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Navaratri 2021: A look at nine avatars of 'Ma Durga'

Navaratri 2021: A look at nine avatars of 'Ma Durga'

Navaratri 2021: A look at nine avatars of 'Ma Durga'
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By CNBC-TV18 Oct 7, 2021 1:06:29 PM IST (Published)

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The nine auspicious nights as per the Hindu calendar have officially begun, and are being celebrated throughout India. Amid all the festivities and gaiety, let us take a moment to observe the significance of each of these nights individually dedicated to the nine avatars of Goddess Durga -- Shailaputri, Brahmacharini, Chandraghanta, Kushmanda, Skanda Mata, Katyayini, Kaalratri, Maha Gauri, and Siddhidatri. Essentially, the festival is associated with the epic allegorical battle between the Goddess and demon Mahishasura that culminated with the symbolic slaying of the latter. It marks the victory of good over evil, and recognises the savagery of the warrior Goddess. Happy Navaratri! (Image: AP)

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1. Shailaputri (the daughter of the mountains) is the first of the nine avatars of Durga. She is the embodiment of the powers of the Holy Trinity — Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. She carries a trident and a lotus in her hands and rides a bull.

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2. Brahmacharini is the second avatar of Goddess Durga. Her name means one who practices penance, with Brahma meaning penance and Charini meaning a female follower. She holds rosary beads in her right hand and a water utensil in her left.

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3. Chandraghanta is the third form of Goddess Durga. Literally translated, her name means the one who has a “crescent moon shaped like a bell”. She is believed to reward devotees with her elegance and bravery, and eliminate all their sins, physical sufferings, mental tribulations and ghostly hurdles.

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4. Kushmanda is the fourth form of the Hindu Goddess Durga. Ku means "a little," Ushma means "warmth" or "energy", and Anda means "cosmic egg". She is considered to have created the universe with her divine smile. She is believed to improve health and bestow wealth and strength.

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5. Skandamata is the fifth of the nine avatars. “Skanda” is another name for Kartikeya and “Mata” means mother. She rewards devotees with salvation, power, and prosperity. She can grant oceans of wisdom even to the most illiterate if they happen to be a devotee.

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6.  Katyayani is regarded as the ferocious form of Shakti or Durga — a Warrior Goddess. She is also called Bhadrakali and Chandika. Traditionally, she is associated with the color red, the primordial form of Shakti.

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7. Kaalratri or Kali is worshipped on the seventh day of Navaratri. She is one of the most livid forms of Durga. Kaalratri is the one who destroys ignorance and removes darkness. This form primarily depicts the darker side of life – Mother Nature’s fury.

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8. Mahagauri is worshipped on the eighth day of Navaratri. Her power is unfailing and instantly fruitful. She washes away all past, present and future sins of her devotees. Mahagauri is intelligent, peaceful and calm.

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9. Siddhidhatri has supernatural healing powers. She manifests as the Mother Goddess and blesses all gods, saints, yogis, tantric and devotees.

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