EVOK­ING DIVIN­ITY TWICE OVER

The Navra­tras, which be­gin from March 31, are con­sid­ered an aus­pi­cious pe­riod for prop­erty trans­ac­tions

HT Estates - - HTESTATES - Monika Chawla

Hin­dus cel­e­brate Navra­tras twice a year be­cause both the be­gin­ning of sum­mer and the on­set of win­ter bring about changes in the cli­mate and so­lar in­flu­ence. It’s dur­ing th­ese two sea­sons that Maa Durga is wor­shipped as it is be­lieved that she pro­vides en­ergy to the earth to move around the sun, caus­ing changes in na­ture. This divine power should also be thanked for main­tain­ing the cor­rect bal­ance of the uni­verse.

Due to changes in na­ture, the bod­ies and minds of peo­ple un­dergo a transformation, too, and hence we pray to the divine power to be­stow upon us po­tent pow­ers to main­tain our phys­i­cal and men­tal well-be­ing.

The num­ber nine

The num­ber nine has a spe­cial place in Hindu nu­merol­ogy. Nava - that also means new - de­notes the num­ber nine. Hence, we have nava- ra­tri ( nine nights), nava- pa­trika (nine leaves / herbs /plants), nava-graha (nine plan­ets), and nava-Durga (nine forms of Maa Durga). Hin­dus wor­ship Maa Durga in all her nine forms for nine days and nine nights. Devo­tees fast on all nine days and wel­come the god­dess with dances such as the garba and dan­dia. Each god­dess has a dif­fer­ent form and a spe­cial sig­nif­i­cance. All the nine names of the god­dess are men­tioned in Devi Kavacha of the Chandi­patha scrip­ture.

Shaila­pu­tri

Shaila­pu­tri lit­er­ally means the daugh­ter (pu­tri) of the moun­tains (shaila). Also known as Sati Bha­vani, Par­vati or He­ma­vati, the daugh­ter of He­ma­vana – the king of the Hi­malayas, she is the first among Navadur­gas. She is wor­shipped on the first day of the Navra­tras - the nine divine nights. The em­bod­i­ment of the power of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, she rides a bull and car- ries a tri­dent and a lo­tus in her two hands.

Bhar­ma­charini

Maa Bhar­ma­charini is wor­shipped on the sec­ond day of the Navra­tras and is the sec­ond form of the mother god­dess. Bhar macharini means one who prac­tises de­vout aus­ter­ity. She en­light­ens us through the em­bod­i­ment of Durga with great pow­ers and divine grace. She holds a rosary in her right hand and a wa­ter uten­sil in the left. She is bliss­ful and en­dows hap­pi­ness and peace.

Chan­draghanta

The third f acet of god­dess Durga is Chan­draghanta, who is wor­shipped on the third day of Navra­tras for tran­quil­ity and pros­per­ity in life. She has a chan­dra or half moon on her fore­head in the shape of a ghanta or bell. That is why she is called Chan­draghanta. She is charm­ing, has a bright golden com­plex­ion and rides a lion. She has ten hands, three eyes and holds weapons in her hands.

Kush­manda

Maa Kush­manda is the fourth form of the god­dess and is wor­shipped on the fourth day. The word ku means a lit­tle; ushma means warmth; anda refers to the cos­mic egg. She is, there­fore, con­sid­ered the cre­ator of the uni­verse. The uni­verse is no more than a void full of dark­ness, un­til her light spreads in all di­rec­tions. Of­ten she is de­picted as hav­ing eight or ten hands. She holds weapons, glit­ter, rosary, etc, in her hands, and rides a lion.

Skanda Mata

The fifth as­pect of the Durga is known as Skanda Mata or the mother of Skanda or Lord Kar­tikeya, who was cho­sen by the gods as their com­man­derin-chief in the war against the demons. She is wor­shipped on the fifth day of Navra­tras and is ac­com­pa­nied by Lord Skanda in his in­fant form. Skanda Mata has four arms and three eyes and holds the in­fant Skanda in her right up­per arm and a lo­tus in her right hand.

Katyayani

The sixth form of Mother Durga is known as Katyayani, who is wor­shipped on the sixth day of the Navra­tras. The leg­end is that there was once a great sage called Kata who had a son named Katya. Kata took up penance in order to re­ceive the grace of the mother god­dess and wished to have a daugh­ter in the form of a god­dess. The god­dess granted his re­quest and Katyayani was born to Kata as an avatar of Durga.

Kal­ra­tri

Maa Kal­ra­tri is the sev­enth form of Durga and is wor­shipped on the sev­enth day of the Navra­tras. She has a dark com­plex­ion, di­shev­elled hair and is com­pletely with­out fear. A neck­lace flash­ing lights adorns her neck. She has three eyes and her ve­hi­cle is a don­key. Her raised right hand grants boons to wor­ship­pers. She is dark like the god­dess Kali and holds a sparkling sword in her right hand to bat­tle evil.

Gauri

Maha Gauri is wor­shipped on the eighth day of the Navra­tras. All sins of past, present and fu­ture get washed away on wor­ship­ping her and devo­tees get pu­ri­fied.

Maha Gauri is in­tel­li­gent, peace­ful and calm.

Af­ter her long penance in the deep forests of the Hi­malayas, Lord Shiva cleaned her with wa­ter from the Ganges and she be­came very beau­ti­ful. Which is why she came to be known as Maha Gauri. She wears white clothes, has four arms, and rides a bull.

Sid­dhi­da­tri

Maa Sid­dhi­da­tri i s wor­shipped on the ninth day of the Navra­tras. Sid­dhi­da­tri Maa has su­per­nat­u­ral heal­ing pow­ers and be­stows her bless­ings on all those who wor­ship her with faith and love. Hin­dus con­sider the Navra­tras aus­pi­cious for start­ing new ven­tures and buy­ing prop­erty.

Th­ese nine days of Navra­tra are con­sid­ered lucky for new projects as the bless­ings of Maa Lak­shmi, Saraswati and Durga are gen­er­ously be­stowed on the devo­tees.

IMAGESBAZAAR

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