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See also    Devee;     Das Mahaavidyaa;     Devee Mahaatmya;     Nityaa Devee in Chandramaa's 16 Kalaa

Devee means Goddess - female form of god. There are five Devee - (1) Umaa (Shiv's wife), (2) Ushaa (goddess of dawn), (3) Vaidehee (Raam's wife), (4) Ramaa (Vishnu's wife Lakshmee), and (5) Gangaa (River). But if somebody says "Devee", he means Durgaa. There are three main Devee of the Vaidik times - Ilaa, Bhaaratee, and Saraswaee; and there are three main Devee of Pauraanik times - Lakshmee, Durgaa and Saraswatee . Lakshmee is remembered by many names - Shree, Kamalaa, Ramaa, Indiraa etc. Durgaa is worshipped under hundreds of names - Paarvatee, Kaalee, Gauree, Ambaa, Umaa, Bhavaanee, Girijaa. Devee, when used alone, signifies Durgaa and her roles. All Devee are considered the Shakti (power) of God. Since God cannot be imagined without His power, He must be accompanied by His female counterpart - Devee to complete Him; such as - Vishnu-Lakshmee, Shiv-Paarvatee, Krishn-Raadhaa, Raam-Seetaa etc.
[Aangiras, p 184]

Mahaanirvaan Tantra
(p 47-48) lists many names of Devee including Das Mahaa Vidyaa, such as - Shivaa, Kaalee, Taarinee, Durgaa, Shodashee, Buvaneshwaree, Dhoomaavatee, Bagallmukhee, Bhairavee, Chinnamastaa, Annpoornaa (dispenser of food), Vaag Devee (Saraswatee - Devee of speech, wisdom, knowledge, science, art, eloquence, music), Kamalaalayaa (Lakshmee who lives in lotus flower), Kankaal Mardinee, Maheshee (feminine of Mahesh), Maheshaanee (feminine of Maheshaan), Ambikaa (Mother of the Universe), Kalyaanee, Kalaa-vatee, Kamalaa, Kapardeesh-Kripaanvitaa (Kapardeesh is Shiv derived from his matted hair), Kapardinee (so called Kaprdee from his matted hair), Kaalikaa (because she devours Shiv as Mahaakaal), Kaal Raatri (the Varaah Puraan says that Raudree who was born from darkness and went to the Blue Mountains to perform penance, she is called Kaal Raatri), Shailajaa. She is two-armed, four-armed, six-armed, and eight-armed and holds missiles and weapons for the protection of the Universe.

On p 49-50 of the same Mahaanirvaan Tantra, Shiv himself says to Paarvatee - "Thou the Supreme Yoginee dost, moved by his mere desire, create, protect, and destroy this world with all that moves and is motionless therein. Mahaakaal, the Destroyer of the Universe is thy image. At the Dissolution of things, it is Kaal who will devour al and by reason of this He is called Mahaakaal, and since thou devourest Mahaakaal Himself, it is Thou who art the Supreme Primordial Kaalikaa. Because Thou devourest Kaal, Thou art Kaalee, the original form of all things and because Thou art the Origin of and devourest all things, Thou art called the Aadyaa Kaalee." On p 139, According to Padm Puraan, Devee is worshipped as Kalyaanee in the Malaya Parvat.
(see also Lalitaa Sahastra Naam, ver 73) On p 141,

Kumaaree Poojaa - The Kumaaree (unmarried girls) Poojaa, or the worship of virgins, is very common in Bangaal. The worship is by men, whereas the Sadhavaa Poojaa or worship of married woman is one by women. A girl in her 8th year is called Gauree. The Devee as Paarvatee was married to Shiv in her 8th year. Girls of 8 years are considered Gauree and forms of Devee. Lalitaa Sahastra Naam gives the following explanations - As play she creates the Universe, hence she is Kumaaree; or she destroys the ground of the Great Illusion, hence she is Kumaaree. Kumaaree is the enjoyer, and not to be enjoyed, as she is One with the Yogee who is the enjoyer.

In the Puraan, Gaayatree is represented as Consort of Brahmaa. She, when worshipped three times a day, is worshipped in the morning in her Saatwik form represented as Vaishnavee, at midday in her Raajasik form representing as Braahmee, and in the evening in her Taamasik form representing as Shaivee.

--Brahmaa is generally pictured as a red man and she with four hands, seated on a swan dressed in white.
--Vishnu is pictured as of dark complexioned, four-armed, holding Shankh Chakra, Gadaa and Padm in His four hands, riding upon the bird Garud, dressed in yellow clothes (Peetaambar). The Mahaabhaarat pictures Him as seated in Vaikunth, the Heaven of Vishnu, on a seat glorious as the midday Sun, resting on white lotuses with His consort Lakshmee who shines like a continued blaze of lightning and from whose body the fragrance of lotus extends 800 miles. She stands on a red lotus carrying Kalash of wealth and lotus flowers in Her hands. Gaayatree when worshiped at the midday as Saatwik, she is worshipped as Vaishnavee.
--Each Dev or Devee has his or her Vaahan (vehicle), for example, Shiv's vehicle is Nandee bull. He is always represented as of very fair complexion and is described in Shiv Stotra as shining like a mountain of silver. Vishnu's vehicle is Garud. Gaayatree when worshipped in the evening is worshipped in her Taamasik form as Shaivee.

Padm Puraan, 1/13 mentions the following names of Devee attending Brahmaa's Yagya -
(1) Hree, (2) Keerti, (3) Dyuti, (4) Prabhaa, (5) Dhriti, (6) Kshamaa, (7) Bhooti, (8) Neeti, (9) Vidyaa, (10) Mati, (11) Shruti, (12) Smriti, (13) Kaanti, (14) Shaanti, (15) Pushti, and (16) Kriyaa.

Agni Puraan, 21/35-26 says that while worshipping Soorya, one should worship his 9 Shakti (Powers, or Devee) - (1) Deeptaa, (2) Sookshmaa, (3) Jayaa, (4) Bhadraa, (5) Vibhooti, (6) Vimalaa, (7) Amoghaa, (8) Vidyutaa and (9) Sarvatomukhee.

Agni Puraan, p 102, lists the following 8 Devee as "Ambaashtak"
(1) Rudrachandaa,  (2) Ashtbhujaa (or Rudrachaamundaa),   (3) Naatyeshwaree,  (4) Chaturmukhee,  (5) Mahaalakshmee,  (6) Siddh Chaamundaa,   (7) Siddh Yogeshwaree,  (8) Bhairavee, and (9) Roopvidyaa.

Brahm Vaivart Puraan, on p 85 (Gita Press, Gorakhpur) in Prakriti Khand, Bhagavaan Naaraayan says to Naarad Jee that there are five Devee, called Prakriti, on which this Universe is dependent. These five Devee are : (1) Durgaa (who is the mother of Ganesh),  (2) Lakshmee (consort of Vishnu),  (3) Saraswatee (consort of Bramaa),  (4) Saavitree, and  (5) Raadhaa (consort of Krishn).

Paarvatee's Names
Paarvatee means the daughter of Parvat (mountain). Since Paarvatee was the daughter of Himaalaya Parvat, that is why she was called as Paarvatee. She is called as Ambaa, Ambikaa, Aparnaa, Gauree, Girijaa, Himkanyaa, and Umaa.

Nava Durgaa
There come two Nava Raatri to worship nine Durgaa forms every year -
(1) In Chaitra month, from Shukla Pratipadaa to Navamee (This Navamee is Raam Navamee also); and
(2) In Aashwin month, from Shukla Pratipadaa to Navamee (next day is Dashaharaa)

During these day nine forms of Devee are worshipped. There are endless aspects of Durgaa described in the Puraan and Aagam and the iconography is also consequently very varied. She is usually pictured as having ten arms holding Sword, Conch, Discus, Rosary, Bell, Wine cup, Shield, Bow, Arrow, and Spear. She is most often shown riding a lion from which comes her august name, Sinh Vaahinee (she who stands astride the king of beasts lion). She is gorgeously dressed in royal red cloth and has several ornaments decorating Her personage. Her hair is dressed up in a crown (Karand Mukut) which then flows out in long luxuriant tresses that are darkly luminous and soothing to the eye. The various tools reflects the eminent supremacy that helps in controlling the universe and obey her will.

(3) The name of 3rd Shakti is Chandraghantaa. There is a half-circular moon in her forehead. She is charming and bright. She is golden color. She has three eyes and ten hands holding with ten types of swords and weapons and arrows etc. She is seated on lion and ready for going in war to fight. She is unprecedented image of bravery. The frightful sound of her bell terrifies all the villains, demons and Daanav.

(4) The name of the 4th Durgaa is Kooshmaand. The Shakti creates egg, ie Universe, by mere laughing .She resides in solar systems. She shines brightly in all the ten directions like Sun. She has eight hands. Seven types of weapons are shining in her seven hands. Rosary is in her right hand. She seems brilliant riding on Lion. She likes the offerings of "Kumhde." Therefore her name "Kooshmaand" has become famous.

The gods then gifted the goddess with their weapons and other divine objects to help her in her battle with the demon, Mahishaasur. Lord Shiv gave her a trident while Lord Vishnu gave her a disc. Varun, gave her a conch and noose, and Agni gave her a spear. From Vaayu, she received arrows. Indra, gave her a thunderbolt, and the gift of his white-skinned elephant Airaavat was a bell. From Yam, she received a sword and shield and from Vishwakarmaa (god of Architecture), an axe and armor. The god of mountains, Himavant gifted her with jewels and a lion to ride on. Durgaa was also given many other precious and magical gifts, new clothing, and a garland of immortal lotuses for her head and breasts.

(6) On the 6th day is worshipped Kaatyaayanee Devee - The son of "Kat" as "Katya". Rishi Kaatyaayan was born in this "Katya" lineage. Kaatyaayan had observed penance with a desire to get Paramba as his daughter. As a result she took birth as a daughter of Rishi Kaatyaayan. Therefore her name is "Kaatyaayanee". She has three eyes and eight hands. There are eight types of weapons missiles in her seven hands. Her vehicle is Lion.

Das Mahaa Vidyaa
The ten Devee are (1) Kaalee, (2) Taaraa or Taarinee, (3) Chinnamastaa, (4) Dhoomaavatee, (5) Shodashee or Lalitaa, (6) Bhuvaneshwaree, (7) Bagalaamukhee, (8) Kamalaa, (9) Maatangee, and (10) Bhairavee. People do Saadhanaa of these Devee.

There are five primary forms of Prakriti or Devee - Raadhaa, Durgaa, Lakshmee, Saraswatee and Saavitree. Durgaa destroyed Madhu and Kaitabh through Vishnu. As Mahaa Lakshmee, she destroyed Mahishaasur; and as Saraswatee, she destroyed Shumbh and Nishumbh with their companions Dhoomralochan, Chand, Mund and Raktbeej.


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Created by Sushma Gupta on 3/15/06
Updated on 12/10/12