During the period of Navaratri, Nine Nights, Goddess Durga is worshipped in Her nine forms. For thousands of years, people have maintained the period of Navratri to get blessings from the goddess. Yet most people fail to understand the true value of this action and treat it as a mere ritual. Navaratri is more than fasting or following rites, it is more about a way of living. To understand it from a higher perspective instead of just giving a lip service, let us see the whole picture.

Navaratri is a suucession of nine nights where on each a form of the goddess is worshipped. Each of the nine forms is of Parvati, daughter of King Himavan and wife of Lord Shiva. These forms come in a specific manner and the placement cannot be interchanged. The reason is that it is a depiction of Parvati’s life – how she started as a normal human being to evolve into the Divine Mother.

Let us see what Lord Brahma himself has said in the Devi Mahatyam Devi Kavacham:





Shailaputri
What this means – She was born as the daughter of the Himalayas who is Raja Himavan, who himself was a pious and learned man. He always inspired his daughter, and this is thousands of year back, to be well educated, independent and hardworking. His greatest lesson was to seek inspiration from all that you see and pursue the growth of body, mind and spirit.

nine-forms-shailputri
What it means to us – The practical application of the growth of body, mind and spirit is something which has been accomplished by many great men and thinkers. It simply means that there are three aspects to each one of us – the body, the thinking mind and the spiritual self – and we must pay equal attention to all three. Ignorance or ill treatment of any will lead to suffering and pain.

Brahmachariṇi
What this means – Second of the nine forms. Brahmachariṇi is the feminine word for brahmachari meaning someone doing penance in the state of celibacy. But the real meaning is totally different – it means one who searches for the truth. Truth is synonymous with God in all religious scriptures.

nine-forms-brahmacharini
What it means to us – Search for your truth. We get too caught up with our daily lives to search for higher perspectives. Research has shown that people who keep an open mind and pursue a spiritual mindset have less diseases, are much more happy and successful in the real world. God is not religious, Buddha was a brahmachari and so was Jesus, and so are the prophets and so can be anyone working normally in the office. The search for truth is an inner job.

Chandraghaṇṭa
What this means –
It literally translates to the One who bears the moon. Similar to Lord Shiva, in Chandraghanta image we see Her with the crescent moon.

nine-forms-chandraghanta
What it means to us – Moon is a symbol of achievement, beauty and satisfaction. It means practice makes perfect. Parvati, a normal woman through her hard and determined practice achieved what she aimed for. There is no alternative to practice and no shortcuts to success – so practice and perform well to achieve your dreams.





Kusmanda
What this means – This means the creator of the universe or if you understand the significance, the creator of your universe.

nine-forms-Kushmanda
What it means to us – Brahmadev simply states what quantum physicists and new thought revolutionaries have been proving all along – reality is your perception. Some time ago scientists were baffled to see that man scientifically progresses and makes better microscopes only to find that the atom reacts according to our thoughts. So what we think and feel starts to become our reality, and our universe.

Skanda Mata
What this means –
Skanda is Lord Karttikeya, son of Lord Shiva and herself. It is said that he was born out of her powers. Kartikeya is the protector of heaven and divine beings and he is himself powered and protected by the Goddess.

nine-forms-skandamata
What it means to us – Skanda is to the divine as Jesus was – call it son or child. This is a message that if you are honest, hard working and in the right path, you are protected and taken care of. Have no fear for everyone is nurtured and cared. If you still have doubts start looking around you – for a start  it is Mother Nature that gives us water, soil and air for us to be alive.

Katyayani
What this means –
Katyayani is the pure form of the Devi that defeated the demon Mahishasur.

nine-forms-KATYAYANI
What it means to us – We have gods and demons inside us signifying our good and bad sides. Most of the times we have a tug of war or a ping pong match going on inside our minds. Remember no matter how bad the world is, how cruel people may become, you are more powerful than you think and can always slay and win over your demons.

Kalaratri
What this means – Seventh of the nine forms. Kalratri is the a frightening form of the goddess who is as black as night.

nine-forms-kaalratri
What it means to us – Kalratri is the destroyer of our egos. The ego creates darkness in us and we do not want to see the truth. Ego makes us kill, be jealous, it makes us insult and belittle others and creates problem in a relationship. It makes us act like a jerk. So we need to keep a check on our ego before it is too late.




Mahagauri
What this means – Mahagauri is the purest one and she glows from within.

nine-forms-mahagauri
What it means to us – It means we are free to be happy, healthy and beautiful and do what we want. It means having balance in life.

Siddhidatri
What this means – Siddhidatri gives us powers of Siddhi and fulfills all wishes.

nine-forms-Siddhidatri
What it means to us – We humans have not been born to spend our lives in misery, pain or starvation – this is not the truth. Lord Brahma says that men and women are blessed by Siddhidatri to fulfill all their wishes, to live as they want – happy, healthy and wealthy. That is the true nature of life – and that is what new studies in European high tech study labs are also affirming. Realize the true meaning of the Goddess and live enlightened.

Image credits: adittigaur.com

 

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