Navratri, one of the greatest Hindu festivals, is marked to worship Mata Durga (goddess Durga) and her nine avatars. The festival symbolises the triumph of good over evil. Durga annihilated the demon Mahishasura after a relentless battle lasting nine days, according to NDTV. In total, there are five Navratris in a year: Chaitra Navratri, Gupta Navratri, Sharad Navratri, Paush Navratri, and Magha Navratri, according to NDTV. But Chaitra Navratri and Sharad Navratri are widely celebrated across the country and worldwide. At this time of the year, the devotees are gearing up to celebrate Sharad Navratri. The name of this Navaratri was coined as “Sharad” because it falls in the Lunar month Ashwin during Sharad Ritu. Here are the nine different forms of Mata Durga:
Day 1, Goddess Shailputri: This is the first manifestation of goddess Durga. In this form, the goddess has the collective power of Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh. According to Hindu scriptures, she holds a trishul and a lotus in her hands, and rides a bull called Nandi, as per NDTV.
Day 2, Goddess Brahmacharini: This form of Goddess Durga is worshiped on the second day of Navratri. The goddess is depicted as monastic and blissful. Devotees pray to this form of Durga for peace, prosperity, and grace. In this form, the goddess has two-arms, clad in white and holding a rudraksh mala, according to NDTV.
Day 3, Goddess Chandraghanta: Durga in this avatar appears as a fierce 10-armed Goddess, and worshiped on the third day of Navratri. People pray to her for peace, tranquillity and prosperity in life. She has a golden complexion and wears a crescent moon on her forehead, which is why she is known as Chandraghanta, the report said.
Day 4, Goddess Kushmanda: Durga is worshipped as Goddess Kushmanda on the fourth day. She is considered as the creator of the universe. The name Kushmanda is made of three other words ‘Ku’ (little), ‘Ushma’ (warmth or energy) and ‘Amnda’ (egg) which means the one who created the universe as the “Little Cosmic Egg” with energy and warmth, as per NDTV.
Day 5, Goddess Skandmata: Durga in her fifth manifestation appears as Skandmata. She is depicted as a four-armed deity, who carries a lotus in two of her arms with a Kamandalu and a bell. She is accompanied by Skanda in his infant form. Devotees offer bananas to the goddess for their good health, according to NDTV.
Day 6, Goddess Katyayani: Goddess Katyayani is worship on the sixth day of Navratri. Katyayani was born to the great sage, Kata, as a form of Durga. In this form she is depicted as having four arms, and carrying a sword. Devotees offer honey to Goddess Katyayani as prasad, as per NDTV report.
Day 7, Goddess Kaalratri: Worshiped on the seventh day of Navratri, Goddess Kaalratri is depicted carrying a sword, a trident and a noose. She has a dark complexion and a fearless posture. She has three eyes on her forehead that are known to contain the entire universe, as per the report.
Day 8, Goddess Mahagauri: Goddess Mahagauri is worshipped on the eighth day. This avatar of goddess Durga is intelligent, peaceful and calm. She is worshiped as the four-armed deity who rides on a bull or a white elephant. It is believed that due to her long austerities in the forests of the Himalayas, her colour transformed from white to back. Later, Lord Shiva cleaned her with the waters of the Ganga, and she regained her beauty, as per India Today. Devotees offer coconut as prasad to this form of the goddess.
Day 9, Goddess Siddhidatri: Goddess Siddhidatri is worshipped in the ninth day. She is depicted as a four-armed deity sitting calmly on a lotus. She has supernatural healing powers. Devotees observe a fast to worship her. This form of the goddess signifies the ushering of knowledge and wisdom over ignorance, as per NDTV.