What are the 9 forms of Durga
Nava Durga (Sanskrit नवदुर्गा navadurgā f.) is mentioned in the Skandayamala Tantra and Devi Mahatmyam of the Markandeya Purana. The nine forms of deity are worshiped during Navaratri. Nava Durga are the names of the nine forms of the goddess Durga and represent the composite forms of the deity. The different forms are worshiped together during the Navarra Festival. The names of the nine forms are different in the different texts. Two lists are available, one known as Skandayamala Tantra and the other as Devi Mahatmyam of Markandeya Purana. The following is the discussion of the forms of Durga:
Nava Durga of Skandayamala Tantra
Goddess Durga is worshiped in nine forms. One of them is placed in the center and the other eight correspond to the eight cardinal points. Usually they sit over the lotus flower. In the yantras, however, their tattvaksaras are introduced in place of the actual figures. The picture in the middle has 18 hands, large breasts and thighs. It is adorned with rich ornaments. In eight of her left hands she holds the tuft of hair of the Asura, the khetaka (shield), ghanta (bell), a mirror, bow, flag, a damaru, pasa (noose), the remaining ninth left hand is in the Tarjani Mudra (defense of evil). The right hands carry a sakti (bone), a tanka (chisel), a sula (javelin), a vajra (lightning bolt), a shankha (shell), a pratoda (barbed stick), an ishu (arrow) and a chakra ( Throwing disc).
These goddesses are also known by the names RudraChanda, Prachanda, Chandogra, Chandanayika, Chanda, Chandavati, Chandarupa, Atichandika and Ugrachandika. The color of the centrally placed durga is that of fire.
The color of the other durgas is yellow like gorochana (light yellow pigment, made from gallstone of bovine), red, black, blue, white and gray, turmerik yellow and pink. The central durga appears in the Alidhasana position (the left leg bent at the knee, the right leg thrown out sideways). She stands over a lion and holds the Asura's buffalo-shaped head of hair in one hand. The other durgas sit on chariots shaped like lotuses.
Nava Durga of the Devi Mahatmyam
The Devi Mahatmyam describes the Nava Durgas differently than the Skandayamala Tantra, namely as follows:
The goddess Shailaputri (शैलपुत्री śailaputrī) has four arms, two of them in Abhaya Mudra and Varada Mudra. The other two hands carry a sula and a japamala (rosary). She is sitting on a bull. The goddess has five faces, each with three eyes. Her crown is adorned with a Chandrarekha (crescent moon). Goddess Shailaputri is white in appearance. She holds Sutra, Damaru, Sula and Ghanta in her four arms. Her head is adorned with the crown of matted locks of hair. Your mark is the bull.
The goddess Brahmacharini (ब्रह्मचारिणी brahmacāriṇī) has four faces and hands. With her back right hand she holds the sula (throwing spear) and in her back left hand an aksamala (rosary). The front right hand holds the Abhaya Mudra, the front left hand the Varada Mudra. Your body shines bright as gold. She is sitting on a red lotus and has a goose for her vehicle. The goddess Brahmacharini wears a yellow robe and her head is adorned with the KarandaMukuta. She is sitting under a palasa tree. Some other Hindu texts speak of her having six hands.
Chandraghanta is the third form of the goddess Durga. She is venerated by Navaratri on the third day. This form of deity gives strength and wellbeing. She wears a semicircular moon (Chandra) that looks like a bell (Ghanta).
Kushmanda (कूष्माण्डा kūṣmāṇḍā) is the fourth goddess in the series of Nava Durgas. She is venerated on the fourth day of Navaratri. She holds two jugs of blood in her hands and creates the universe with her smile. By transferring her power to the sun god, Surya, she forms the solar system.
The goddess Skandamata, the mother (mata) of Skanda, has four hands. She holds a lotus in two hands and her son Skanda, also known as Karttikeya, in the third. The fourth hand is in the Varada Mudra. She is venerated by Navaratri on the fifth day. The lion is her mount.
Katyayani (कात्यायनी kātyāyanī) is the sixth form of the goddess Durga. Her name is Katyayani because she comes from the hermitage of the sage Katyayana. She is also called Vindhyavasini because she resided in the Vindhya Mountains. She is venerated on the sixth day of Navarra. She has three eyes and four arms. She holds a weapon in one left hand and a lotus in the other. The other two hands show rejecting and granting gestures. Her skin is golden and covered with all kinds of jewelry. She is riding a lion. Her head is adorned with a crown of matted locks of hair.
Kalaratri (कालरात्रि kālarātri) is the seventh form of the goddess Durga and is worshiped by Navaratri on the seventh day. She is portrayed as a destructive force. She has a single tress of hair. In addition to the Kundalas, their ears are decorated with red hibiscus flowers. She is shown sitting half-naked on a donkey. She wears a kind of ring made of iron spikes around her left foot. It is said that the goddess destroys spirits, ghosts and other demonic forces.
Mahagauri (महागौरी mahāgaurī) is the eighth form of the goddess Durga. She is venerated by Navaratri on the eighth day. She is Shiva's companion popularly known as Parvati. She is thought to be Daksha's daughter. Her clothes and jewelry are white and she is sixteen years old. She has three eyes and rides a bull. She has four hands. Her right hand shows the gesture of fear reduction, the lower right hand holds a trisula (trident). The upper left hand is holding a damaru or tambourine, i.e. H. a small bell drum, the lower right hand shows the gesture of blessing with which she grants gifts to her admirers. She is portrayed as calm and peaceful. The myth tells that Gauri's body got filthy one day during the repentance of dust and earth. Shiva then cleansed him with Ganges water. Her body became bright as lightning.
Siddhidatri (सिद्धिदात्री siddhidātrī) is the ninth and last goddess of the Nava Durga, who is worshiped on the ninth day of Navaratris. The goddess sits on a lotus and has four hands.
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Navaratri - the worship of the goddess and Vedanta
Devi Mahatmyam - full mp3 recitation
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