Navratra literally means ‘9 nights’. These days are astrologically very powerful for spiritual upliftment.
Navratri’s each night is dedicated to one form of Goddess Durga. That is every ratri of the Navratri corresponds to worship of different forms of Maa Durga.
Shailputri (First Avatar )
1st night devoted to the puja of Ma Shailputri. Shail means mountains; Parvati, the daughter of king of Mountains Himavan, is known as “Shailputri”. Her 2 hands, display a trident and a lotus. She is mounted upon a bull.
Bhramcharni (Second Avatar )
One hand holds a “Kumbha” or water port and the other rosary. She personifies love and loyalty. Bhramcharni is store-house of knowledge and wisdom. Rudraksha is HER most adorned ornament.
Chandraghanta (Third Avatar )
Worshipped on the 3rd night this Ma Durga Shakti 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. Ma is worshipped in this form in Kanchipuram (Tamil Nadu) India.
Kushmanda (Fourth Avatar )
The 4th night begins the worship of Kushmanda, possessed of eight arms, holding weapons and a mala or rosary. Her mount is a tiger and she emanates a solar like aura. “Kumbh Bhand” means to see cosmic vivacity in Pindi shape or knowledge of cosmic intri cacies in human race.
Skandmata ( Fifth Avatar )
Using a lion as a vehicle she holds her son, SKAND in her lap while displaying 3 eyes and 4 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.
Kaatyayani ( Sixth Avatar )
As mother, Kaatyayani stayed in the Ashram of sage Katyayan for penance, hence she named as Kaatyayani. This 6th Shakti is also astride a lion with 3 eyes and 4 arms. One left hand holds a weapon and the other a lotus. The other 2 hands respectively display defending and granting gestures. Her complexion is golden coloured.
Kaalratri ( Seventh Avatar )
Black skin with bountiful hair and 4 hands, 2 clutching a cleaver and a torch, while the remaining 2 are in the mudras of “giving” and “protecting”. Her vahana is a faithful donkey. The destroyer of darkness and ignorance, Kaalratri is the seventh form of Nav-Durga meaning scourer of darkness; enemy of darkness. Kaalratri’s famous shrine is in Calcutta, India.
Mahagauri ( Eight Avatar )
Four arms with the fairest complexion of all the Durga Shaktis.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.
Siddhiratri ( Ninth Avatar )
Ensconced upon a lotus, most commonly, with 4 arms, and is the possessor of 26 different wishes to grant her bhakts. Siddhiratri’s famous pilgrim centre, is located in Nanda Parvat in the Himalayas.
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