The Nava Durgas

The goddess Durga has nine important forms called the Nava-Durgas. During the Nava-Ratri festival (October), each of the goddesses is worshipped on a particular night for the destruction of evil and for the preservation of Dharma (religion).

Statue of Durga riding on a LionStatue of Durga riding on a Lion

The Nine Durgas are:

Shailputri:- She is worshipped on the first night and is the daughter of Himavan. She has two hands, one holding a trident and the other a lotus. She rides a bull.

Brahmacharini:- The second Durga-shakti has two hands. One holds a water-pot and the other a rosary. She symbolizes devotion.

Chandraghanta:- The third Durga-shakti is golden complexioned, rides a tiger and has ten hands and three eyes. The hands hold various types of weapons with two in a boon-giving and protective mode.

Kushmanda:- The fourth Durga-shakti has eight arms, holding various types of weapons and a rosary. She rides a tiger and has a presence like that of the Sun.

Skandamata:- Riding a lion, she is the mother ofSkanda who is shown sitting on her lap. She has three eyes and four arms with two holding lotus flowers and two in a blessing and protective mode.

Katyayani:- The sixth Durga-shakti is the daughter of the sage Katya Riding a lion, she has three eyes and eight arms holding various weapons. She is golden coloured.

Kalaratri:- She is black coloured with flowing hair, has three eyes and rides a donkey. She has four hands with two holding a cleaver and a torch.

Mahagauri:- She is fair complexioned with four arms and wearing white clothes. She holds a drum and a trident and rides a bull. She has a peaceful expression on her face.

Siddhidhatri:- This form is shown seated on a lotus or a tiger. She has four arms and has the ability to bless her devotees with twenty-six different boons.

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