Nine forms of goddess durga, shailaputri, chandraghanta, kushmanda, skandamata
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Nine Forms of Goddess Durga

According to Hindu mythology Goddess Durga is a symbol of power. She is worshipped in nine forms and is termed Navadurga. Each of the nine manifestation of Durga is worshipped with full devotion during Navaratri. These nine forms are derived from three major forms namely, Mahasaraswati, Mahalakshmi and Mahakali who owes mystic energies of Trilogy.

1. The first form is called Shailaputri is Sati Bhavani, Parvati or Hemavati. She is worshipped on the first day of the nine divine nights. This incarnation is imagined as the goddess with the power of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, riding a bull and carrying a trident and a lotus in each of her two hands.

2. The second manifestation of Goddess Durga is worshipped as Brahmacharini on the second day of Navaratri. Brahmacharini enlightens individuals with her great powers, happiness, peace, prosperity and godly elegance. She holds a rosary in her right hand and a water utensil in her left hand. People believe that worshipping this form of goddess will lead to Moksha.

3. The third facet 'Chandraghanta' is worshipped on the third day of Navaratri and prayed to bestow peace, tranquility and prosperity in one's life. She is seen as lady of golden complexion, bearing crescent moon on her forehead which looks as like bell or 'ghanta', having ten hands holding weapons and three eyes.

4. Kushmanda, the creator of the universe and the fourth form of the mother goddess is worshipped on the fourth day of Navaratri. Often she is depicted as having eight or ten hands. She holds weapons, glitter, rosary, etc., in her hands, and she rides a lion.

5. Fifth form of the goddess is Skanda Mata. The mother of Lord Kartikeya is worshipped on the fifth day of 9 divine nights. The picture of this aspect is a fair complexioned lady who has four arms and three eyes, holds infant Skanda or Kartikeya in upper right arm and the left arm is raised as she is spreading her blessing to the world. Lotus is held in both right and left lower hand. She is seen seating on a lotus.

6. Ma Katyayani is worshipped on the sixth day of Navaratri.

7. Kaal Ratri, the seventh form of Mother Durga is adored on the seventh day of Navaratri. She is the dark complexioned, three eyed, tousled hair deity who is wearing beautiful gold necklace around neck rides donkey. She gives her blessings by her raised upper right hand to all worshippers whereas she holds sword in left upper. Her right lower hand pose of dispelling fears and a dragger in the lower left hand. She is also known as 'Shubhamkari'.

8. The eighth day of Navaratri is dedicated to Maha Gauri. Devotees believe all the sins are relieved and their soul will be purified by the blessings of Maha Gauri. The intelligent mother goddess is calm, dark complexion lady in white clothes, four arms riding a bull. She allays fear from her right hand and holds a trident in her lower right hand. The left upper hand holds a ‘damaru’ while grants boon by lower hand to the devotees.

9. Siddhidatri is the ninth manifestation of Goddess who is worshipped on the ninth day of Navaratri. The four arms spread mystic healing powers. She rides on lion.

Durga Puja in Bengal

Durga Puja in Bengal

Goddess Durga is synonymous with Shakti, the divine power to fight against all evils. Durga Puja and Bengal are complementary to each other. Durga puja is an important and biggest celebration here. Earlier the worship of Durga was only the ambit of a few religious individuals.
Dusshera in different states

Dusshera Rituals in different states

Dusshera, dushehra, VijayaDashmi, is known by different names in different parts of the country. The rituals and custom too differ from region to region but the tradition of burning cardboard models of Ravana, his son Meghnad and brother Kumbhkaran is observed commonly in nearly all states.