Hello everyone and I hope you had very Happy navratri.
Durga Pooja or Navratri , as you may like to call it , is an Indian festival celebrated for as long as 9 days. There are 9 divine forms of Goddess Durga and each day is dedicated to one.
Hence, a 9 day long celebration.
During Durga pooja or Navratri , beautiful and mesmerizing idols of Maa Durga are brought home with joy and love to worship. She is offered all kinds of sweet nothings and prashads ,and the households start smelling of incense sticks and sweets for all the 9 days.
Fascinating ,right ?
Navratri has also become synonymous to lots of beautiful fairy lights adorning the streets at night, the whole town is covered in these colourful little beauties. To add to the charm, are people dancing to the folk songs and Bollywood numbers around the idol in circles, all night. The colourful and pretty ethnic wear, junk jewellery and ornaments are a must have for this dance form called ‘garba’. Amidst all the festivities, the food , the fun and the celebration , there is a lot to be learnt.
Durga maa is the warrior goddess who was created to kill a demon named Mahishasur. All the gods concentrated their energies that took the form of a woman , a woman so strong, so powerful and full of energy that she could kill a demon no one else could destroy.
Man was always considered the stronger sex, but she proved the world wrong.
She inspires us to be the same , to have courage , strength , endurance and what not ! Let us look at all the 9 manifestations to know how close are they to real women, shall we?
#1. Shailputri – the goddess of inspiration
As the name suggests, ‘shail’ means mountains and ‘putri’ means daughter. The first form of Maa Durga, is the daughter of Himalayas. She is supposed to be an incarnation of a woman known as ‘Sati’ who had burnt herself alive when her father insulted her husband – lord Shiva. She inspires us to reach heights, be successful, have a pure soul, love deeply and also have enough self respect to let no one hurt you.
That girl you always see working hard , that girl who is termed as too ambitious for a girl. That woman who is looked down upon for she puts her work before her personal life and family . She is so engrossed in her work that she does not care about the world, and becomes an inspiration for some. She is her – Shailputri.
#2.Brahmacharini – the goddess of sacred study She is the virgin, the untouched and the omnipresent . She is also known as the Goddess of austerity , and it is a much deserved title. Legend has it that she did ‘tapasya’ for as long as a 5000 years just to get married to lord Shiva . During the austerity period, she resided in an ashram where she learnt all sorts of Vedas and granths and hence became the goddess of sacred knowledge . She inspires us to seek knowledge , have an inquisitive mind and keep learning .
That girl you call a nerd , a book worm and what not . That girl, you think will never get a prom date but she shows up with the best guy at last . She is her -Brahmacharini.
#3.Chandraghanta – goddess of the delight of practice
As the name suggests , ‘chandra’ means moon and ‘ghanta’ means a bell. She is named chandraghanta because she has a bell and uses half a moon as a hair accessory. She is the epitome of grace , she knows how to be graceful ,glorious and calm even at war . She inspires us to have a peaceful and calm mind, to have control of our senses so that , we think and act wisely.
When I talk about her, I can only imagine my mother. She handles the most awful of situations while being calm ,quiet and composed. She manages to be graceful, and keep her poise in a place full of disgust. She is her – Chandraghanta.
#4.Kushmanda -goddess of purifying austerity Kushmanda means the little ball of energy , or the little cosmic egg. She resides in the sun and is supposed to have created the earth with her divine smile. She is so full of energy that she provides the sun with brightness and warmth. She is everywhere, as huge as the sun and as small as that ray of light kissing your cheeks. She inspires us to spread warmth , love and smiles. She also tells us that we can be as huge as the sun or the ocean if only we agree to be united as one like the drops of water forming the ocean, and we can also be small but significant at the same time like the Sun beam.
That girl who is always so chirpy , happy and smiling. The one who believes in warm welcomes and contagious smiles. The one who loves to be a part of something big and still has her own identity in the crowd. She is her- Kushmanda.
#5.Skandmata – the goddess who nurtures divinity Skand is another name for kartikeya, the son of lord Shiva , and mata means mother . Thus , Skandmata is the mother of kartikeya. She looks after the universe as it is her own child, caring for it , nurturing it , fighting and protecting it from the evil. She goes to war with her son sitting on her lap. She inspires us to be motherly, caring and over protective not only for our children but for this world we live in.
That girl who you call a rebel , who stands up in support of everything she thinks is right . The one who would fight against injustice and all things bad with passion in her eyes and courage in her soul. She is her – Skandmata.
#6.Katyayni -the goddess who is ever pure Goddess Katyayni was created from the energy radiating off of angry Gods. She is the most fierce out of the 9 forms , she is a warrior goddess like Durga and she accompanied her to kill the demon Mahishasur. She is an angry goddess but a sensible and sane one ,the one who symbolizes the triumph of good over evil. She is full of knowledge and uses it in winning over the evil. She inspires us to fight, fight for what is right, fight for yourself, for the good in the world, and to fight with knowledge . She also inspires us to have a pure heart ,because only a pure heart free from all the prejudices knows the difference between right and wrong.
That girl who has strong opinions, who is fearless in expressing them. That woman whose opinion is always being contradicted , but she knows more than enough to defend herself . She fights for what is right and is the voice of a lot of people . She is her-Katyayni.
#7.Kaalratri – the goddess who destroys time
She has a dark skin colour , messy and untamed hair, eyes full of rage, and a straight posture which clearly depicts her fearlessness. She is completely different from all the goddesses , not just in her appearance but also in her behavior. All other goddesses show anger in a constructive form , they fight for a cause , they fight for good ,they fight with their minds.She does not only fight for the right, but when she is full of rage and is furious,she does not spare the rod. She punishes the evil but spares the good. She inspires us to be completely fearless , to look the devil in the eye and to know that he will be punished.
That women who does not fight for justice but she decides how shall that be done.She is your teacher who punishes you for being ill mannered , your mother who is furious because of you. She is her -Kaalratri.
#8.Mahagauri- the goddess with eternal beauty
As the name suggests , she was extremely white and beautiful . She is the incarnation of goddess Parvati. Legend has it that when Lord Brahma bestowed goddess Parvati with a darker complexion , she was teased and mocked at. The blessing turned into a curse and she incarnated herself as the most beautiful of goddesses – Mahagauri. She tells us that it is absolutely fine to have insecurities, she tells us that no one is perfect and we just have to deal with it. She has had insecurities and so can we.
That girl who thinks she is ugly, fat, has bad hair or complexion . That girl who finds it difficult to be comfortable in her own body, in fact she hates it so much that she would want to live in someone else’s body. She is her-Mahagauri.
#9.Siddhidatri – the goddess who is the epitome of perfection ‘Siddhi’ means supernatural powers and ‘datri’ means giver. She gives powers to her devotees.She is called the mistress of achievement and perfection. She is the one who is complete , a perfect mixture of all that is needed to be an idealistic person. She inspires us to be consistent in all what we do, to do our work with utmost dedication and strive to be perfect in it.
She is the girl, your parents always wanted you to be, that ideal girl who seemed to be good at everything. She does everything with utmost perfection and strives for excellence. She is her – Siddhidatri.
Those were 9 forms of Maa Durga, each representing one of us.
What I believe is, that we all are not just one or the other form of Maa Durga. We are all Maa Durga just in the wrong proportions, some of us are more of one form and less of other forms.
That geek girl may also be the most beautiful one. The most calm girl can sometimes be the most aggressive, the shy girl can be fearless in voicing opinions andeven the most beautiful girl can have insecurities .
A woman can have so many different forms not restricted to just these 9 forms we know.
She cannot be called or stereotyped or be put under some category. She can change according to the time and situation because she does not only have one side ,but many different sides. That exactly is what makes her this beautiful worldly creature we pray,known as woman.
Dedicated to all the beautiful women and their beautiful colors.
Until next time- lots of love
A silly frolicsome girl ( ananyajha_ )