Be it any of the five Navratris, the nine forms of Goddess Durga worshiped on each Navratri are same. Let's talk about all these 9 Avatars of Maa Durga.
Goddess Of Each Day
1. Goddess Shailputri
Navratri commences with worshipping of Shailputri . The goddess is the first form of Durga and rides on a bull with a trident and lotus in her hands.
Mantra: Om aim hring kleem chamundaye vichche.
2. Maa Brahmacharini
Brahmacharini signifies love, affection and loyalty. Also, known as the storehouse of wisdom and knowledge, the Devi holds a rosary and Kumbha (water pot) in her hands. Her sacred ornaments are the beads of Rudraksha.
Mantra: Ya Devi Sarva Bhuteshu Maa Brahmacharini Rupen Sansthita |
Namastasye Namastasye Namastasye Namoh Namah ||
3. Devi Chandraghanta
The goddess got her name as she has a half- circular moon on her forehead. With a golden colored look, the Devi has 3 eyes and 10 hands. Chandraghanta is the goddess of peace and tranquillity and is mostly worshipped in the state of Tamil Nadu.
: Ya Devi Sarvbhoote Shumaa Chandra-Ghanta-Rupen Sansthita|
Namastasyai Namastasyai Namastasyai Namo Namah||
4. Goddess Kushmanda
Kushmanda resides in Bhima Parvat and shines as the aura of sun. Her vehicle is a tiger and she has eight arms.
Mantra : Sura Sampurna Kalasam Rudhira Plutmev Cha |
Dadhana Hastpad Mabhyam Kushmanda Shubh Dastu Me ||
5. Skanda Mata
The ocean of knowledge is this goddess who sits with her skanda (son) in her lap. She has 4 hands and 3 eyes, the Skanda Mata rides on a lion.
Mantra: Sinhasan Gata Nityam Padmashrit Kardvaya |
Shubhdastu Sada Devi Skanda Mata Yashashvini ||
6. Maa Katyayani
Maa Katyayani is known to bless the women with husband of their wish and choice. Observing fast for the Goddess is very helpful for the women whose marriage is getting delayed. Devi Katyayani gives strength and ability to overcome fears, diseases and miseries of life.
Mantra: Chandra Hasojvalakara Shardul Var Vahna |
Katyayini Shubham Dadhya Devi Dan Vaghatini ||
7. Maa Kaalratri
Maa Kalratri is the destroyer of ignorance and the enemy of darkness. She has black or blue appearance. The goddess has a donkey as her vehicle.
Mantra: Ekveni Japakarnapura Nagna Kharastitha |
Lamboshthi Karnikakarni Tailabhyakta Sharirani ||
Vaampadolla Salloh Lata Kanthak Bhushna |
Vardhan Murdha Dhvaja Krishna Kalratri Bhayankari ||
8. Maha Gauri
Maha Gauri shines as white as Moon and believed to be the Devi of compassion and peace. Riding on a bull, Maha Gauri holds a trident and drum in her hands.
: Shwete Vrishe Maha Rudha Shwetambardhara Shuchih |
Maha Gauri Shubham Dadhyanmahadev Pramodada ||
Siddhidatri is the Goddess who gives Shakti (power) to lord Shiva. It is because of her gratitude only that the lord became Ardhanarishvara (half men and half women).
Mantra: Sidhha Gandharvay khshadher Surair Marair Api |
Sevya Mana Sada Bhooyat Siddhida Siddhidayini ||
The 9 Days & Nights Of Navratri
Each day of Navratri has some rituals, which are followed by all the devotees of Goddess Durga. Read the below described points to know the significance of each day.
1. 1st - 3rd day : On the 1st day, a bed of mud is prepared and barley seeds are grown on it. This is known as 'Ghatsthapana'. These three days are dedicated to Maa Durga.
2. 4th - 6th day of Navratri : These days are dedicated to the Devi of knowledge and prosperity, Maa Lakshmi.
3. 7th - 8th day of Navratri : Saraswati Mata is worshipped during these days. Devotees worship the Goddess to gain wisdom and knowledge. Yagna (holy fire) is performed on the 8th day of Navratri. Eighth day of Navratri is popularly known as 'Ashtami'. On this day, nine young girls are worshiped. This ritual of honoring and serving these girls with sacred food is termed as 'Kanjak'. These girls represent the Goddess Durga.
4. Mahanavami : Navratri ends with the observance of Mahanavami. Some people conduct Kanya Pujan or Kanjak on this day.
Navratri is the time for celebrations. Though, each state of the country celebrates Navratri according to its traditions and customs, but the two main highlights of Navratri are: Garba and Durga Puja. Let's throw some light on both these widely celebrated traditions.
Kolkata's Durga Puja
Kolkata celebrates Navratri with charm of Durga Puja
. Grand celebrations are held in the honor of Maa Durga. Huge Pandals and statues of the Devi are arranged for people to assemble and worship the Goddess. Idols of the Goddess are installed in every home, community and society to seek the blessing of Maa. People of every age and caste enjoy the rituals to the fullest by mixing in the colourful joyous ambience.
In Gujarat, the major highlight of Navratri is the time for traditional music and popular folk dance, Garba. Gujarati community welcome Navratri with cheer, laughter, gathering and festive mood. Dressed in traditional wears and with colourful sticks (Dandia) in hands, Garba is accompanied with singing and music. The sticks or Dandia used in Garba depict the sword of Maa Durga. Colorful embroidered Cholis, Badhani Dupattas, Ghagra and the sparkling jewelry adorned by women are the captivating features of this traditional dance.
Difference Between Garba & Dandiya
Most of us are always confused about Dandiya and Garba and co-relate the two. We would like to break the confusion by telling you that Garba is performed before the Aarti; whereas, Dandiya is performed after the Aarti. Also, Garba includes only women, on the other hand, Dandiya is performed by women as well as men.
This Navratri, worship Maa Durga with complete devotion and enthusiasm. We have make sure that you don't miss out any of the essentials needed for Navratri Puja. To know the Puja materials for this Navratri, check out the following points:
1. Shingar items for Maa Durga include red bangles, bindi, sindoor, red chunri, mehndi, kajal, red lipstick, anklets, mirror and nail polish.
2. Lamp (Diya) which is burns throughout the Navratri days . It is known as Akhand jyot which wards off all the evil spirits.
3. Coconut with its thin edge toward the temple.
4. Kalash (earthen pot) is kept which is kept in the Puja room. It is filled with 5 Suparis (betel nuts), water, rice, sugar and a coin. A red color sacred thread is tied on the Kalash.
To begin the fast, the observer takes shower in the morning and wears neat and clean clothes. Durga Mata is worshipped and Aarti is done. Dry fruits of 5 types, fruits, mishri and milk are offered to the Goddess as Bhog. After this, devotees can take the food meant for Navratri. In the evening, Puja is done again and Aarti is done with lighting incense sticks (Agarbatti). Be ready to keep the Navratri fast in 2015 in the best way so that goddess accepts all your prayers and get them fulfilled in 2015.
Bhoga For The 9 Days
The nine different forms of Goddess Durga are served up with different Bhogas (food) for all the nine days. Here are the Bhogas for all the nine days:
1st day : Ghee is offered to Goddess Shailputri
2nd day : Sugar is offered to Maa Brahmacharini
3rd day : Milk/ sweets prepared from milk/ kheer
4th day : Malpua
5th day : Banana
6th day : Honey
7th day : Jaggery (Gur)
8th day :Coconut
9th day : Til (sesame seeds)
Colors To Wear On Each Day
Navratri is not only the time to offer prayers to Maa Durga, but is also the time to wear nine different colors. Have a look at each of these colors and make your Navratri 2015 different, ethnic, and colorful.
Day 1 : Grey
Day 2: Orange
Day 3 : White
Day 4 : Red
Day 5 : Blue
Day 6 : Yellow
Day 7: Green
Day 8 : Peacock green
Day 9 : Purple