Nava-Durgā – नवदुर्गा

With her golden body blazing with the splendour of a thousand suns, seated on her lion vehicle, Durga is one of the most spectacular of all personifications of Cosmic energy. Devi, in her ‘saumya’ or benevolent form, looks serene and powerful. In her numerous hands she holds a disc, mace, a sword, lotus, bow and an arrow, a trident and a conch shell. Her many weapons underscore the idea that the goddess incorporates the power of all the deities. Dressed in a green blouse and a red saree, she looks a perfect picture of kindness. Adorned in jewellery and an elaborate crown, she is beautiful. The crown and jewellery studded with precious stones points to her supreme status amongs the vedic gods and goddesses.

The background is mountainous, which is well thought of since the word ‘Durga’, itself means insurmountable, and this is why too most of the Devi’s temples are built atop hills.

Durga (the goddess of power) is seated on a lion in a fearless pose (Abhay Mudra) signifying assurance of freedom from fear. Lion represents power, will and determination. She can be seen holding her weapons (a long Trishula/trident with upper hand of right side and lower hand of left side, a Chakra, a conch shell, a Mace, a Talwar/longsword, a lotus and a bow) with her hands. She uses her weapons to destroy evil and to produce an environment conducive to growth of righteousness.

Navadurga (Devanagari: नवदुर्गा), which literally means  the nine forms of Goddess Durga, constitute, according to vedic scriptures, the manifestation of Durgā in Her nine different aspects. These nine forms of manifestation areŚhailaputrī, Brahmachāriṇī, Chandrakaṇṭā, Kuṣhmāṇḍā, Skandamātā, Kātyāyanī, Kālarātrī, Mahāgaurī and Siddhidātrī – together worshipped during the Navrātri Vrata (Nine Divine Nights). Each goddess has a different form and a special significance. Nava Durgā, if worshipped with religious fervour during Navaratri, it is believed, to bestow spiritual fulfilment.

Nava also means ‘nine’ – it denotes the number to which sages attach special significance. Hence, we have Nava-rātri (9 nights), Nava-patrika (9 leaves / herbs / plants), Nava-graha (9 planets), and Nava-Durgā (9 forms of Durga).

According to vedic scriptures, Goddess Durgā is a symbol of power. She is worshipped in nine different forms and is therefore termed Nava-durgā. Each of the nine manifestation of Durgā is worshipped with full devotion duringNavarātri.

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