September 25, 2014

Navarathri - Dussehra

Navaratri is a festival dedicated to the worship of a Hindu deity mother goddess Shakti. The word Navaratri literally means nine nights in Sanskrit, nava meaning nine and ratri meaning nights. During these nine nights and ten days, nine forms of Shakti/Devi are worshiped. Here I am Giving the details of 9 Avthars of God Durga.

Shailputri (First Avatar )
Shail means mountains; Parvati, the daughter of king of Mountains Himavan, is known as "Shailputri". Her 2 hands, display a trident and a lotus. She is mounted upon a bull. 

Bhramcharni (Second Avatar )
One hand holds a "Kumbha" or water port and the other rosary. She personifies love and loyalty. Bhramcharni is store-house of knowledge and wisdom. Rudraksha is HER most adorned ornament.

Chandraghanta (Third Avatar )
Ma Durga Shakti is astride a tiger, displays a golden hue to her skin, possesses ten hands and 3 eyes. Eight of her hands display weapons while the remaining two are respectively in the mudras of gestures of boon giving and stopping harm.

Kushmanda (Fourth Avatar )
Kushmanda possessed of eight arms, holding weapons and a mala or rosary. Her mount is a tiger and she emanates a solar like aura. "Kumbh Bhand" means to see cosmic vivacity in Pindi shape or knowledge of cosmic intri cacies in human race. 

Skandmata ( Fifth Avatar )
Using a lion as a vehicle she holds her son, SKAND in her lap while displaying 3 eyes and 4 hands; two hands hold lotuses while the other 2 hands respectively display defending and granting gestures. Its said, by the mercy of Skandmata, even the idiot becomes an ocean of knowledge. 

Kaatyayani ( Sixth Avatar )
Kaatyayani stayed in the Ashram of sage Katyayan for penance, hence she named as Kaatyayani. This 6th Shakti is also astride a lion with 3 eyes and 4 arms. One left hand holds a weapon and the other a lotus. The other 2 hands respectively display defending and granting gestures. Her complexion is golden coloured. 

Kaalratri ( Seventh Avatar )
Black skin with bountiful hair and 4 hands, 2 clutching a cleaver and a torch, while the remaining 2 are in the mudras of "giving" and "protecting". Her vahana is a faithful donkey. The destroyer of darkness and ignorance, Kaalratri is the seventh form of Nav-Durga meaning scourer of darkness; enemy of darkness. Kaalratri's famous shrine is in Calcutta, India.

Mahagauri ( Eight Avatar )
Four arms with the fairest complexion of all the Durga Shaktis. Peace and compassion radiate from her being and she is often dressed in a white or green sari. She holds a drum and a trident and is often depicted riding a bull. 

Siddhiratri ( Nineth Avatar )
Ensconced upon a lotus, most commonly, with 4 arms, and is the possessor of 26 different wishes to grant her bhakts. Siddhiratri's famous pilgrim centre, is located in Nanda Parvat in the Himalayas. 

The 10th day is commonly referred to as Vijayadashami or “Dussehra. Navratri's each night is dedicated to one form of Goddess Durga. That is every ratri of the Navratri corresponds to worship of different forms of Maa Durga.  Vijayadashami is celebrated as victory of Lord Rama over Demon Ravana and also triumph of Goddess Durga over the buffalo Demon Mahishasura. We will do Shami Puja on temples. Shami tree is  worshiped and the leaves of shami tree are exchanged among each other esspecially in Telangana and it is known as Jammi puja also.