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Nava Raatri-3

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Nine forms of Devee
See also    
  Nava Raatri Story

This "Nava Durgaa" means The Nine Forms of Devee. Durgaa is worshipped in different forms for all the nine days. She is a form of "Shakti". The evolution of Shree Mahaa Saraswatee, Shree Mahaa Lakshmi and Shree Mahaa Kaalee (the 3 main forms of "Shakti") took place from Brahmaa, Vishnu and Mahesh respectively. Each of these 3 deities gave rise to 3 more forms and hence in all, these 9 forms together are known as Nava Durgaa. The first three days of Nava Raatri are dedicated to Goddess Durgaa (Warrior Goddess) dressed in red and mounted on a lion. Her various incarnations - Kumaaree, Paarvatee and Kaalee - are worshipped during these days. They represent the three different classes of womanhood that include the child, the young girl and the mature woman. Next three days are dedicated to Goddess Lakshmee (Goddess of Wealth and Prosperity), dressed in gold and mounted on an owl and finally, last three are dedicated to Goddess Saraswatee (Goddess Of Knowledge), dressed in milky white and mounted on a pure white swan. Sweetmeats are prepared for the celebrations.

(1) Shail Putree
The first day Durgaa is worshipped as Shail Putree (Daughter of Mountain) : "Shail" means mountains, "Putree" means daughter. Paarvatee, the daughter of the King of the Mountains Himvaan, is called 'Shail Putree" . The first among nine Durga and 1st night of Nava Raatra is devoted to the Poojaa of Shail Putree. Her two hands display a trident and a lotus. Her mount is a bull.

(2) Brahmchaarinee
The second day Durga Shakti is worshipped as Brahmchaarinee. Brahm is that is who observes penance (Tap) and good conduct. Here "Brahm" means "Tap". The idol of this Goddess is very gorgeous. One hand holds a "Kumbha" or water pot, and the other holds a rosary. She personifies love and loyalty. Bhramchaarinee is the store house of knowledge and wisdom. Rudraaksh beads are her most adored ornaments.

(3) Chandraghantaa
The name of third Shakti is Chandraghantaa. There is a half-circular Moon on her forehead. She is charming and bright. She is Golden in color, possesses ten hands and 3 eyes. Eight of her hands display weapons while the remaining two are respectively in the Mudraa of gestures of boon giving and stopping harm. Chandra + Ghantaa, meaning supreme bliss and knowledge, showering peace and serenity, like cool breeze in a moonlit night. This Durga Shakti rides a tiger. She is mainly worshipped in Tamil Naadu.

(4) Kooshmaandaa
The fourth night begins with the worship of Kooshmaandaa, possessed of eight arms, holding a weapons and a Maalaa (rosary), her mount is the tiger and She emanates a solar aura. "Kumbh Bhaand" means to see the cosmic dance in the form of Pindee; the knowledge of cosmic intricacies in the human race. The abode of Kooshmaandaa is Bheem Parvat.

(5) Skand Maataa
Fifth name of Durga is "Skand Maataa". Riding a lion as her chosen vehicle, she holds Her son Skand on her lap. She displays three eyes and four hands; two hands holds lotuses while the other two hand display defending and granting Mudraa, respectively. Its said, by the mercy of Skandmaataa, even the fool becomes an ocean of knowledge.

(6) Kaatyaayanee
Sixth Devee form is Kaatyaayanee.

(7) Kaal Raatri
Black (or blue) skin with bountiful hair and 4 hands, 2 clutching a cleaver and a torch, while the remaining 2 are in the Mudraa of "giving" and "protecting". Her vehicle is a faithful donkey. The destroyer of darkness and ignorance, Kaal-raatri is the seventh form of Nava Durga meaning scourer of darkness; enemy of darkness.

(8) Mahaa Gauree
The Eighth Durgaa is "Mahaa Gauree." She is as white as a conch, Moon and Jasmine. She is eight years old. With four arms and the fairest complexion of all the Durgaa Shakti, Mahaagauree radiates peace and compassion. She is often dressed in a white or green Saaree. She holds a drum and a trident and is often depicted riding a bull.

(9) Siddhi-Daatree
Ninth Durgaa is "Siddhi-daatree". There are eight Siddhi , they are- Animaa, Mahimaa, Garimaa, Laghimaa, Praapti, Praakaamya, Iishitwa and Vashitwa. It is said in "Devee Puraan" that the Supreme God Shiv got all these Siddhi only by worshipping Mahaa Shakti. With her gratitude the half body of Shiv has became of Goddess and that is how his name "Ardh-naareeshwar" has became famous. Usually shown ensconced a lotus with four arms, She is the grantor of 26 different wishes to her Bhakt.

Although, the universal nature of the festival is often found to transcend regional influences and local culture, the Garabaa Dance of Gujaraat, Raam Leelaa of Vaaraanasee in UP, Dashaharaa of Mysore, and Durgaa Poojaa of Bangaal need special mention.

Garabaa Dance : "Garbo" is derived from the word Garbho (meaning womb). Symbolically, the Divine mothers' energy is worshipped by instilling a lamp in an earthen pot with tiny holes. As a symbol of procreation the Deep Garbh is worshipped for 9 days. With passage of time, the word Deep of Deep Garbh was shortened and only the words Garbhaa or Garbo or Garbaa remained prevalent.



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Created by Sushma Gupta on 3/15/05
Updated on 09/29/13