Trishul’ in her lower left hand. Her above right hand has tambourine and lower right hand is in blessing mudra.
Mata Siddhidatri – Ninth Durga :
Mata Siddhidatri is the worshipped on the Ninth Day of Navratri. Maha Shakti gives all the eight siddhis – Anima, Mahima, Garima, Laghima, Prapti, Prakamya, Iishitva and Vashitva. According to ‘Devi Puran’, the supreme God Shiva got all these siddhis by worshipping the supreme Goddess Maha Shakti. With her gratitude, his half body has become of Goddess, hence Lord Shiva’s name ‘Ardhanarishvar’ has become famous. According to some sources she drives on Lion. Other sources say, she is seated on lotus. Siddhidatri Devi is worshipped by all Gods, Rushis, Muniswaras, Siddha yogis, and all common devotees who want to attain the religious asset.
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