Nava-Durgā – The nine forms of Goddess Durgā
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.
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:
॥ नव-दुर्गा स्तोत्र ॥
॥ nava-durgā stotra ॥
Lord Brahma said:
प्रथमं शैलपुत्रीति द्वितीयं ब्रह्मचारिणी ।
तृतीयं चन्द्रघण्टेति कूष्माण्डेति चतुर्थकम् ॥ ३ ॥
prathamaṁ śailaputrīti dvitīyaṁ brahmacāriṇī ।
tr̥tīyaṁ candraghaṇṭeti kūṣmāṇḍeti caturthakam ॥ 3॥
“First is the Goddess of Inspiration, and second the Goddess of Sacred Study; third is the Goddess of the Delight of Practice, the Goddess of Purifying Austerity is fourth.”
पञ्चमं स्कन्दमातेति षष्ठं कात्यायनी तथा ।
सप्तमं कालरात्रिश्च महागौरीति चाष्टमम् ॥ ४ ॥
pañcamaṁ skandamāteti ṣaṣṭhaṁ kātyāyanī tathā ।
saptamaṁ kālarātriśca mahāgaurīti cāṣṭamam ॥ 4॥
“Fifth is the Goddess who Nurtures Divinity, sixth is the One Who is Ever Pure; seventh is the Goddess of the Dark Night of Overcoming Egotism, the Goddess of the Great Radiant Light is eighth.”
नवमं सिद्धिदात्री च नवदुर्गाः प्रकीर्तिताः ।
उक्तान्येतानि नामानि ब्रह्मणैव महात्मना ॥ ५ ॥
navamaṁ siddhidātrī ca navadurgāḥ prakīrtitāḥ ।
uktānyetāni nāmāni brahmaṇaiva mahātmanā ॥ 5॥
“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.
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.
This picture was submitted by Smita Haldankar.