(पंचमं स्कन्दमातेति दुर्गा)
सिंहासनगता नित्यं पदमाश्रितकरद्वया|
शुभदास्तु सदा देवी स्कन्दमाता यशस्विनी||
Goddess Durga’s Fifth avatars is known as Skanda. Lord Kartik/Kartikeyan/ Karthikeyan is also known as Skanda. As Goddess Durga is his mother, she is referred to as Skanda Mata. She is a deity
of fire with four arms. She holds her son Skanda with the top right hand and lotus in her lower hand. The top left hand is positioned in a blessing gesture
or Abhaya Mudra. She is fair complexioned, seated on a lotus and so also referred to as Padmasana.
Katyayani (षष्ठं कत्यायनीतिच दुर्गा)
कात्यायनी शुभं दधाद्देवी दानवघातिनी||
Goddess Durga’s sixth avatars is known as Katyayani. Sage Katyaayan was the son of the great sage Kat. He observed rigorous penance and worship of Bhagavati Paramba with a desire to get Paramba
as his daughter. His wish was granted. The daughter born was named Katyayani.
She has four hands. The top right hand is positioned in a gesture of providing
courage while the other hand is positioned in a gesture of rendering a boon. The top left hand holds a sword and the other a lotus. The goddess rides a lion and worshiped on the sixth day of the Durga puja.
Kalratri (सप्तमं कालरात्रीति दुर्गा)
एकवेणी जपाकर्णपूरा नग्ना खरास्थिता|
लम्बोष्ठी कर्णिकाकर्णी तैलाभ्यक्तशरीरिणी||
वर्धनमूर्ध्वजा कृण्णा कालरात्रिर्भयडूंकरी||
Goddess Durga’s seventh avatars is known as Kalratri. Ratri means night so her complexion is as dark as the night. She has long, unmated hair with her three eyes that are shiny and bright. She has
four arms and is seen mounted on a Shav/Shava or dead body. Her right hand holds a sword, while her lower hand is in a blessing stance. The left hand holds a burning torch and the lower left hand is in fearless position. She is known as
Shubhamkari or the auspicious one. Her form encourages her devotees to be fearless.
Maha Gauri (महागौरीति चाष्टमम् दुर्गा)
श्र्वेते वृषे समारूढा श्र्वेताम्बरधरा शुचीः।
महागौरी शुभं दधा्न्महादेवप्रमोददा।
Goddess Durga’s eighth avatars is known as Maha Gauri. It is said that when the body of Goddess Gauri got dirty due to
dust and earth while she was observing penance to attain Lord Shiva. So he cleansed her with the holy waters of Ganges. Her body transformed into bright
and luminous like lightening and so her eighth form is known as “Maha Gauri”.
Her clothes and ornaments are also white. Her visage is calm and peaceful and
she is three eyed. She rides on a bull. Her four hands denote different meanings, like the left hand is in the fearless gesture and the lower on holds a
trident. The above right hand has tambourine and lower right hand is in blessing style.
Siddhidatri (नवमं सिद्धिदात्री च दुर्गा)
सेव्यमाना सदा भूयात सिद्धिदा सिद्धिदायिनी||
The ninth avatars of Goddess Durga is Siddhidatri.
The ninth avatars of Goddess Durga is Siddhidatri. There are eight Siddhis (Special powers which can only be attained from severe penance and meditation)-Anima,
Mahima, Garima, Laghima, Prapti, Prakamya, Iishitva & Vashitva. Maha Shakti gives all these Siddhies. It is mentioned in the Devi Puran” that Lord Shiva got
all these Siddhis by worshipping Maha Shakti.
With her gratitude, Lord Shiva’s body also contains the Goddess and so he has
the form and name of Ardha Narishvar. Ardha means half. The goddess rides on a lion. The Siddhidatri form is worshipped by all gods, rishis, munis (Saints and
Sages), siddhas, yogis, sadhakas (Devotees) for attaining merit and boons of their severe penances.
The Navaratri symbolises the nine aspects of Durga-energy that act like a shield to ward off all negativities.
When you have obstacles and mental blocks, just remembering these qualities of the Devi can help you overcome the mental blocks.
During the nine nights of Navaratri, Devi is worshipped in all Her names and forms each of which has a special significance.
The first three days celebrate the Devi in the form of Durga. The goddess is depicted as riding a lion or tiger, alluding to the aspect of courage and valour, the essence of Devi Durga.
The second set of three days honour the Devi as Lakshmi. Goddess Laxmi (महा लक्ष्मी) is
the goddess of wealth and prosperity. Lakshmi is the energy that manifests as the complete spiritual and material well-being of a person.
The final three days are dedicated to Saraswati. Goddess Saraswati (सरस्वती) is the goddess of knowledge. She gives the essence, the Sara of the Self,
Sva. She plays the veena, a musical instrument whose mellifluous notes bring harmony and peace to the mind. Similarly, spiritual knowledge brings relaxation and celebration into life.
Saraswati is the ocean of understanding and the consciousness that vibrates with different types of learning. She is the source of spiritual light, remover of all ignorance and the source of knowledge.