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It is believed that Goddess Durga is the combined form of powers of Goddesses Lakshmi, Kali and Saraswati. Also, she protects her devotees from evil powers and safeguards them.
According to Hindu mythology, Goddess Durga was created by Lord Vishnu to fight the demon, Mahishasur.
It must be noted that Goddess Durga represents the power of the Supreme Being that preserves moral order and righteousness in the creation. As the Sanskrit word ‘Durga’ means fort or a place that is protected, therefore Goddess Durga, also called Divine Shakti, protects mankind from evil and misery by destroying evil forces.
As seen in sculptures and pictures, Goddess Durga is depicted as a warrior woman with eight hands, carrying weapons of different kinds with different mudras. Therefore, let us see what Goddess Durga represents.
Chakra in Goddess Durga’s first upper right hand symbolises dharma, meaning duty and righteousness. This denotes that we must perform our duties and responsibilities in life.
Conch in Goddess Durga’s first upper left hand symbolises happiness. This means that we must perform our duties happily and cheerfully and not with resentment.
Sword in Goddess Durga’s second right lower hand symbolises eradication of vices. This denotes that we must learn to discriminate and eradicate our evil qualities.
Bow and arrow in Goddess Durga’s second left lower hand symbolises character like Lord Rama. This means that when we face difficulties in our life, we should not lose our character, i.e. values.
Lotus Flower in Goddess Durga’s third lower left hand symbolises detachment. This denotes that we must live in the world without attachment to the external world. Just like the lotus flower stays in dirty water yet smiles and gives its beauty to others, we must also do the same.
Club in Goddess Durga’s third right lower hand is the symbol of Lord Hanuman, and symbolises devotion and surrender. This means that whatever we do in our life, we must do it with love and devotion , and accept the outcome as the Almighty's will.
Trident/Trishul in Goddess Durga’s fourth left lower hand symbolises courage. This denotes that we must have the courage to eliminate our evil qualities and face the challenges which life gives us.
Fourth lower right hand symbolises forgiveness and Goddess Durga giving her blessings. This also denotes that we must forgive ourselves and others for all the mistakes and move forward in our lives.
At the same time, as Goddess Durga is always seen as riding on a lion or a tiger. Therefore, this symbolises unlimited power. Also, Goddess Durga is seen wearing a red saree, which denotes she is destroying all the evil forces and is protecting mankind from pain and suffering.
Keywords: Durga, Navratri, Devotion, Hindu Mythology, Hinduism.
Navratri is a nine-day festival that is solely dedicated to Goddess Durga. This festival is amongst the prominent Hindu festivals which are celebrated in different regions with different names. The word 'Navratri' in Sanskrit means nine nights. Therefore, for nine days, 'Nine Forms of Maa Durga' is worshipped.
Interestingly, Navratri falls four times a year, but only two out of them are celebrated, namely Chaitra Navratri (March-April) and Sharad Navratri (September-October).
Sharad Navratri is celebrated in order to mark the victory of good over evil. The reason behind this is because, for nine long days, Goddess Durga fought the battle with demon king 'Mahishasura' and killed him, marking the victory of good over evil.
Nine days, Nine forms of Goddess Durga, and Colours related to them
It must be noted that each day of these nine days is dedicated to the nine forms of Goddess Durga. At the same time, each day is associated with a different colour.
The first day is dedicated to Goddess Shailputri, who is known as the daughter of the mountains. This day is associated with yellow colour, which is said to bring brightness, happiness, and cheer to our lives. It must be noted that Goddess Shailputri symbolizes Mother Nature and her favourite flower is Jasmine.
Goddess Shailputri.Photo by Wikimedia Commons.
The second day is dedicated to Goddess Brahmacharini. This day is associated with green colour, which is said to bring renewal, nature, and energy.
The third day is dedicated to Goddess Chandraghanta. This day is associated with grey colour as it is believed that on this day, Goddess carries the half-moon on her forehead during the night with grey clouds. This day symbolizes zeal and determination to destroy evil.
Goddess Chandraghanta.Photo by Wikimedia Commons.
The fourth day is dedicated to Goddess Khushmanda. Interestingly, Goddess Khushmanda is also referred to as the "smiling goddess". Hence, this day is associated with the cheerful orange colour as it represents brightness, happiness, and positive energy.
Goddess Khushmanda.Phot by Wikimedia Commons.
The fifth day is dedicated to Goddess Skandamata. This day is associated with white colour, which is said to bring purity, peace and meditation in one's life.
Goddess Skandamata.Photo by Wikimedia Commons.
The sixth day is dedicated to Goddess Katyayani. It is believed that Goddess Katyayani is the most powerful form of Goddess Durga as she is hailed as the warrior-goddess or Bhadrakali. Hence, being fierce in nature, she is represented by the colour red, which denotes the anger of the Goddess towards the enemies and fearlessness.
Goddess Katyayani.Photo by Wikimedia Commons.
The seventh day is dedicated to Goddess Kalaratri. Interestingly, the word 'Kalaratri' means the one who is "the Death of Kaal". This day is associated with royal blue colour as it represents immense power.
Goddess Kalaratri.Photo by Wikimedia Commons.
The eighth day is dedicated to Goddess Mahagauri. It is believed that Goddess Mahagauri has the power to fulfill all the desires of her devotees. Therefore, this day is associated with pink colour which represents hope, self-refinement, and social upliftment.
Goddess Mahagauri.Photo by Wikimedia Commons.
The ninth and the last day is dedicated to Goddess Siddhidatri. The name is further made up of two names, 'Siddhi' meaning supernatural power and 'Dhatri' meaning the awarder. It is believed that Goddess Siddhidatri is a giver of knowledge and helps one achieve their aspirations. Hence, the day is associated with the purple colour, which represents ambition and power.
Goddess Siddhidatri.Photo by Wikimedia Commons
Keywords: Navratri, Festival, Durga, Hinduism, Celebration
As one is ready to welcome Goddess Durga with immense joy and celebration, the auspicious and divine days of Navratris are here.
If you’re in Gurgaon you can treat yourself to an exclusive Navratri Thali curated by Chef Mukesh Kumar at Glass House, Hilton Garden Inn, Gurgaon, Baani Square.
The warm and cozy ambiance of Glasshouse is surrounded by beautiful greenery offers delectable dishes, making it a perfect place to satiate your Navratri cravings. Celebrate nine days of divine dining with your family and friends and savor the delicious Navratri Thali Menu that includes Badam Milk, Sharkand Ke Pakode, Arbi Cutlet, Paneer Nariyal Korma, Seetaphal ki Sabzi, Kuttu ki poori, Makhane ki kheer, and many more.
To ensure the guest safety, various measures that are taken at the property include: wearing of masks and gloves by each team member, seating rearrangement is done to maintain a distance of a minimum of 2 meters, physical menus are replaced with contactless menus with the barcode scanning code at each table.
High-quality wipes are provided instead of cloth napkins and the tables shall not be preset like before are amongst the few changes that the outlet embraced. (IANS)
Celebration of the Devi Shakti : Maha Navmi | Worship Goddess Siddhidhatri on the Ninth Day of Navratri
New Delhi, September 29, 2017 : The last eight days have witnessed immense zeal and fervor among devotees who got together to celebrate Sharad Navratri and honor the nine auspicious nights of goddess Durga. According to the Hindu dharma, there are four Navratris in one year; however, only two of them are celebrated in a magnificent way, one of them being Sharad Navratri. This year, the festival was observed from September 21– 29. Throughout the nine day festival, devotees observe ritualistic fasts, perform several pujas and offer bhog (holy food) to Goddess Durga in an attempt to gratify her.
Why do we celebrate Navratri?
‘Nav’ means ‘nine’ and ‘ratri’ means ‘night’. Thus, ‘Navratri’ means the festival of the ‘nine nights’.
Navratri is celebrated to honor and glorify the spirit of Goddess Durga, also known as the Devi Shakti inside us. It is popularly believed that this spirit alone can help us destroy all negative traits like obsession, pride and aversions.
By turning to the Devi during Navratri, and getting in touch with her spirit in us, devotees attempt to overcome these negative qualities and invoke positive tendencies.
Celebration of the Devi Shakti
Shakti translates to energy and the Devi (goddess) of Shakti in the Hindu dharma is revered as the primitive source of energy that maintains and sustains all forms on creation of the earth.
The Devi Shakti, or the feminine spirit, manifests itself in multiple forms, nine of which are worshiped during the Navratri.
Each form of the goddess encompasses and supplements traits such as strength, beauty, compassion, , power, fear and transformation. Thus, during Navratri celebrations, devout Hindus honor the existence, presence and power of the Devi Shakti.
The Different Avatars of Durga
The nine nights of Navratri celebrate and honor the nine different aspects of Mother Divine on each day, known as Nava Durga. These are,
- Maa Shailaputri
- Maa Brahmacharini
- Maa Chandraghanta
- Maa Kushmanda
- Maa Skandamata
- Maa Kathyayini
- Maa Kaalaratri
- Maa Maha Gauri
- Maa Siddhidhatri
Day 9 of Navratri : Maha Navmi
The ninth and the final day of worship before Vijaya Dashami is known as Navmi, also known as Maha Navmi. This marks the end of the Sharad Navratri.
Spiritual Significance of Maha Navmi
According to the Hindu mythology, goddess Durga fought the king of demons, Mahishasur for nine consecutive days. The ninth day is the absolute day when the goddess’ power, righteousness, and wisdom won over the evil forces.
On this day, the ninth avatar of goddess Durga is worshiped – Maa Siddhidhatri.
Ninth form of Durga – Maa Siddhidhatri
It is believed that goddess Durga’s manifestation in his form happened upon entering the body of Lord Shiva and assuming the left half of it.
Maa Siddhidhatri sits on a red lotus and is also seen riding a lion at times. The goddess has a mace, conch, and a lotus in her four hands.
Ruling over the planet Ketu, Maa Siddhidhatri governs the minds of people and motivates them towards a disciplined and spiritual life. Devotees believe worshiping this avatar of goddess Durga leads them on a path of self-exploration and higher spiritual knowledge.
Goddess Siddhidhatri is believed to bring fulfillment and totality in every sphere of life, which is why devout Hindus celebrate the last day of Navratri to please and pray to the goddess.
Rituals of Maha Navmi
- In many parts of North and East India, Kanya Puja or Kanjak is observed on Maha Navmi. Following the rituals, nine young girls are worshiped as the nine avatars of goddess Durga. Following the puja which includes chanting various mantras and lighting incense sticks, the kanjaks are fed food specially prepared for them. They are also presented with gifts as tokens of respect and love.
- In eastern India, Maha Navmi is synonymous with the third day of Durga Puja. The celebrations begin with a holy bath and are followed by the Shodhasopachar puja. On this day, the goddess is worshipped in the avatar of the goddess who killed Mahishasur, Mahishasuramardini.
- In several parts of Southern India, many children begin preparing for their academic year from this day.
Color for the day : Purple
Navratri Ninth Day Maa Siddhidhatri Mantras
“Om Devi Siddhidatryai Namah”
“Om Devi Siddhidatryayi Namah Siddha Gandharva Yakshdyairasurairamarairapi
Sevyamaanaa Sadabhuyaat Siddhida Siddhidayini”