Navratri, the festival of nights, lasts for 9 days with three days each devoted to worship of Ma Durga, the Goddess of Valor, Ma Lakshmi, the Goddess of Wealth and Ma Saraswati, the Goddess of Knowledge. During the nine days of Navratari, feasting and fasting take precedence over all normal daily activities amongst the Hindus. Evenings give rise to the religious dances in order to worhip Goddess Durga Maa.
Navdurga : Nine Forms of Godess Durga
As the ten-armed Goddess, Goddess Durga presents a radiantly beautiful form that is bewitching to behold. That special form is somehow simultaneously wrathful and benign and transmits profound spiritual teachings in an exacting manner. The nine-day period from the new moon day to the ninth day of Ashvina is considered the most auspicious time of the Hindu Calendar and is hence the most celebrated time of the year as Durga Puja. The nine different forms of Devi are worshiped over the nine days. These are the most popular forms under which she is worshiped:
She is a daughter of Himalaya and first among nine Durgas. In previous birth she was the daughter of Daksha. Her name was Sati – Bhavani. i.e. the wife of Lord Shiva. Once Daksha had organized a big Yagna and did not invite Shiva. But Sati being obstinate, reached there. Thereupon Daksha insulted Shiva. Sati could not tolerate the insult of husband and burnt herself in the fire of Yagna. In other birth she became the daughter of Himalaya in the name of Parvati – Hemvati and got married with Shiva. As per Upnishad she had torn and the egotism of Indra, etc. Devtas. Being ashamed they bowed and prayed that, “In fact, thou are Shakti, we all – Brahma, Vishnu and Shiv are capable by getting Shakti from you.”.
First Day Puja: Bala Tripura Sundari Devi Puja
This avatar is worshipped as the first goddesses during the occasion of navarathri and she is the goddesses who were placed on a chair and she is the abode of the three mothers of this world namely the Saraswathi, Lakshmi and the Parvathi. So worshipping the Bala tripura sundari is the same worshipping to those three goddesses and in this avatar the lord Durga blesses her devotees by giving them the Shakthi, Siri and the Gyanam.
Dussehra-Dasara First Day Colour : YELLOW
The second Durga Shakti is Brahamcharini. Brahma that is who observes penance(tapa) and good conduct. Here “Brahma” means “Tapa”. The idol of this Goddess is very gorgeous. There is rosary in her right hand and Kamandal in left hand. She is full with merriment. One story is famous about her. In previous birth she was Parvati Hemavati the daughter of Himvan. Once when she was busy in games with her friends. Naradaji came to her and predicted seeing her Palm-lines that, “You will get married with a naked-terrible ‘Bhole baba’ who was with you in the form of Sati, the daughter of Daksh in previous birth. But now you have to perform penance for him.” There upon Parvati told her mother Menaka that she would marry none except Shambhu, otherwise she would remain unmarried. Saying this she went to observe penance. That is why her name is famous as tapacharini – Brahmacharini. From that time her name Uma became familiar.
Second Day Puja: Annapoorna Devi Puja
In this avatar shakthi is worshipped as Anapoorna devi, the only avatar of lord durga where she doesn’t carries any weapons in her hands expect a dish containing rice, this has an internal meaning that the mother who takes care of us and feed us, in the same way to this world she is the only mother who feeds her children with all the requirements which we wanted. In this avatar you can find lord Shiva comes as a beggar to Annapoorna devi for rice, this means that no matters whether he is a god or human anything is equal to her and in her view she treats everyone equally.
Navratri Second Day Colour : GREEN
Dussehra-Dasara Second Day Colour : YELLOW
The name of third Shakti is Chandraghanta. There is a half-circular moon in her forehead. She is charmful and bright. She is Golden color. She has three eyes and ten hands holding with ten types of swords – etc. 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 danavas.
Third Day Puja: Gayatri Devi Puja
This avatar is worshipped as the third avatar during navarathri and the Lord Durga is placed on a lotus with five faces with different colours, the five faces indicate the panchabuthas which means air, water, sky, land and fire. So this avatar says that all the essential requirements of the man are provided by her and she is the one who was called as “VEDA MATHA” and all the mantras are evolved from her and the only unique mantra for all the gods is the gayatri mantram which can be read as below mentioned.
“ om bur buvasuvaha tatsa vidhurvadenyam bargo devasyadhi mahi thiyo yona prachodayatuu.”
Dussehra-Dasara Third Day Colour : GREY
Name of fourth Durga is Kushmanda. 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 “Kushmanda” has become famous.
Fourth Day Puja: Lalitha Devi Puja
On this day the goddesses is worshiped as Lalitha devi, she was mainly worshiped by the Bhramins since she is also called Shanti swaroopini and one important thing she is the queen of the “Sri Chakram” who sits in the centre of the yantram and to serve her Lord Shiva will be as her sitting chair and the dwarapalakas are like the four corners of the chair and the lakshmi and saraswathi are seated beside her to serve, she was also called as “Sri Lalitha Tripura Sundari devi”
Dussehra-Dasara Fourth Day Colour : ORANGE
Fifth name of Durga is “Skanda Mata”. The daughter of Himalaya, after observing penance got married with Shiva. She had a son named “Skanda.” Skanda is a leader of the army of Gods. Skanda Mata is a deity of fire. Skanda is seated in her lap. She has three eyes and four hands. She is white and seated on a lotus.
Fifth Day Puja: Lakshmi Devi Puja
Lakshmi means in Sanskrit “to perceive or observe.” This is synonymous with Lakshya, meaning “aim” or “objective.” She is the one who has the object and aim of uplifting mankind. Lakshmi is the Goddess of light, beauty, good fortune, power, luxury, fertility, auspiciousness, and wealth. She holds the promise of material fulfillment and contentment. Being the consort of Vishnu, Lakshmi also signifies love and grace. While Lakshmi is generally worshipped to achieve success, she does not reside long with anyone who is lazy or desires her only for wealth.
Mahalakshmi is seen in two forms: Bhudevi and Sreedevi. Bhudevi is the representation of the material world, and Sreedevi the representation of the spiritual world. Lakshmi in eight forms is called Ashtalakshmi. These are the eight forms commonly worshipped by devotees:
1) Bhagya Lakshmi – Goddess of luck
2) Dhanya Lakshmi – Goddess of food
3) Dhairya Lakshmi – Goddess of strength
4) Gaja Lakshmi – Goddess of power
5) Santana Lakshmi – Goddess of children
6) Vijaya Lakshmi – Goddess of success
7) Vidya Lakshmi – Goddess of wisdom and education
8) Dhana Lakshmi – Goddess of wealth
Maha Lakshmi Havan can be performed for desires, goals, issues, or problems. It can be requested for any purpose or motivation as long as it is for the highest good.
By performing the Maha Lakshmi Havan, one attains progress, evolution, growth, co-creation of good present karma and co–creation of good future karma. So, this havan is for more happiness, a better life, more peace of mind, and more support of nature. With the help of this havan, one can attain spiritual, emotional, mental, physical, and material fulfillment. Also, love, marriage, relationship, children, health, wealth, and prosperity.
Dussehra-Dasara Fifth Day Colour : WHITE
Sixth Durga is Katyayani. The son of “Kat” as “Katya”. Rishi Katyayan born in this “Katya” lineage. Katyayan had observed penance with a desire to get paramba as his daughter. As a result she took birth as a daughter of Katyayan. Therefore her name is “Katyayani” . She has three eyes and eight hands. These are eight types of weapons missiles in her seven hands. Her vehicle is Lion.
Sixth Day Puja: Saraswathi Devi Puja for Spiritual/Adademic Students
Saraswathi Devi is the Goddess of knowledge, music, and the arts. Saraswathi Devi is the mother of the Vedas. The name, Saraswathi, came from “Saras,” meaning flow and “wathi,” meaning a woman. So, Saraswathi is the symbol of knowledge, whose flow and growth is like a river. Divine Knowledge is supremely alluring like a beautiful woman. With her grace, one can attain knowledge, achievement in the arts, and good education.
The students who invoke Saraswathi Devi on this auspicious day will become wise and meritorious in their school achievements, career preparation, and educational progress.
Dussehra-Dasara Sixth Day Colour : RED
Seventh Durga is Kalratri. She is black like night. Durga hairs are unlocked. She has put on necklaces shining like lightening. She has three eyes which are round like universe. Her eyes are bright. Thousands of flames of fire come out while respiring from nose. She rides on Shava (dead body). There is sharp sword in her right hand. Her lower hand is in blessing mood. The burning torch (mashal) is in her left hand and her lower left hand is in fearless style, by which she makes her devotees fearless. Being auspicious she is called “Shubhamkari.”
Seventh Day Puja: Durga Devi Puja
In this avatar mother goddesses is worshiped as Durga, since she killed an evil named durgae she was called as durga on that time, in this avatar mother is placed on a tiger with eight hands carrying different weapons on her hand, which has a meaning saying that she is the one who is responsible to give power to do any work, that is the reason many people do Ayuda puja during this day that means the weapons or the things which they use for their work are worshiped on this day. This avatar is worshiped on the eighth day of navarathri and was called as Durgasthami which means the eighth day of durga puja. To get her blessings one unique mantra is given below which is her dyanam mantra which means remembering her at once so go through it.
“chaturpujae chandrakala vatansae kuchonatae kunkuma raga shobitae,
Pundrakshu pakankusha pushpa baana hastae namastae jagadekamaatha,
Durga devata dyayami dyanam samarpayami”
Dussehra-Dasara Seventh Day Colour : BLUE
The Eighth Durga is “Maha Gauri.” She is as white as a conch, moon and Jasmine. She is of eight years old. Her clothes and ornaments are white and clean. She has three eyes. She rides on bull She has four hands. The above left hand is in “Fearless – Mudra” and lower left hand holds “Trishul.” The above right hand has tambourine and lower right hand is in blessing style. She is calm and peaceful and exists in peaceful style. It is said that when the body of Gauri became dirty due to dust and earth while observing penance, Shiva makes it clean with the waters of Gangas. Then her body became bright like lightening. There fore, she is known as “Maha Gauri” .
Eighth Day Puja: Mahishasura Mardini (Kalima) Puja
The eigth avatar is the mahishashura mardini devi which is the most powerful, anger avatar of durga before saying this avatar I would like to tell you the story behind this. Once upon a time there was a rakshasha king named Mahishashura who got wished from Bhrama that no men can kill him and he doesn’t care of women. Due to having the wish from Bhrama he used to make all the gods and goddesses disturbed and occupied the heaven then all went to lord Vishnu and praised him then he suggested that no men in this world can kill him so we all give our powers and give rise to a female so that she can kill him, as suggested by the Vishnu all the gods and goddesses started giving their powers and then the mahashakthi was borned and kill the Mahishashura then she was called as Mahishashura mardini. In this way she was worshipped and this avatar has an internal meaning that the lord durga will kill our evil forces like anger, ego, selfishness and make us free from those forces.
On this day some people perform Kanya puja which means nine girls who had not reached the puberty stage were invited to their houses they were treated as the nine roopas of durga and they were seated and feed them with nine varieties of dishes.
Dussehra-Dasara Eighth Day Colour : PINK
Ninth Durga us Siddhidatri. There are eight Siddhis , they are- Anima, Mahima, Garima, Laghima, Prapti, Prakamya, Iishitva & Vashitva. Maha Shakti gives all these Siddhies. It is said in “Devipuran” that the Supreme God Shiv got all these Siddhies by worshipping Maha Shakti. With her gratitude the half body of Shiv has became of Goddess and there fore his name “Ardhanarishvar” has became famous. The Goddess drives on Lion. She has four hands and looks pleased. This form of Durga is worshiped by all Gods, Rishis-Munis, Siddhas, Yogis, Sadhakas and devotees for attaining the best religious asset.
Nineth Day Puja: Raja Rajeswari Devi Puja
Vehicle Pujas for Vijaya Dasami – Victory Day
Raja Rajeswari Devi Puja
This is the last avatar of durga during the navarathri occasions after the defeat of the mahishashura all the gods and goddesses celebrate the occasion as vijaya dasami and the goddesses is placed on a chair and was worshiped by all the gods and goddesses, since she was worshiped by many empires and kings she was called as Rajarajeswari.
So these are the nine avatars of durga, many people follow different traditions in following these puja vidhanams but to be frank it doesn’t matter the way you perfom it matters only how you perform with your inner soul. She doesn’t require a lot of flowers, jewelers ,ornaments etc.., she only requires a peace of your attention and your belief on her.
Since the Lord Indra used to worshiped her from the heaven she was called as Indrakilari kanakadurgama. There was a story for durga to be named as kanakadurgama i.e when she settled on the hills of vijayawada then mystery happened there i.e instead of water rain came with gold coins since from that time she was named as kanakadurga since in telugu gold can be called as kanakam since the durga who gave gold she was called like that from that time, and was worshipped by the world as their main devotees.
Dussehra-Dasara Nineth Day Colour : PURPLE
“Ya devi sarvabhuteshu, shakti rupena samshthitha Namasteshwai Namasteshwai Namasteshwai namo namaha”.
Durga bija Mantra
AING HRING KLEENG
Durga Mula Mantra:
Om Sri Durgayai Namah
Durga Gayatri Mantra:
Aum Girijaye Cha Vidmahe
Shiva Priyaye Cha Dheemahi
Tanno Durga Prachodayat