Navratri 2023: What are the Nine forms of Maa Durga

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During Navaratri, the nine forms or manifestations of the goddess Durga are worshiped on each of the nine nights, and these forms are collectively known as the "Navadurga" or "Nine Forms of Durga." Each of these forms represents a different aspect and attribute of the goddess. The nine forms of Maa Durga are as follows:


  1. Shailaputri: The first form of Durga is known as Shailaputri, which means "Daughter of the Mountain." She is depicted as riding a bull and holding a trident and a lotus. Shailaputri represents the embodiment of strength and is associated with the Himalayas.

  2. Brahmacharini: The second form, Brahmacharini, represents the goddess in her ascetic form. She is shown holding a rosary and a water pot. This form symbolizes the pursuit of knowledge, penance, and devotion.

  3. Chandraghanta: This form of Durga is named Chandraghanta, which means "one with a moon-shaped bell." She has a half-moon on her forehead and is often depicted riding a tiger. Chandraghanta is a symbol of bravery and courage.

  4. Kushmanda: Kushmanda, the fourth form of Durga, is depicted with eight or ten arms and holds various weapons and rosaries. She is believed to have created the universe with her divine smile, and her name means "the cosmic egg."

  5. Skandamata: Skandamata, the fifth form, is the mother of Lord Skanda (Kartikeya), who is the god of war. She holds her son on her lap and symbolizes maternal love and care.

  6. Katyayani: Katyayani is the sixth form of Durga and is known for her fierce warrior avatar. She is often depicted with four to eighteen arms, holding various weapons. This form signifies courage and victory over evil.

  7. Kaalratri: Kaalratri, the seventh form, is a fierce and dark complexioned goddess who rides a donkey. She is considered the destroyer of darkness and ignorance.

  8. Mahagauri: The eighth form, Mahagauri, is a symbol of purity and tranquility. She is depicted as having four arms and is often associated with the moon. Mahagauri represents peace and forgiveness.

  9. Siddhidatri: The ninth and final form, Siddhidatri, is believed to grant siddhis (spiritual and mystical powers) to her devotees. She is depicted with four arms and is the giver of blessings and wisdom.

Devotees worship each of these nine forms of Durga during Navaratri to seek blessings and protection and to reflect on the various aspects of the divine feminine energy. The festival culminates with Dussehra, which marks the victory of Durga over the demon Mahishasura.