The Sixth day of Navratri – Goddess Durga as Devi Katyayani

Indian Astrology | 18-Mar-2024

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In India, we see Devi Durga as the symbol of power and ultimate energy. People worship her with deep faith and devotion all over the nation. The festival “Navratri” is specifically dedicated to her. The devotees worship Devi Durga and her nine forms of Navdurga during the festival. The festival is the celebration of female Shakti, the power of nature or creation. Everyone should know the greatness of the Goddess depicted through her nine forms or avatars. The Goddess represents warmth, protection, care, courage, and destruction. It is believed that people can achieve worldly and spiritualistic achievements by worshipping the Goddess. This article will discuss the sixth incarnation or form of Goddess Durga- Devi Katyani.

 

Devi Katyayani- description as per scriptures

 

The sixth form of the goddess Durga is known as Katyayani Devi. This is a fierce depiction of the goddess, where she is shown slaying the demon Mahishasura. In Shakti traditions, the goddess Katyayani is depicted as a warrior goddess, also known as Bhadrakali or Chandika. Mahishasura was a fierce demon who could change his shape. By killing him, the goddess portrays feminine power and the omnipresent reign of Devi Adishakti, i.e. Goddess Durga. In ancient texts like Skanda Purana, it is narrated that the goddess was created with the spontaneous anger of Gods, eventually leading to the slaying of the demon Mahishasura while mounted on a lion.

Katyayni Devi is also believed to be the sister of Surya Dev, the Sun God. In the eastern parts of India, it is a religious practice to worship her with the Sun during the festival of Chhath Puja

 

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Kundalini and Goddess Katyayni

 

Goddess Katyayani is connected to the Ajna Chakra, which is also known as the third eye chakra. The Ajna Chakra is believed to be a powerful energy centre located in the middle of the forehead. It is associated with intuition, insight, and spiritual awareness.

Kundalini energy is stagnant spiritual energy at the base of the spine. Spiritual practices like yoga and meditation can awaken this energy and direct it upward through the chakras, ultimately reaching the Ajna Chakra.

Goddess Katyayani, a form of Goddess Durga, is often associated with the Ajna Chakra. She symbolizes strength, courage, and divine energy. Worshipping her is believed to awaken the Ajna Chakra and enhance spiritual awareness. Kundalini energy and Goddess Katyayani represent spiritual awakening and higher consciousness through Ajna Chakra.

 

Iconography

 

The sixth form of Navdurga is Katyayni Devi, who rides on a lion and has four arms. She carries a sword and a lotus flower in her two left hands, while in her two right hands, she holds a shield and makes the Abhaya mudra, indicating the dispelling of fear. In other depictions, she is shown holding a conch and a discus in two of her hands, while the other two hands make postures in Varada mudra and Abhay mudra. In some representations, she is also depicted with eight hands. Many texts describe her as the Mahishasura Mardini, meaning she slayed the demon Mahishasura. In such depictions, the Goddess is presented with ten arms, killing the demon Mahishasura, and her feet are soaked in the blood of Mahishasura in many depictions.

As per the legend, Katyayani Devi was formed through the rays or energy created by the gods when they became very angry with a demon named Mahishasura. The saint Katyayana Rishi helped shape the energy rays into a female. Since rishi Katyayna was the developer of the Devi, she was named Katyayni to refer to her daughter.

 

Story of Devi Katyayni

 

According to an ancient story from the Vamana Purana, a goddess named Katyayani appeared when the gods were facing a difficult situation. In the story, Vishnu and other gods, such as Shiva and Brahma, sent out powerful beams of light from their eyes and faces. These beams combined to form a radiant mountain, and from it emerged Katyayani. She had three eyes, black hair, and eighteen arms. The gods gave her their divine weapons, including Vishnu's Sudarshan Chakra, Shiva's trident, and other special weapons.

Katyayani, armed and blessed by the gods, went to the Mysore hills. There, some demons saw her beauty and told their king, Mahishasura, about her. He became interested in her and proposed marriage. However, Katyayani (Maa Durga) agreed to marry him only if he could defeat her in battle. Mahishasura, who took the form of a bull, fought fiercely. But Katyayani jumped from her lion mount onto Mahishasura's back and struck him hard with her feet, causing him to lose consciousness. Eventually, she beheaded him with her sword. This earned her the name Mahishasuramardini, which means the Slayer of Mahishasura. This story can also be found in ancient texts such as the Varaha Purana and the Devi-Bhagavata Purana.

 

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Worship

 

On the sixth day, people observe a fast to show their reverence for Devi Katyayni. After taking a bath in the morning, devotees visit the temple and offer sweets, flowers, incense, and a diya to the goddess. They also take a sankalpa to observe the fast for the whole day. Throughout the day, they do not consume any food, but they can have fruits and milk. They eat khichdi once a day, which is without salt. To please the goddess and receive her blessings, they chant the Durga Chalisa and Devi Katyayni mantra.

 

Lucky Colour

 

On the sixth day of Navratri, the color red is considered lucky. The goddess is often depicted with her feet smeared in the blood of Mahishasura, and this bold and fierce avatar is associated with the color red. As a result, it is considered auspicious to offer red-colored items to the goddess on the sixth day of Navratri in order to receive her blessings. People should wear red clothes on this day when worshiping the goddess.

 

Mantra

 

चंद्रहासोज्जवलकरा शार्दूलवरवाहना। कात्यायनी शुभं दध्यादेवी दानवघातिनि

Chandrahasojjavalakara Shaardoolavara Vaahana

Katyayani Shubham Dadhya Devi Daanav Ghaatini

 

Meaning: Goddess Katyayani is described as having a radiant smile, riding a tiger. She is called upon to bring blessings and defeat the demons.

 

ॐ देवी कात्यायन्यै नम: 

Om Devi Katyayanyai Namah

Prayer: Om, I bow to Goddess Katyayani,

With a radiant smile and riding a tiger,

She brings goodness and defeats the demons.

She is present in all beings as Katyayani,

I bow to her, again and again.

In meditation, I focus on the golden Ajna Chakra,

The sixth form of Durga with three eyes,

Her hands hold blessings and courage,

As the daughter of Katyayana, I worship her.

 

Temple

 

The temples of Mata Katyayani are located in Karnataka,Varanasi, Chhatarpur, New Delhi and Vrindavan, U.P.