Navratri is about devotion and is dedicated to the Hindu goddess Durga. Navratri means nine nights in Sanskrit. It is when all the nine forms of Durga are worshipped on each of the nine days. There are different names by which the different forms of Durga are known. She sits beside a tiger and holds a Trishul in her hand. She is one of the strongest Gods worshipped in Hinduism. She is able to bestow wisdom and knowledge. She is able to overpower evil and each form of Durga imparts different virtues.
Nine goddesses of Navratri
1. Goddess Shailputrii
She symbolizes the power of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva (the three supreme Gods). She is also known as mother nature and the goddess of stability. She holds a ‘Trishul’ a weapon in her right hand and a lotus in her left hand and rides on a bull.
2. Goddess Brahmacharini
The word Brahmacharini means a female who pursues the sacred religious knowledge. She symbolizes spirituality and meditation. She provides wisdom and knowledge to her devotees. She is also known for doing penance to get Lord Shiva to be her husband.
3. Goddess Chandraghanta
The goddesses name resembles the crescent moon. Devotees believe that this goddess blesses them with courage and bravery. She stays beside her tiger with ten hands and three eyes. Her name also can mean supreme bliss and knowledge, showing peace and serenity.
4. Goddess Kushmanda
Her name: Ku means little, Ushma means energy and Anda means cosmic energy. It is believed that the darkness in the universe ended with her divine smile. She is believed to control the whole solar system and in her eight hands she holds different weapons, a rosary and a lotus.
5. Goddess Skanda Mata
Skanda Mata is worshipped on the fifth day of Navratri. She had a son called Skandaa and holds him on her lap. It is said that she is the ocean of knowledge. She grants her devotees with wisdom, power and prosperity. She is also regarded as the goddess of fire.
6. Goddess Katayani
Katayani is known as a warrior goddess, it is said that she eventually led to slaying the demon Mahishasura.
7. Goddess Kalaratri
Kalaratri is known for destroying ignorance and removing darkness from the universe. She is the violent form of the goddess Durga. This form of goddess represents the darker side of life. She has a faithful donkey and is the destroyer of ignorance.
Mahagauri is known as a ray of lightning, purity is depicted in this form of Durga. She is worshipped on the eight day of Navratri. She is also depicted to be as white as moon and jasmine, peace and compassion radiate from her being. She holds a drum and a trident.
9. Goddess Siddhidatri
She provides knowledge to her devotees, the knowledge that she provides makes one realize that is only her who exists, she is the supreme power of all perfect things. Some scriptures say she sits on a lion, others say she sits upon a lotus flower.
Written and Researched by: Anjali Moti