In India, In the Tamil month of Puratashi (October Month), people will begin to celebrate Navaratri Festival for nine days. Navratri festival where People will worship and will do puja for the goddess Sri Lakshmi Devi for nine nights.
The festival of Navaratri is celebrated to cherish the victory of Dharma (Goodness) over Adharma (Evil). These nine days are associated with the battle that was fought between Goddess Durga and the Demon King Mahishasura.
Throughout these nine days and Ten Days. This festival is called by different names by different states such as Navarathiri, Navaratri, Dushera, Navaratri Pooja. The nine avatars of the Goddess known as Lakshmi Devi is worshipped, each day dedicated to one incarnation. Let us find the story behind each avatar.
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1 - Shailaputri: Shailaputri meaning ‘the daughter of the mountains’ was born to the Mountain King Himavan. She is also commonly known as Parvati and is the first of the nine Navadurga. She is depicted having two hands, holding a trident on her right hand and a lotus on her left. Being the wife of Lord Shiva, she rides on his bull named Nandi.
2 - Brahmacharini: In the second avatar, holding a rosary in her right hand and a Kamandala (water pot) in her left hand, Brahmacharini signifies Tapasya or penance.
3 - Chandraghanta: When brought with him the strangest wedding procession is also known as Baraat, consisting of ghosts, Aghoris, sages, ascetics and every being unimaginable. Upon seeing this sight, Parvati’s mother and relatives were left in shock, mostly out of terror. To avoid any embarrassment to her family or to Shiva, Parvati transformed herself into a terrifying form – Chandraghanta.
4 - Kushmanda: Ma Kushmanda is worshipped on the fourth day of Navaratri. It is believed that Kushmanda is the ultimate source of life.
5 - Skandamata: The fifth avatar, Skandamata literally means the mother of Skanda. Skanda is another name of Lord Karthikeya, often known as Murugan in the South. She rides a lion and has four arms. Two of her arms carry lotus, one is raised in blessing while the fourth holds her son Karthikeya.
6 - Katyayani: Being one of the most worshipped forms of Durga, Ma Katyayani is worshipped on the sixth day of Navaratri. This is the form that is often referred to as Durga. She took birth as the daughter of Sage Katyayan and hence came to be known as Katyayani.
7 - Kaalratri: Kaal refers to death and Ratri means night. Hence, Ma Kaalratri is the one who brings an end or death to anything that is associated with evil or darkness. She is more commonly referred to as Kali and is worshipped on the seventh day. Kaalratri is the most terrorizing form of Durga.
8 - MahaGauri: Worshipped on eight-day, the story of Mahagauri has many versions. Maha means great and Gauri means white or fair.
9 - Siddhidatri: Siddhidatri, worshipped on the last day, is the Adi Shakti avatar of Durga. She existed as pure energy and had no physical form. Lord Rudra worshipped her for creating the universe and she appeared from the left half of Shiva. That is why she and Shiva represent the duality of the universe in the form of masculine and feminine energies. They unite to form Ardhanarishwara.