The First day of Navratri – Goddess Durga as Devi Shailputri

Indian Astrology | 13-Mar-2024

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Navaratri, a popular Hindu festival, is celebrated with great devotion and faith across India. The festival is devoted to Goddess Durga and her nine incarnations, revered all over India and Nepal as Devis. It is enriching to know about these nine forms of the goddess to understand the magnificence, power, brilliance, eminence, and the real essence of the devotion of Maa Durga all over the country. People worship Devi Durga and her nine forms to fulfil their wishes and have their blessings. It is an effort to give you detailed information about all the nine forms of the goddess by clicking on the link for the specific goddess. In this write-up, we will talk about the first incarnation or form of Goddess Durga- Devi Shailputri.

 

Also Read: Chaitra Navratri 2024: A Complete Guide

 

Devi Shailputri- description as per scriptures

The nine forms of the Goddess, including Shailputri, are mentioned in several Shaivagamas. Devi Shailputri is also described as a Chnadika avatar in the Chandi Shataka. The story of Shailputri is narrated in the Durga Saptashati. Several texts on Devi Shakti mention Shailputri as one of the 64 yoginis. In the epic Mahabharata, she is described as the incarnation of the Goddess Parvati, and her name is used interchangeably with Parvati in many places. According to the Kurma Purana, Devi Shailputri was the daughter of King Shaila, the king of the Mountains. The king was an ardent devotee of the Goddess, and pleased with his penance, she accepted to be his daughter.

Devi Shailputri- A brief overview

The first form of Maa Ambey or Goddess Durga is Shailputri, and she was born to the King of Mountains- Shail. The Sanskrit meaning of Shail is a mountain and the term putri means the daughter. Thus, the name, Shailputri meaning the daughter of a mountain. 

Maa Shailputri is considered a whole form of Mother Nature. She is worshipped on the first day of Navaratri. She is an incarnation of the Goddess Parvati, the consort of Mahadeva and mother of Lord Kartikeya and Lord Ganesha. When Devi Sati sacrificed herself in the fire at King Daksha’s Yagna, Shailputri was believed to have been incarnated.

Kundalini and Goddess Shailaputri

Goddess Shailaputri is associated with the Muladhara chakra of Kundalini in the Kundalini vidya.

Iconography

In various hymns and Agamas, Goddess Shailaputri is described as riding on a bull. She has a crescent moon on her head. In her right hand, she carries a trident, while in her left hand, she keeps a lotus. In some depictions, she holds a Damaru (drum) instead of a lotus in her left hand.

 

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Story of Goddess Shailaputri

Once upon a time, there was a powerful goddess named Sati. She was the daughter of a wise man named Daksha. Sati deeply loved Lord Shiva. But Daksha didn't like Shiva. He even held a big ceremony without inviting Shiva and Sati.

Sati heard about the ceremony and wanted to go and make things right. Shiva was worried, but Sati insisted. Reluctantly, Shiva let her go with his followers.

At the ceremony, Daksha ignored Sati and insulted Shiva. Sati couldn't bear it, so she scolded her father and warned him about his actions.

In a fit of anger and sadness, Sati decided she didn't want to be Daksha's daughter anymore. She sacrificed herself by jumping into the holy fire.

Shiva was devastated. He sent Shiv Ganas and fierce warriors to destroy Daksha's ceremony. Shiva carried Sati's body and wandered around, feeling lost. He then went into deep meditation for a long time until he was able to remember his true identity. Meanwhile, Sati was reborn as Parvati, the daughter of a king named Himalaya. She longed to be with Shiva again, but he was lost in his sadness. 

The other gods tried hard to help Shiva stop feeling sad, but nothing worked. They watched sadly as he wandered around and shouted to the wind. Finally, they asked Lord Vishnu for help. Lord Vishnu used his special weapon, the Sudarshana Chakra, to cut Sati's lifeless body into 52 pieces. These pieces fell in different places and became holy spots called Shakti Peethas.

As the last piece fell, Shiva sat by the Ganges River and meditated for a long time until he remembered everything about himself and what had happened.

The birth of Shailputri

Sati was reincarnated as Parvati and was born in the home of King Himalaya. She was reborn as the daughter of a king named Himavanta and his wife, Menaka.

Menaka was sad because her son, Mainaka, lived deep in the ocean and feared Indra's weapon. She wished for a divine daughter. So, Menaka and Himavanta prayed a lot to Parashakthi, the supreme Goddess, asking for her to be born as their daughter.

One day, Parashakthi granted their wish. She told them that she would be born as their daughter. And so, Parvati was born to them.

Because she was born to Himavanta, she was also called Shailaputri, which means "daughter of the mountains." She had other names like Parvati, Himavathi, and Adrija too.

Her birth brought hope for a better world, but Shiva was still deeply lost in meditation, making it difficult for Parvati to get his attention. Despite the challenges, Parvati showed unwavering love and devotion towards Shiva and made multiple attempts to get his attention. Eventually, her efforts paid off as she was able to break through to him and they got married once again.

 

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Divine blessings of Shailputri Mata

Shailputri as the representation of Mother Nature, takes care of all living beings on Earth such as animals, humans, plants, trees and even the tiniest living organisms. 

Shailputri is considered the true Goddess of Muladhara, the root chakra. She became the Goddess of awareness after uniting with Lord Shiva, establishing universal love. Awakening this Shakti is the first step towards spiritual enlightenment and discovering one's purpose in life. With energizing this chakra, one gets the power and strength to achieve anything in life. 

On the first day of Navaratri, Maa Shailputri, an Avatar of Mother Goddess Durga, is worshipped as a form of making the most of one's life. 

Mantra for Maa Shailputri:

The mantra for Maa Shailputri is:

ॐ देवी शैलपुत्र्यै नमः (Om Devi Shailputryai Namah)

This mantra is chanted to invoke the blessings of Maa Shailputri, the first form of Goddess Durga, representing the root chakra.

Temples of Devi Shailputri

There are very few temples dedicated to the Goddess Shailputri. These are-

  • Shailputri Temple, Varanasi
  • Shailputri Temple, Nagabal

Puja rituals to the Goddess Shailputri

The Devi Shailaputri is worshipped on the first day of Chaitra Navaratri. 

People offer Pulagam (a prepration with moong dal and rice) to the goddess. Also, you can offer sweets, fruits, grey colour articles to the goddess. 

Lucky Colour of Devi Shailputri

Maa Shailputri is often associated with the colour grey, which represents balance, neutrality, and stability. It symbolizes wisdom, maturity, and resilience. As the daughter of the mountains, Shailputri's grey colour can represent the rugged and steadfast nature of mountains, signifying strength, endurance, and the ability to withstand challenges. While yellow is commonly associated with some depictions of Shailputri, in certain traditions, grey is also used to depict her. Both colours are significant and convey different aspects of her divine nature.

Benefits of worshipping Maa Shailputri

The worship of Goddess Shailaputri is believed to fulfil all our internal desires and grant good health and even emancipation (Moksha). She is believed to be the giver of the ultimate wish, Anantha Phaladayini. Thus, worshipping her is highly beneficial.

Summary

Worshipping Goddess Shailaputri on the first Navratri is believed to grant all our wishes, bring good health, and even lead to spiritual liberation (Moksha). She is known as Anantha Phaladayini, the giver of boundless blessings. Therefore, worshipping her is highly beneficial for fulfilling our desires and seeking divine guidance and protection.