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India is known for all the colourful festivals that happen all through the year. People celebrate these festivals together with so much of enthusiasm and devotion. The major religion in India, Hinduism, has a bundle of festivities, of which Navratri is also considered as one of the prominent ones.
The name itself has it. It is celebrated for nine days and each day has its own significance. Different avatars of Goddess Durga are worshipped on all the nine days. The sixth day of Navratri, Shasti, is meant for the incarnation Katyayani of Maa Durga. It is said that devotees who worship her wholeheartedly will definitely be benefited with good health, happiness, and wealth.
Mata Katyayani is clad in a pink saree with a white rosary around her neck. With three eyes and four arms, She sits majestically on her procession, which is a lion. She holds a sword in her upper left arm and a lotus in her lower left arm. Her upper and lower right arms pose the Abhaymudra and Varmudra, respectively.
There are two legends associated with Mata Katyayani.
There once lived a sage called Katyayana, who wanted Ma Durga to be born as his daughter. He had to please the Goddess to achieve this. He practiced hard penance for years, thereby convincing Maa Durga to be born on the Dakshin Krishna Chaturdashi.
Since Maa Durga was born to Katyayana, she is widely known as Katyayani in her 6th avatar. Sage Katyayana had the privilege to be the first person to worship Katyayani for three days - Shukla Saptami, Ashtami and Navami.
It is said that on the tenth day, Vijayadasmi, Mata Katyayani waged a war against the demon Mahishasura and won over him. This put an end to all the atrocities by the demons.
Another legend has it that Mata Katyayani was born when the energy from the eyes of the trinity - Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva - was imparted onto a mountain. She emerged from the mountain with eighteen hands. All the devas handed over their weapons to her to defeat the demon Mahishasur who was creating troubles all over.
Mata Katyayani was so beautiful that the news spread really fast and it did reach the ears of Mahishasur too. He met her later on with the intention of marrying her. Mata Katyayani instead said that the marriage will take place if he wins over her in a battle. He agreed and they fought. Mata Katyayani defeated the demon by cutting off his head. With this, she is also called Mahishasurmardini.
Mata Katyayani lead the devas to win over the demons and hence she is referred to as the 'Warrior’ Goddess' and is said to be one of the violent forms of Maa Durga.
Benefits Of Worshipping Mata Katyayani
Women consider this day as a very important one in their lives. They pray Mata Katyayani to resolve problems related to marriage. Spinsters pray to be blessed with a husband of good qualities as per their desire. Delayed marriages will be set right on worshipping her with devotion. She is considered as a source of courage and valour; these characteristics are highly essential for any woman in times of trouble.
On the 6th day of Navratri, Yogis and Sadhaks devote their time completely to meditate and pray to Mata Katyayani. They believe that they can feel the presence of Agya Chakra in their mind and soul after doing so.
Agya Chakra is nothing but the enlightenment that comes from within to sacrifice oneself completely to the Goddess. In fact, any person who prays with a pure heart and mind can attain Agya Chakra. Sins accumulated over several lives will be forgiven and one develops the strength to fight illness, sorrow, and fear.
One must wear red clothes when praying to Mata Katyayani and honey is offered as 'prasad’. The following mantra must also be recited on this day.
Katyayani Shubham Dadhyadevi Danavaghatini”