Navratri 2020: What are the Nine Forms of Goddess Durga

There are nine forms of Goddess Durga are worshiped with nine different prasads or bhog.

2 min read
Image used for representation only.

(This article was first published on 17 October 2020 and is being reposted from The Quint’s archives for Navratri.)

Navratri is one of the most-awaited and widely celebrated festivals in India. Although Navratri comes four times in a year, Sharada Navratri in autumn is celebrated with utmost devotion and fervour.

This yeatr, Navratri starts on 17 October and the ninth day will be on 25 October.

Goddess Durga is worshipped through these nine days. Navratri holds great importance in the Hindu religion. Each day is dedicated to worshipping a manifestation of the Goddess.

There are nine forms of Goddess Durga that are worshiped with nine different prasads or bhog. Here are the nine forms of Goddess Durga:

1. Goddess Shailputri

Goddess Shailputri is the first manifestation of Goddess Durga. She holds a Trishul in one hand and a lotus in the other and rides a bull called Nandi. Goddess Parvati was born as the daughter of Himalaya and in Sanskrit, Shail means the mountain, thus she is known as Shailputri.

2. Goddess Brahmacharini

The second day of Navratri is dedicated to Goddess Brahmacharini. The goddess holds a rudraksh mala in one hand and a sacred Kamandalu in the other. The meditative form of this goddess symbolises Goddess Parvati when she engaged in her deep meditation.


3. Goddess Chandraghanta

The third day of Navratri is of Goddess Chandraghanta. She is a 10-armed goddess with a crescent moon on her forehead, which gives her the name Chandraghanta.

4. Goddess Kushmanda

Chaturthi or the fourth day of Navratri is of Devi Kushmanda. The name Kushmanda is derived from three words - ‘Ku’ (little), ‘Ushma’ (warmth or energy) and ‘Amnda’ (egg), which means the creator of the universe.

5. Goddess Skandmata

Goddess Skandmata who is worshipped on the fifth day is also known as Panchami. Skandmata is a four-armed deity, who carries a lotus in two of her arms with a sacred Kamandalu and a bell in the other two. She also carries a little Kartikay on her lap and because of this Kartikay is also known as Skanda. She is seated on a lotus.

6. Goddess Katyayani

The sixth day of Navratri is dedicated to Goddess Katyayani, who is a form of Shakti. Also known as the warrior goddess, Katyayani is considered as one of the most violent forms of Goddess Parvati. She has four arms and carrying a sword. She is the daughter of Sage Katyayan and rides a lion.

7. Goddess Kaalratri

Saptami or the seventh day of Navratri is of Goddess Kaalratri. As per legends she sacrificed her skin colour and embraced a dark complexion to kill demons. She is a four-armed deity who rides a donkey, carries a sword, a trident, and a noose. She has a third eye on her forehead that is believed to contain the entire universe.

8. Goddess Mahagauri

Durga Asthami or the eight-day of Navratri is dedicated to Goddess Mahagauri. She is a four-armed deity who rides on a bull or a white elephant. She carries a Trishul and a damru in her hands.

9. Goddess Siddhidatri

The ninth or the final day of Navratri is of Goddess Siddhidhatri. She is projected as a four-armed deity sitting on a lotus, holding a mace, discus and a book and lotus in her hands. This form of Goddess Durga signifies perfection.

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