Nava-Durgā- नवदुर्गा - The nine forms of Goddess Durgā -
Brighter Than a Thousand Suns
With her golden body blazing with the splendour of a thousand suns, seated on her lion vehicle, Durga is one of the most spectacular of all personifications of Cosmic energy. Devi, in her 'saumya' or benevolent form, looks serene and powerful. In her numerous hands she holds a disc, mace, a sword, lotus, bow and an arrow, a trident and a conch shell. Her many weapons underscore the idea that the goddess incorporates the power of all the deities. Dressed in a green blouse and a red saree, she looks a perfect picture of kindness. Adorned in jewellery and an elaborate crown, she is beautiful. The crown and jewellery studded with precious stones points to her supreme status amongs the vedic gods and goddesses.
The background is mountainous, which is well thought of since the word ‘Durga’, itself means insurmountable, and this is why too most of the Devi’s temples are built atop hills.
Durga (the goddess of power) is seated on a lion in a fearless pose (Abhay Mudra) signifying assurance of freedom from fear. Lion represents power, will and determination. She can be seen holding her weapons (a long Trishula/trident with upper hand of right side and lower hand of left side, a Chakra, a conch shell, a Mace, a Talwar/longsword, a lotus and a bow) with her hands. She uses her weapons to destroy evil and to produce an environment conducive to growth of righteousness.
Navadurgā - नवदुर्गा The nine forms of Goddess Durgā:
Navadurga (Devanagari: नवदुर्गा), which literally means the nine forms of Goddess Durga, constitute, according to vedic scriptures, the manifestation of Durgā in Her nine different aspects. These nine forms of manifestation are Śhailaputrī, Brahmachāriṇī, Chandrakaṇṭā, Kuṣhmāṇḍā, Skandamātā, Kātyāyanī, Kālarātrī, Mahāgaurī and Siddhidātrī - together worshipped during the Navrātri Vrata (Nine Divine Nights). Each goddess has a different form and a special significance. Nava Durgā, if worshipped with religious fervour during Navaratri, it is believed, to bestow spiritual fulfilment.
Nava also means 'nine' – it denotes the number to which sages attach special significance. Hence, we have Nava-rātri (9 nights), Nava-patrika (9 leaves / herbs / plants), Nava-graha (9 planets), and Nava-Durgā (9 forms of Durga).
According to vedic scriptures, Goddess Durgā is a symbol of power. She is worshipped in nine different forms and is therefore termed Nava-durgā. Each of the nine manifestation of Durgā is worshipped with full devotion during Navarātri.
At first (she is called) Śailaputrī, secondly, Brahmacāriṇī, in third (she is) Candraghaṇṭā, in fourth Kuṣmāṇḍā, in fifth Skandamātā, in sixth Katyāyanī, in seventh Kālarātrī, in eighth Mahāgaurī and in ninth (she is known as) Siddhidātrī. Thus, she is known with her nine forms, as Navadurgā. These forms have been stated by his greatness Lord Brahmā (only) (3-5).
Navadurgā – the Nine forms of Durga
1.) Śailaputrī (Daughter of the Himālayas) 2.) Brahmachāriṇī (One who observes the state of celibacy doing penance)
3.) Chandraghaṇṭā (One who bears the moon in her necklace)
4.) Kūṣmāṇḍa (the creator of the universe)
5.) Skanda-Mātā (The mother of Skanda, Kārttikeya, born out of her powers)
6.) Kātyāyanī (The daughter of sage Kātyāyana, who incarnated to help the Devas)
7.) Kālarātrī (black as night, destroyer of Kālī)
8.) Mahāgaurī (the wife of Lord Shiva, doing great penance)
9.) Siddhidātrī (Provider of Siddhis, giver of mystic powers)
The following nine names have been told (Devi Mahatyam Devi Kavacham) by the Great Soul Brahma-deva Himself. Durgā is known by these names:
"Ninth is the Goddess who Grants Perfection, the nine Durgas,
Relievers of Difficulties, have been enumerated, and these names have
been revealed by the great soul of the Supreme himself."
Lord Brahma said: I have
with extreme happiness sung the fame of the nine mothers, Śailaputrī
(Daughter of the Himālayas), Brahmachāriṇī (One who observes the state
of celibacy doing study and penance), Chandraghaṇṭā (One who bears the
crescent moon in her necklace), Kūṣmāṇḍa (the mother of the universe),
Skanda-Mātā (The mother of Skanda, Kārttikeya), Kātyāyanī (The daughter
of sage Kātyāyana), Kālarātrī (black as night, destroyer of Kālī),
Mahāgaurī (the wife of Lord Shiva, doing great penance) and Siddhidātrī
(Provider of Siddhis, giver of mystic powers). The great God has told
these in the Vedas.
He who remembers these nine mothers will not suffer even if he is
burnt in fire, even if he has gone to war, even if he is very sad, even
if he is terribly afraid of war. Anyone who remembers those names with
devotion is also are free of these fears and sorrows.
Beautiful mantra singing
Navarātri - नवरात्रि - is a great, nine day, festival in India, in which goddess Durgā is worshiped in her nine different manifestations.
The word Navarātri literally means nine nights in Sanskrit, nava meaning nine and rātri meaning nights. During these nine nights and ten days of devotion, nine different forms of Durgā are worshiped. The 10th day is commonly referred to as Vijaya-dashami or Dussehra.
These nine forms of Durga are worshipped during the Navaratri.
Navadurgā - नवदुर्गा The nine forms of Goddess Durgā:
शैलपुत्री 1. Śailaputrī
ब्रह्मचारिणी 2. Brahmachāriṇī
चन्द्रघण्टा 3. Chandraghaṇṭā
कूष्माण्डा 4. Kūṣmāṇḍa
स्कन्दमाता 5. Skanda-Mātā
कात्यायनी 6. Kātyāyanī
कालरात्रि 7. Kālarātrī
महागौरी 8. Mahāgaurī
सिद्धिदात्री 9. Siddhidātrī
- Navadurgā - नवदुर्गा -The nine differnt forms of Goddess Durgā -
Prayer to Yogamāyā Durga-devi
by Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura
(Kalyana Kalpataru 38)
kuladebī jogamāyā more kṛpā kori'
ābaraṇa sambaribe kabe biśwodarī
O Goddess Yogamāyā, O the mother of the worlds, when will you be merciful to me and remove this veil of illusions?