Worshipping Mother Goddess has existed in India for long, Saraswathi, Lakshmi and Parvathi are the three main female deities worshipped by Hindus. Of the three goddesses, Parvathi is worshipped in several forms. Durga, Kali, Bhuvaneswari, Varahi are some of the forms of her.
Durga is one of the popular forms of Goddess Parvati. She has temples all over India and is widely worshipped by many Hindus. Parvati took the form of Durga to save the world from the asuras who acted as a threat to dharma and peace.
The Nine forms of Durga
There are nine forms of Durga, devotees worship these nine forms of Durga to be blessed with different virtues. During the Navaratri, the devotees observe fast and worship the nine forms of Goddess Durga for nine days. These nine forms are collectively known as Nava Durga.
The following are the Nava Durgas and their attributes.
Shailaputri is worshipped on the first day of Navaratri. In Sanskrit, Shaila means the Mountain, and putri mans daughter. Durga was born as daughter to the Himalaya Mountain and thus came to be known as Shailputri.
In her Shailaputri form, the Goddess carries a trident in her right hand and a lotus flower in her left hand and rides a bull.
On the second day of Navaratri, the devotees’ worship Durga as Brahmacharini. The word Brahmacharini means spinster.
When the Goddess performed penance towards Lord Shiva to have him as her husband, she was in the form of Brahmacharini. In this form, the Goddess is bare footed and carries a Japa mala and a kamandalu in her hands.
Goddess Chandraghanta is the third form of Durga. The Goddess got this name as similar to her husband, Shiva, she too adorns half Chandra (moon) on the forehead. In this form, the Goddess rides a tiger and has ten hands holding various weapons.
On the fourth day of Navaratri, devotees worship Durga as Kushmanda. She is the reason behind the existence of the Universe and all its creations. Mother Kushmanda uses lion as her mount and carries different weapons in her eight hands.
Goddess Skandamata is worshipped during the fifth day of Navaratri. In this form, the Goddess appears as the mother of Skanda. The Goddess featuring four hands holds the infant Kartikeya with her and is mounted on a ferocious lion.
On the seventh day of Navaratri, Goddess Durga is worshipped as Devi Katyayini. She is the warrior goddess and is one of the ferocious forms of Durga. The Goddess got this name as she was born as a daughter to Rishi Katya at one point of time. The Goddess has four hands and is seated on a Lion.
Devi Kalaratri is the most ferocious form of Goddess Durga and is worshipped on the seventh day of Navaratri. Goddess Durga took this form to kill the demons Shumbha and Nishumbha. Devi Kalaratri is dark skinned and has four hands and mounts on a Donkey.
Mahagauri is worshipped on the eighth day of Navaratri. The Goddess features a golden complexion and is seated on a bull. Her four hands hold sword, flower, mace and abhaya mudra.
Goddess Siddidaatri is worshipped on the last day of the Navaratri. The Goddess is seated on a lotus and blesses the devotees with all types of Siddhis.