Navaratri is celebrated to celebrate Dharma (Good) triumphing over Adharma (Evil). In this nine-day festival, Goddess Durga worships the nine avatars of the Goddess known as Navadurga, each dedicated to a different incarnation of the Goddess. It is associated with the battle between the demon king Mahishasura and Goddess Durga.
During Sharad Navratri, Goddess Durga is worshipped in nine forms including her nine forms of Ghatasthapana, starting today and ending on October 5.
As the daughter of the mountain king Himavan, Shailaputri means ‘the daughter of the mountains. Parvati is also often called Parvati and is the first of the nine Navadurgas. As the wife of Lord Shiva, she rides on his bull called Nandi. Her right hand holds a trident and her left holds a lotus. As a symbol of tapasya, Brahmacharini holds a rosary in her right hand and a Kamandala (water pot) in her left.
The second avatar of Brahmacharini represents the act of penance or Tapasya, as she holds a rosary in her right hand and a kamandala (water pot) in her left hand.
There were ghosts, Aghoris, sages, ascetics, and every being that could ever be imagined in Shiva’s Baraat wedding procession, also known as Baraat. Parvati’s mother and relatives were stunned, mostly out of terror, upon seeing this sight. To avoid embarrassment for Shiva and her family, Parvati transformed herself into Chandraghanta, a terrifying form.
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As the fourth day of Navaratri is regarded as the day of worship for Devi Kushmanda, it is believed that Kushmanda is the ultimate source of all life.
In the South, Lord Karthikeya is often called Murugan. Skandamata is the fifth avatar and she rides a lion with four arms. Two of her arms hold lotuses, a third extends her blessings while a fourth holds Karthikeya, her son.
Ma Katyayani is one of the most worshipped forms of Durga. She takes birth as the daughter of Sage Katyayan and hence comes to be known as Katyayani on the 6th day of Navaratri.
In Hinduism, Kaal means death and Ratri means night. Thus, Kaalratri represents the one who brings an end to everything that is associated with evil or darkness. She is worshipped on the seventh day as Kali. The Kaalratri form of Durga is the most terrifying.
- Maha Gauri
Mahagauri is worshipped on the eighth day and its story has a variety of versions. The word Maha means “great” and the word Gauri means white.
Durga’s Adi Shakti avatar, Siddhidatri, is worshipped on the last day of the festival. Her physical form was empty. She appeared from Shiva’s left side, which is why she and Shiva represent the duality of the universe by combining their energies to form Ardhanarishwara. Lord Rudra worshipped her for creating the universe and she appeared from his left half.
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