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A gracious face, with a sweet smile on her face, she has one thousand hands each carrying a weapon. Goddess Durga is also known as 'Maya' for she bestows the man with all the wealth he needs in life. This Goddess is a deity which cannot be controlled by anyone, she is invincible, as is suggested by the name Durga itself. This year Durga puja will start from 28 September and end on 8 October.
There are three sub-parts in Hindu religion, Vaishnavism, Shaivism and Shaktism. Goddess Durga is the primary deity in Shaktism. She is just another form of Goddess Parvati, who came to be known as Durga after she killed the demon Mahishasura.
Goddess Durga has eight other forms as well. These are mainly worshipped during the nine days of Navaratra/Navratri. Her eight more forms are no less beautiful and powerful than Goddess Durga herself. These are collectively known as Navdurga. Here we are going to tell you about those eight forms of the Goddess, along with their significance. Let us begin.
Goddess Shailputri is depicted with a beautiful face, having a crescent moon on her forehead. She has two hands, in the left she carries a lotus and in the right one, a trident. She rides the Nandi bull. Shailputri means the daughter of the mountain. When the Goddess took birth as the daughter of the Himalaya, in the house of the king of mountains, she came to be known as Shailputri.
She is worshiped on the first day of the Navratri.
Goddess Brahmacharini is depicted bare feet and carrying Jaapmala in the right hand and a Kamandalu in the left. When the Goddess Durga took birth at the home of Daksh Prajapati, to marry Shiva, she was named Sati. Sati was also known as Brahmacharini before marriage. Goddess Brahmacharini is worshipped on the second day of the Navratri.
When Goddess Sati got married to Lord Shiva, she started wearing a half-moon shaped tilak on her forehead. This tilak represented a bell, therefore the Goddess was known with the name Chandraghanta. Goddess Chandraghanta is depicted with ten hands. In four of her right hands, she carries a lotus, a Dhanush, an arrow and 'Jaapmala'. The fifth hand is in Abhay Mudra. Similarly, in four of her left hands, she carries a Trident, a Gada, a sword and a Kamandalu and the fifth one is in Varada Mudra. She rides on a tigress and is worshipped on the third day of Navaratri.
Goddess Kushmanda rides on a lioness, carrying a Kamandalu, a Dhanush, a Bada and a lotus in her right hands, and a pot filled with nectar, a 'Sudarshan Chakra', a 'Gada' and a 'Jaapmala in the left hands.
When she started living inside the Sun, she came to be known as the Goddess Kushmanda. She shines as the Sun, and is specifically known for her prowess. Goddess Kushmanda is worshipped on the fourth day of the Nvaratri.
Kartikeya, is the lord of war, also known as Skanda. He is the son of this Goddess, and because of this fact she came to be known as Skandmata. Goddess Skandamata is depicted sitting on a lotus, because of which she is also known as Padmasana. She is shown with four hands. In two of which she carries lotus flowers, in the second left hand, she carries baby Skanda and the second right hand is in Abhaymudra. She rides on a lion and is worshipped on the fifth Navaratri.
Goddess Katyayani is depicted sitting on a lion and while her right hands are in Abhay Mudra and Varada Mudra, the left hands carry a lotus and a sword.
She was born to attack Mahishasura, and came to be known as Katyayani. She is worshiped on the sixth day of the Navaratri.
When the Goddess manifested to destroy the demons, Shumbh and Nihumbh, she was known with the name Kalratri. As the name suggests, she is depicted in a very ferocious form. Seated on a donkey, she carries a sword and an iron hook in her left hands, whereas the right hands are in Abhay Mudra and Varada Mudra. This form of the Goddess is worshiped on the seventh day.
Goddess Mahagouri is depicted sitting on a bull. One of her right hands carries the trident and the other is in Abhay Mudra, similarly one of her left hands carries a damru and the other is in Varada Mudra.
When Goddess Shailputri was very beautiful and fair at the age of sixteen, she was known as Mahagouri. This form of the Goddess is worshipped on the eighth Navratri.
When at the beginning of the universe, Lord Shiva worshiped the unmanifested form of Shakti, she had no form. Therefore, she was depicted as the left half of Shiva. She sits on a lotus, riding a lion. In one of her right hands, she has a Gada and in the other is a Chakra. In her left hands, she holds a lotus flower and a Shankh.