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Goddess Durga is worshipped in her nine different forms during the Navratri festival. Worshipped mainly for power, peace and prosperity, Goddess Durga fulfils all the wishes of those who worship her during Navratri.
The nine forms of Goddess Durga represent nine powers of hers and are worshipped in nine different ways. Her nine forms are collectively known as Navdurga. Here we will discuss these nine forms which are worshipped during the nine-day festival.
Goddess Shailputri is the first of the nine forms of the goddess. The word Shailputri refers to the daughter of the Himalayas. She is considered the purest embodiment of Goddess Durga and is believed to be the mother of nature. She is depicted riding a bull and carries a trident and a lotus in her hands. Goddess Shailputri is also known as Sati, Bhavani, Parvati and Hemavati.
Goddess Brahmacharini is worshipped on the second day of Navratri. The word Brahmacharini translates to the one who practices devout austerity. She carries a rosary in the right and a water Kamandal in the left hand. She is the goddess who leads one to moksha. She bestows peace, prosperity, marital bliss and grace on the devotees.
Goddess Chandraghanta is worshipped as the third form of Goddess Durga. The word Chandraghanta means the one who has a bell-shaped moon on her forehead. She is associated with peace, as is the moon. She has ten hands and has three eyes. It is said that she is all seeing and can defeat the evil whichever direction it may come from.
Kushmanda is the fourth form of Goddess Durga. She is so called as she is believed to be the creator of the universe. She is depicted having eight or ten limbs. She holds many weapons, rosary, Kamandal, and some glitter in her hands. The light that emanates from her hands symbolises the light that she brings to the world taking it away from darkness. Her lion symbolises physical and emotional power.
Goddess Skandmata is the fifth form of Goddess Durga. She is considered to be the mother of Lord Skanda who is also known as Kartikeya and is the brother of Lord Ganesha. Her depiction shows her carrying baby Skanda in her right hand. She blesses her devotees with the other right hands and carries a lotus each in the left hands. Thus Goddess Skandamata has four hands and three eyes.
The sixth form of Goddess Durga, Katyayani is depicted with her long open hair and eighteen hands, in all of which she carries weapons. Goddess Katyayani has a fierce form but she is believed to be the giver of calmness and tranquillity. The body of the Goddess radiates a white light which dispels all the darkness and does not let the evil hide.
Goddess Kalaratri is worshipped as the sixth form of Goddess Durga. Also known as Kalaratri Mahamaya, this Goddess derives her name from the fact that she is the one who causes death to the devil. Kalaratri translates to ''the night of destruction''. She is capable of causing complete destruction of the devil. She is also known as Shubhamkari, which means she is the one who does good (doing good to the devotees). She has thick hair left loose wildly in her depictions; she has four hands and three eyes. While both of her left hands carrying a vajra and a dagger target the evil, the right hands bless the devotees and offer them protection. She looks much similar to Goddess Mahakali.
Goddess Mahagauri is the eighth of all forms of the Goddess. She is known as Mahagauri because of her luminous body. While in her left hands she carries a Damru and blesses the devotees with another, in the right hands she carries a trident and dispels fear with another. She washes away all past, present and future sins of the devotees.
Goddess Siddhidhatri is the ninth form of the Goddess. As her name suggests, she is worshipped as the bestower of supernatural powers. She has four hands in which she carries a trident or a Gada, a lotus, a conch shell and a Sudarshan Chakra. Sitting on a lotus, she bestows her blessings on all her devotees.