The Eighth Day of Navratri – Goddess Durga as Devi Mahagauri

Indian Astrology | 20-Mar-2024

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Chaitra Navratri is a festival devoted to the nine forms of goddess Durga. Each form or avatar of the goddess depicts a different side of the goddess, symbolizing different facets of her essence. The eighth day is devoted to the eighth incarnation, Devi Mahagauri. The eighth day is known as Ashtami or Durgashtami. People perform Kanya pujan, or kanjak, Mahasnan, Sandhi Puja on this day. On one of the most important days of Navratri, we will explain everything related to the goddess Mahagauri, what she depicts, and why we should worship her. Read about the importance of the day, puja rituals, lucky colour, prasadam, and essential timings.

 

Devi Mahagauri - description as per scriptures

 

The eighth form of Maa Durga is called Mahagauri and is worshipped on the eighth day or Ashtami of Chaitra Navratri. She is also called Vrisharudha, as she is depicted riding a bull. Other names she is known by are Shwetambardhara, which means wearing white attire; Shambhavi, which means giver of prosperity; and Chaturbhuji, which means having four hands.

 

Devi Mahagauri - A brief overview

 

Goddess Mahagauri is believed to be a form of Goddess Parvati, who is 16 years old and unmarried. She represents purity, knowledge, calmness, and asceticism. The name 'Gauri' indicates that she is the daughter of Giri, which means mountain. She is believed to have the power to defeat evil forces in the world and within each devotee.

 

Read Also: - Chaitra Navratri 2024: A Complete Guide

 

When is Ashtami 2024?

 

During Chaitra Navratri 2024, the Ashtami is on 17th April, 2024.

 

Kundalini and Goddess Mahagauri

 

Goddess Mahagauri is associated with the crown chakra, also known as the Sahasrara chakra. This chakra is located at the top of the head and is considered the highest energy centre in the body. It represents spiritual enlightenment and cosmic consciousness. By embodying the essence of purity and divine grace, Mahagauri symbolizes the awakening and activation of the crown chakra, leading devotees towards spiritual fulfilment and unity with the divine.

 

Iconography

 

Mahagauri symbolizes purity and is often depicted wearing white attire while riding a bull. She has a fair golden complexion. She has four hands, two of which hold a trident and drum, while the other two are in a gesture of Abhay mudra, symbolizing dispelling fear and giving blessings. She is known as one of the goddesses of peace.

 

Story of Devi Mahagauri

 

According to ancient scripture, Mahagauri's origin story goes as follows: Two demons, Shumbha and Nishumbha, had a boon that could only be defeated by an unmarried form of a goddess. To make this happen, Lord Shiva, at the suggestion of Lord Brahma, started calling Parvati Kali, which means black-coloured one. This mockery offended Parvati, and they began performing penance to please Lord Brahma. She asked for a golden complexion as a boon upon Lord Brahma, who was pleased with her penance.

Lord Brahma suggested that she stop her penance and kill Shumbha and Nishumbha instead. Parvati agreed and went to bathe in the Ganges at Himalaya Parvat. As soon as she bathed, her dark skin washed off, and she gained a golden complexion and turned out to be extremely beautiful. She was wearing a white saree and accessories, so she was named "Mahagauri." She then emerged in front of the Devas, who were praying to her in the Himalayas for the doom of the demons Shumbha and Nishumbha.

Parvati transformed into Chandraghanta and slayed the demon Dhumralochan. The demons Chanda and Munda were destroyed by Goddess Chamunda, who appeared out of the third eye of Chandi. Goddess Chandi, after that, killed Raktabija by drinking his blood. Parvati turned into Kaushiki again and killed Shumbha and Nishumbha, after which she again turned back into Mahagauri. Thus, as per Shiva Purana, Parvati finally killed Shumbha and Nishumbha and got Ambika and Mahasaraswati.

After killing the demons, she returned to Kailash Parvat riding an ox. They married again and lived happily with their sons, Kartikeya and Ganesh.

 

Lucky colour

 

On the eighth day of Navratri, also known as Maha Ashtami, peacock green is associated with worshipping Goddess Mahagauri. If you plan to honour her on this day, wearing clothes of this shade is considered auspicious. Peacock green represents qualities such as individualism, originality, empathy, and freshness, which are the divine traits associated with Goddess Mahagauri.

 

Significance

 

Mahagauri is a form of the Mother Divine that represents beauty and peace. It is the opposite of Kaalratri, which is horrifying and devastating. Mahagauri is known for fulfilling all your wishes and desires and conferring blessings and boons that help you find contentment in life. With Mahagauri's help, you can achieve success in life. Mahagauri means the one who enlightens, guides, and liberates.

 

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Pujan Vidhi on Ashtami 2024

 

Mahasnan: On the day of Ashtami, people who follow the Navratri fast observe a special Puja Vidhi. This involves worshipping nine small pots that symbolize the nine Shaktis of Maa Durga. The day starts with Mahasnan, a holy bath, and wearing new clothes. Then, the Maha Ashtami Puja is performed.

Kanjak: One of the most significant rituals on this day is the Kanjak or Kanya/Kumari Puja. Nine unmarried young girls are welcomed into homes during this ritual as divine manifestations of Maa Durga. Devotees show respect and reverence by washing their feet and then tying Mauli or thread on their wrists. They also apply tilak on their foreheads and offer them specially prepared prasadam consisting of puri, halva, and black grams.

Sandhi Puja: Lastly, people also perform the Sandhi Puja, a special ritual that is observed at the Gau-dhooli bela or evening of the eighth day of Navratri, signifying the change of a tithi and the victory of good over evil.

 

Kanya Pujan on Ashtami

 

During Navratri, on the eighth day, people celebrate Kanya Pujan or Kanjak, where young girls are worshipped. On this day, it's common to offer coconuts to Goddess Mahagauri as a sign of devotion. Giving coconuts to Brahmins is also believed to bring happiness and prosperity. By doing these things, people seek blessings from the goddess for a happy and fulfilling life.

During Kanya Pujan or Kanjak, people prepare delicious halwa, chana, and pooris, and offer them to young girls. This tradition aims to make the girls happy and seek their blessings. Additionally, people give gifts to the young girls as a token of respect and appreciation for their divine presence during the festival.

 

Mantra

 

Om Devi Mahagauryayai Namah

 

Temples

 

The famous temple of goddess Mahagauri is in Varanasi.