Nine Forms of Maa Durga

Goddess Durga is a form of Shakti, she is a combined evolution of Maa Saraswati, Maa Laxmi, and Maa Mahakali. These three Goddess are the energies of Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu, and Lord Mahesh. Each of these Goddess gave rise to 3 more forms of Shakti which in total became nine forms of Maa Durga and called Nav Durga. Navratri is the special occasion to worship all the nine forms Maa Shakti. Each of them possesses special powers which are rewarded to their devotees.

First Shailputri:

वन्दे वाञ्छितलाभाय चन्द्रार्धकृतशेखराम्। वृषारुढां शूलधरां शैलपुत्रीं यशस्विनीम्॥
Vande Vanchhit Laabhaay, Chandrardhkritshekharaam | Vrisharudham Shooldharaam Shailputriim Yashaswinim ||

(I worship Goddess Shailputri to fulfill my wishes, who is adorned with crescent moon on her head, rides on a bull, carrying a trishul and is illustrious.)

First among the nine incarnations is Shailaputri means the daughter (putri) of the mountain (shaila) king of the Himalayas. She rides a bull and carries a trident and a lotus in her two hands. Praying to this form of Mother brings strength (like a stone), commitment, courage, and composure.

Devotees must recite the following mantra 108 times to worship Devi:

‘Om Devi Shailputryai Namah’ or ‘Om Shaam Sheem Shoom Shailputryai Namah’.

Second Bharmacharini:

दधाना करपद्माभ्यामक्षमालाकमण्डलू। देवी प्रसीदतु मयि ब्रह्मचारिण्यनुत्तमा॥
Dadhaanaa Kar Padaabhyaamakshmala Kamandalu | Devi Prasidati Mayi Brahmcharinyanuttamaa.

(O Goddess Brahmcharini, who holds rosary and Kamandalu in her hands, please on me.)

Brahmacharya means celibacy. Bharmacharini means one who practices austerity. Second day is dedicated to Goddess Bharmacharini. She holds a rosary in her right hand and a water utensil in her left hand. Praying to this form of Mother invokes the quality of Brahmacharya and she endows happiness, peace, prosperity and grace upon all devotees.

Devotees must recite the following mantra 108 times to worship Devi:

‘Om Devi Brahmcharinyai Namah’ or ‘Om Braam Breem Broom Brahmcharinyai Namah’

Third Chandraghanta:

पिण्डजप्रवरारुढा चण्डकोपास्त्रकैर्युता। प्रसादं तनुते मह्यां चन्द्रघण्टेति विश्रुता॥
Pindaj Pravaarudh chandkopastrkairyuta | Prasadam Tanute Madhyam Chandraghanteti vishrutaa ||

(O Goddess Chandraghanta, who rides on Tiger, angry on enemies, hold many weapons in 10 hands, be propitious to me.)

Third day is dedicated to Goddess Chandraghanta. She rides on a lion wearing a bell-like ornament in the shape of the moon. Moon represents the mind and bell represents alertness. Ringing the bell brings the mind in control. She has ten hands, three eyes and holds weapons in her hands. She bestows peace, tranquility and prosperity in one’s life.

Devotees must recite the following mantra 108 times to worship Devi:

‘Om Devi Chandraghantayayi Namah’ or ‘Om Hreem Kleem Shreem Chandraghantayai Namah’

Fourth Kushmanda:

सुरासम्पूर्णकलशं रुधिराप्लुतमेव च। दधाना हस्तपद्माभ्यां कूष्माण्डा शुभदास्तु मे॥
Suraasampoornam Kalasham Rudhiraaplutamev Cha | Dahdana Hastpadmaabhyaam Kushmanda Shubhdaastu Me ||

(Goddess Kushmanda who holds two pitchers full of Madira and Blood in her lotus hands, be propitious to me.)

Fourth form of Shakti is Kushmanda which literally means pumpkin. As pumpkin has many seeds, each seed contain the potential to grow many more pumpkins. Therefore, her name signifies as the creator of the universe. She rides a lion holding weapons, glitter, and rosary in her ten hands. She is the one who can give you the highest prana (creative energy).

Devotees must recite the following mantra 108 times to worship Devi:

‘Om Devi Kushmandayayi Namah’ or ‘Om Hreem Kushmandayai Jagatprasootyai Namah’

Fifth Skanda Mata:

सिंहासनगता नित्यं पद्माश्रितकरद्वया। शुभदास्तु सदा देवी स्कन्दमाता यशस्विनी॥
Sinhaasangataam Nityam Padmaanchit Kardwayaa | Shubhdaastu Sadaa Devi Skandmata Yashaswini ||

(Skandmata, who rides on Lion with Kartikeya, holds lotus in her two hands and Varmudra in one hand, be propitious to me.)

Skanda Mata is the fifth form of Maa Durga worshipped on fifth day. She was chosen by gods as their commander in chief in the battle against the demons. . She has four arms and three eyes. She holds Lord Skanda in his infant form in her right arm and a lotus in her right hand. The left arm is in pose of blessing and in left lower hand holds a lotus. She rides a lion.

Devotees must recite the following mantra 108 times to worship Devi:

‘Om Devi Skandmatayayi Namah’ or ‘Om Hreem Saha Skandmatryai Namah’

Sixth Katyayani:

चंद्र हासोज्ज वलकरा शार्दू लवर वाहना| कात्यायनी शुभं दद्या देवी दानव घातिनि||
Chandrahaasojjval Karaa Shaardoolvarvaahanaa | Katyayani Shubham Dadyaad Devi Daanavghatini ||

(Devi Katyayani, who holds Chandrahaas Sword and other weapons in her ten hands, rides on Lion, and destroying demons, be propitious to me.)

The sixth form is Katyayani. There is a legend behind her name. There was a great sage called Kata, who had a son named Katya. Kata underwent long penance in order to receive the grace of the Great Goddess in the form of his daughter herself. Hence, Katyayani was born to Kata as an avatar of Durga.

Devotees must recite the following mantra 108 times to worship Devi:

‘Om Devi Katyayanyayi Namah’ or ‘Om Hreem Shreem Katyayanyai Namah’

Seventh Kaal Ratri:

एकवेणी जपाकर्णपूरा नग्ना खरास्थिता, लम्बोष्टी कर्णिकाकर्णी तैलाभ्यक्तशरीरिणी।
वामपादोल्लसल्लोहलताकण्टकभूषणा, वर्धनमूर्धध्वजा कृष्णा कालरात्रिर्भयङ्करी॥
Ekveni Japakarnpoora Nagn Kharaasthita | Lamboshthi Karnika karni Tailaabhyaktshariirini ||
Vaam Paadollasallohlata Kantakbhushanaa | Bardhan Moordham Dhwajaa Krishnaa Kalratribhayankari ||

(She is naked, rides on a donkey, long tongue, lustrous body, wearing ornaments in legs like lightning, black in color, unlocked hair, big eyes and ears and very dangerous looking. Meditating on this form of Kalratri removes all obstacles as well as removes all magical effects created by others.)

Seventh form is Kaal Ratri. She rides a donkey, has four hands, three eyes and carries sword, trident and noose. She is dark and fearless. Her hair is disheveled. She wears glorious flashing garland round her neck. She breathes out flames of fire. In this form she is cruel and violent form of Maa Durga. Her right upper hand grants boons and right lower hand defy fears. Her left upper hand holds a thorn-like weapon, made of iron and there is a dragger in the lower left hand. She also holds a sparkling sword in her right hand to destroy all evil. Worshipping her assures us of freedom from fear and troubles. She destroys all demons, ghosts, goblins and evil-minded persons.

Devotees must recite the following mantra 108 times to worship Devi:

‘Om Devi Kalratryayi Namah’ or ‘Aim Hreem Kleem Kalratryai Namah’

Eighth Maha Gauri:

श्वेते वृषे समारुढा श्वेताम्बरधरा शुचिः। महागौरी शुभं दघान्महादेवप्रमोददा॥
Shwete Vrishesamarudha Shwetaambardhara Shuchih | Mahagari Shubham Dadyanmahadev Praodadaa ||

(Goddess Mahagauri who rides on white bull, wear pure white clothes, giver of happiness, be propitious to me.)

Maha Gauri is the eighth form. She is the most serene and pure form of Goddess and extremely is intelligent, peaceful and calm. Legend says that in the form of Parvati she did a penance in the great forests to get Shiva as her husband, due to which she developed a dark complexion. Lord Shiva bathed her by the holy waters of the Ganga to wash off her dark complexion. Her body regained its beauty and she became Maha Gauri, means extremely white. She wears white clothes, has four arms, and rides on a bull. She carries a trident (trishul) and a damaru in two hands with other two hands are in blessing posture.

Devotees must recite the following mantra 108 times to worship Devi:

‘Om Devi Mahagauryayi Namah’ or ‘Om Hreem Shreem Glaum Gam Gauri Geem Namah’

Ninth Siddhidatri:

सिद्धगन्धर्वयक्षाघैरसुरैरमरैरपि। सेव्यमाना सदा भूयात् सिद्धिदा सिद्धिदायिनी॥
Siddha Gandharva Yakshdyairasurairamarairapi | Sevyamaanaa Sadabhuyaat Siddhida Siddhidayini ||

(Goddess Siddhidatri who is worshipped by Siddha, Gandharva, Yaksh, Gods, Demons etc., holds Conch, Chakra, Gada and Lotus in her hands, giver of all siddhis and victory all over, be propitious to me.)

Siddhidatri is the ninth form and source of all super natural powers. That is why she is very popular among Siddhas, Gandharvas, Yakshas, Demons and Gods who worship her for powers. She has four arms and rides on the lion. It is said that Lord Shiva worshipped her for Siddhis (supernatural powers). By her blessings his half body became female and other half body male in the avatar of Ardhnarishvara.

Devotees must recite the following mantra 108 times to worship Devi:

‘Om Devi Siddhidatryayi Namah’ or ‘Om Hreem Saha Siddhidatryai Namah’


॥ नव-दुर्गा स्तोत्र ॥
॥ nava-durgā stotra ॥

ब्रह्मोवाच ।
brahmovāca ।
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.”

Gautam Trehan

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