Navaratri Navadurga -Forms, Chakras & Mantras

Compilation of  articles received this season for quick reference. Thanks Chethan Mng

Day 1 of Navarathri – Shailaputri
One of all nine forms of Devi Durga is worshipped every day in Navaratri. The first form of Maa Durga is Shailaputri, who was born to the King of Mountains. “Shaila” means mountain and “putri” means daughter. Hence, she is called Shailaputri – the daughter of mountain. Maa Shailaputri, an absolute form of Mother Nature, is worshipped on the first day of Navratri. She is also referred to as Goddess Parvati, the consort of Lord Shiva and mother of Lord Ganesha and Kartikeya. The image of Maa Shailaputri is a divine lady, holding a trishul in her right hand and lotus flower in her left hand. She rides on Nandi, a bull.

Maa Shailaputri is the goddess of the muladhara chakra or root/basal chakra, and upon awakening this Shakti one begins their journey to spiritual awakening and to their purpose in life. Without energising the muladhara chakra one doesn’t have the power and strength to do anything worthwhile. It is said that one should worship Maa Shailaputri to make full use of the precious human life. Therefore, this Avtar of Goddess Durga is worshipped on the first day of Navratri.

Chant this mantra to worship Maa Shailaputri…

वंदे वाद्द्रिछतलाभाय चंद्रार्धकृतशेखराम |
वृषारूढां शूलधरां शैलपुत्री यशस्विनीम्‌ ||

Vandē vāddrichatalābhāya candrārdhakr̥taśēkharāma |
vr̥ṣārūḍhāṁ śūladharāṁ śailaputrī yaśasvinīm‌ ||

Day 2 of Navarathri – Brahmacharini
On the second day of Navaratri, Maa Brahmacharini – a manifestation of Maa Durga – is worshipped. The form of Goddess Brahmacharini is extremely radiant and majestic. Maa signifies love and loyalty, wisdom and knowledge. She holds a rosary in her hight hand and a Kamandal in her left hand. She wears Rudraksha. The word “Brahm” refers to Tapa (penance) – Her name means “one who performs Tapa (penance)”.

She was born to Himalaya. Devarishi Narada influenced her thoughts and as a result, she practised tough penances as she was determined to obtain Lord Shiva as her divine consort. She spent hundred of years eating very little or nothing at all, but her penance was so pure and had so much strength, power that it caused great disturbance in all the three worlds. Her desire to obtain Lord Shiva as her divine consort was eventually fulfilled.

Goddess Brahmcharini blesses you with great emotional strength and you may be able to keep your mental balance and confidence even in the darkest hour. She inspires you to hold on to your ethics and march on the path of duty. By the grace of Maa Brahmacharini, you strive to move forward in life without getting disheartened by the numerous challenges coming your way. Her blessings help you get rid of selfishness, ego, greed and laziness. Maa Brahmacharini governs the Swadhisthana Chakra and upon awakening of the same the mind of the seeker moving upward, establishes in this Chakra. This chakra helps in maintaining the devotion and dedication in a steady manner.

Chant this mantra to seek Maa’s divine blessings…

या देवी सर्वभूतेषु माँ ब्रह्मचारिणी रूपेण संस्थिता।
नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमो नम:।।
दधाना कर पद्माभ्याम अक्षमाला कमण्डलू।
देवी प्रसीदतु मई ब्रह्मचारिण्यनुत्तमा।।

Yā dēvī sarvabhūtēṣu mām̐ brahmacāriṇī rūpēṇa sansthitā |
Namastasyai namastasyai namastasyai namō nama: ||
Dadhānā kara padmābhyāma akṣamālā kamaṇḍalū |
Dēvī prasīdatu ma’ī brahmacāriṇyanuttamā ||

Day 3 of Navarathri – Chandraghanta

Maa Chandraghanta is the third manifestation of Devi Durga and is worshipped on the 3rd of Navratri. Since she has a Chandra or half moon, in the shape of a Ghanta (bell), on her forehead, she is addressed as Chandraghanta. A symbol of peace, serenity and prosperity, Maa Chandraghanta has three eyes and ten hands holding ten types of swords, weapons and arrows. She establishes justice and gives Her devotees the courage and strength to fight challenges.

Her appearance may be of a source of power which is always busy killing and suppressing the bad and wicked. However, for her devotees, Maa is serene, gentle and peaceful. By worshipping Maa Chrandraghanta, you will open the doors to great respect, fame and glory. Maa also helps you attain spiritual enlightenment. Her idol, which symbolises both beauty and bravery, gives you the strength the keep the negative energy away and repels all the troubles from your life.

You need to follow simple rituals to worship Goddess Chandraghanta. You should first worship all the Gods, Goddesses and Planets in the Kalash and then offer prayer to Lord Ganesha and Kartikeya and Goddess Saraswati, Lakshmi, Vijaya, Jaya – the family members of Goddess Durga. The pooja should be concluded by worshipping Goddess Chandraghanta followed by a heartfelt prayer to Lord Shiva and Lord Brahma. Maa Chandrghanta governs the Manipuraka Chakra that embodies the change from simplicity to complexity

Chant this mantra to worship Maa Chandraghanta…

पिण्डज प्रवरारुढ़ा चण्डकोपास्त्र कैर्युता |
प्रसादं तनुते मह्यं चंद्र घंष्टेति विश्रुता ||

Piṇḍaja pravarāruṛhā caṇḍakōpāstra kairyutā |
prasādaṁ tanutē mahyaṁ candra ghanṣṭēti viśrutā ||

Day 4 of Navarathri – Khushmanda

Maa Kushmanda, the fourth Avatar of Goddess Durga, is worhipped on the 4th day of Navratri. Her name means ‘the cosmic egg’ and she is considered the creator of the universe. As per the Hindu mythology, Lord Vishnu was able to start creating the universe when Maa Kushmanda smiled like a flower which blossomed with a bud. She created the world from nothing, at the time when there was eternal darkness al around. This Swarup of Maa Durga is the source of all. Since she created the universe, she is called Adiswarup and Adishakti.

She has eights hands in which she holds Kamandul,bow, arrow, a jar of nectar (Amrit), discus, mace and a lotus, and in one hand she holds a rosary which blesses her devotees with the Ashtasiddhis and Navniddhis. She is also known as Ashtabhuja. She has a radiant face and golden body complexion. Maa resides in the core of the Sun and thus controls the Surya Lok.

Maa Kushmanda represents Anahata Chakra in spiritual practice. The divine blessings of Maa Kushmanda helps you improve your health and wealth. She removes all the hurdles and troubles from your life and enables you to get rid of all sorts sorrows in life. Maa brings light into darkness and establishes harmony in your life.

Chant the following mantra to worship Maa Kushmanda…

सुरासम्पूर्णकलशं रुधिराप्लुतमेव च ।
दधाना हस्तपद्माभ्यां कूष्माण्डा शुभदास्तु मे ॥

Surāsampūrṇakalaśaṁ rudhirāplutamēva cha |
Dadhānā hastapadmābhyāṁ kūṣmāṇḍā śubhadāstu mē ||

Day 5 of Navarathri – Skandamata
The 5th day of Navratri is dedicated to Goddess Skandamata, the 5th manifestation of Goddess Durga and the mother of Lord Kartikeya, who was chosen by the devatas as their commander in chief in the war against the demons. The image of Devi Skandamata portrays Her holding Lord Skanda in his infant form and a lotus in her right hand. She has four arms, three eyes and a bright complexion. She is also called as Padamasani since She is often depicted seated on a lotus flower in a her idol. She is also worshiped in the form of Parvati, Maheshwari or Mata Gauri. The left arm of the goddess is in a pose to grant boons with grace to her devotees.

The legend says that Tarkasur, a great demon, once pleased Lord Brahma with his great devotion and extremely tough penance. He asked Lord Brahma to shower His blessings and make him immortal. Lord Brahma denied him this blessing, saying none can escape death. Tarkasur acted smart and asked for the death by the son of Lord Shiva, since he thought Lord Shiva would never get married. Tarkasur started tormenting the people on the earth. Fearing his strength would cause destructions, the devatas requested Lord Shiva to get married. He agreed and married Goddess Parvati. Their child, Lord Kartikeya/ Skand Kumar, demolished Tarkasur. Devi Skandmata is a symbol of the mother-son relationship.

By worshipping Her, you get immense love and affection from her and gets all his desires fulfilled. You may attain supreme joy even in this very mortal world. Her worship automatically includes the worship of Lord Kartikeya (in his child form). Maa Skandamaata resides in the Vishuddhi Chakra,  symbolizing the aspects of creativity and communications.

Chant this mantra to worship Goddess Skandamata…

सिंघासनगता नित्यम पद्माश्रितकरद्वया |
शुभदास्तु सदा देवी स्कन्द माता यशश्विनी ||

Siṅghāsanagatā nityama padmāśritakaradvayā |
śubhadāstu sadā dēvī skanda mātā yaśaśvinī ||

Day 6 of Navarathri – Katyayini

The 6th day of Navaratri festival is dedicated to Maa Katyayani, the 6th Avtar of Goddess Durga. Once there was a great sage named Katya and it was his wish that Maa Durga be born his daughter. He practiced austere penance for several years to please the Gods. The trinity of Gods – Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva – got enraged and they designed Goddess Durga, who was an end result of the abilities of all deities. Since she was born to Katya, she was called Katyayani.

Maa Katyayani has 3 eyes and 4 hands. She holds a sword in Her one left-hand and a lotus in another. The other 2 hands respectively show protecting and allowing actions. If you make vow of fasting and worshipping her, she would bless you with the husband you have wished and prayed for. If a lady’s marriage is getting delayed due to one or the other reason, she may worship Maa Katyayani to remove obstacles that may be causing delays in her marriage.

Maa also blesses you with better health and wealth. By worshipping Maa Katyayani, you may develop great strength to fight all disease, sorrows and fears. In order to destruct the sins accumulated over your several lives, you should religiously worship Maa Katyayani.  Maa Katyayani is ascribed to the sixth Agnya chakra or the ‘Third Eye Chakra.’

Chant this mantra to worship Goddess Katyayani…

कात्यायनि महामाये महायोगिन्यधीश्वरि । 
नन्द गोपसुतं देविपतिं मे कुरु ते नमः ॥

Kātyāyani mahāmāyē mahāyōgin’yadhīśvari |
Nanda gōpasutaṁ dēvipatiṁ mē kuru tē namaḥ ||

Day 7 of Navarathri – Katyayini – Kaalratri

The 7th day of Navaratri is dedicated to Maa Kaalratri, the 7th Avtar of Maa Durga. Here, Kaal means time and death and Kaalratri means the One who is the Death of Kaal. Maa Kaalratri destroys ignorance and brings light into the dark. Well, this form also depicts the dark side – the super power that creates havoc and removes all things bad and dirty. But to Her devotees, She brings calmness and courage.

Maa Kaalratri has dark complexion. Donkey is Her mount, She has bountiful hair and four hands. One of the two left hands holds a cleaver and the other holds a torch, and the right two hands are in “giving” and “protecting” mudras. She has three eyes emanate rays like lightning and Her necklace is shining like thunder. When She inhales and exhales air, flames appear through Her nostrils. Ganesha advises you to wear Blue, Read and White colour on this day.

Maa teaches us that sorrow, pain, decay, destruction and death are unavoidable and cannot be ignored. These are the truths of life and denying them is futile. We must accept their presence and significance to realise the fullness of our being and our potential. Maa Kaalratri governs the Crown Chakra or Sahasraara and provides the Siddhi to the seeker

Chant this mantra to worship Maa Kaalratri…

वाम पादोल्ल सल्लोहलता कण्टक भूषणा |
वर्धन मूर्ध ध्वजा कृष्णा कालरात्रि भर्यङ्करी || 

Vāma pādōlla sallōhalatā kaṇṭaka bhūṣaṇā |vardhana mūrdha dhvajā kr̥ṣṇā kālarātri bharyaṅkarī ||

Day 8 of Navarathri – Mahagauri

The 8th day of Navaratri is dedicated to Maa Mahagauri, the 8th Avtar of Maa Durga. The legend has it that Maa Mahagauri liberated the world from evil forces. She has three eyes and four hands. Her lower right hand holds a trishul and the upper right hand is in the mudra of allaying fear. Whereas her lower left hand is in a pose of granting boons to Her devotees and she is holding a damaru in Her upper left hand.

She has extremely fair complexion and therefore Maa is compared with the conch, the moon and the white flower of Kunda. Radiant and compassionate, Maa Maugauri is usually depicted in a white or green saari and riding a bull. She is also known as Shwetambardhara. Maa Mahagauri purifies the souls of Her devotees and removes all their sins. She has a calming effect on the lives of Her devotees and she also helps them improve their knowledge.

Worship Maa Mahagauri to be free from the clutches of the material world and to remove sorrows from your life, for She will lead you to the path of virtue and inner power.

Chant this mantra to worship Maa Mahagauri…

श्वेते वृषे समारूढा श्वेताम्बरधरा शुचिः |
महागौरी शुभं दद्यान्त्र महादेव प्रमोददा ||

Śvētē vr̥ṣē samārūḍhā śvētāmbaradharā śuciḥ |
mahāgaurī śubhaṁ dadyāntra mahādēva pramōdadā ||

Day 9 of Navarathri – MaaSiddhidatri

The last among the nine Avtar of Maa Durga, Maa Siddhidatri, is worshipped on the 9th day of Navaratri. Maa Siddhidatri grants Her devotees all sorts of achievements and is capable of giving all sorts of occult powers. She is the possessor of 26 different wishes (Siddhis) which She grants Her worshipers. The legend has it that the Lord Shiva got all those Siddhis by worshipping Maa Shakti. With Her gratitude the half body of Lord Shiva became that of Maa Shakti, and therefore he was called as Ardhnarishvar.

This Avtar of Maa Durga removes ignorance and provides knowledge to Her devotees. She is also worshipped by Deva, Gandharva, Asura, Yaksha and Siddha. Maa sits on Kamal (Lotus) and rides on the lion. She has four hands and holds a Gada in the lower right hand, a Chakra in the upper right hand, a lotus flower in the lower left hand and a Shankha in the upper left hand.

Her glory and power are infinite and worshipping Maa Siddhidatri on the final day (the ninth day) of Navaratri bestows all Siddhis to Her devotees and also marks the successful completion of the Navaratri festival.

Chant this mantra to worship Maa Siddhidatri…

सिद्धगधर्व यक्षाद्यैरसुरैरमरैरपि।
सेव्यमाना सदा भूयात सिद्धिदा सिद्धिदायिनी।।

Sid’dhagadharva yakṣādyairasurairamarairapi |
Sēvyamānā sadā bhūyāta sid’dhidā sid’dhidāyinī ||

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Chants for Navaratri

It is that time of the year – the Blissful retreat from the hustle bustle of the world to “Within” from “Where” you are to “What” you are. Navaratri – the Nine Nights literally. This piece will focus on a few Chants that are beneficial and important during the Navaratri.

Gurudev

All the weblinks to the chants are drawn from the renditions of Artistes from Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar ji founded The Art of Living. At the time of writing this piece all the links are functional. Please let me know if there are any that doesn’t work

Here we go… Please note that it is not in any order of hierarchy. Each of the chant has its purpose and hopefully we listen to each of them atleast once during the Navaratri. Where possible, please listen to them everyday during Navaratri and beyond

Devi Kavacham

Lalita Sahasranam

Rudram

Durga Devi Stotram 

Devi Namana Stotram 

Argala Stotram

Lakshmi Astotara 

Annapoorna Stotram

Mahishasura Mardhini Stotram

For those interested here are some of my old pieces on Navaratri – Open to corrections and credit will be given for the suggestion

  1. https://yensures.com/2015/10/11/nine-gifts-from-nava-durga/
  2. https://yensures.com/2015/10/22/navaratri-some-beliefs-practices/
  3. https://yensures.com/2015/10/22/navaratri-significance-of-colors/
  4. https://yensures.com/2015/10/22/flowers-naivedya-rangoli-colors-and-mantra-for-navaratris/

 

Presstitutes-Lynchmobs of Frenzier Kind

Sharing a thought provoking piece by friend B Kalyan (Unedited Version, except for Typesetting for Emphasis and hyperlinking)

Media today Picture Courtesy- http://www.chicagonow.com/

A spiritual master through guidance, wisdom and love reveals the Knowledge of the self, making their life as a message of humanity, service and unconditional love. The master exemplifies the impossible, inspiring even an ordinary student/disciple to grow to their full potential.

At one end of the spectrum, we have masters who are either born enlightened or have become enlightened after years of dedicated practice. India has been blessed with Spiritual masters like Adi ShankarachrayaBabaji, Swami Vivekananda, Paramhansa Yogananda and more recently, Neem Karoli baba, Maharishi Maheish Yogi, Anandamayi Ma, Karunamayi, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar to name a few.  Leading by example they have spread the message of peace, unconditional love and service, imparting the timeless wisdom not only in India but also all over the world. 

At the other end we have so-called religious masters like Nityananda Swami, Narayan Sai and more recently Gurmeet Ram Rahim who either have come to the seat of knowledge due to inheritance or pure greed. The Dera Sacha Sauda incident and the fall from grace of its leader who committed a heinous crime was borne out of such a situation. However, this unfortunate incident is an aberration.

In country with thousands of Gurus with several of them doing yeomen service, it would be gross to paint them all with the same brush. In an age of intense media coverage and scrutiny, this opportunity was seized upon to drive their biased, prejudiced and self-serving agendas. Based on specious logic, contorted and misrepresented facts, many of these have been cloaked in apparently ‘respectable’ and ‘intellectual’ explanations and interpretations of happenings.

One spiritual master who has had to face unfounded accusations is founder of the Art of Living; Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. He has been at the receiving end of accusations. The sheer stature that Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has a worldwide following ensures attention. He is one of the most respected peace ambassador honored by different countries including USA, Canada, Russia, Columbia, Argentina, for his service to bring peace and harmony in the world. 

It is unfortunate author  Sanjay Shrivastava has used the Dera Sacha Sauda incident to attack Hindu gurus, playing with the minds of vulnerable disciples. In his article he writes, there is a “differentiated market” for Gurus driven by different strata of society. He goes on to add, and I quote “What is important to remember is that each following expresses mob frenzy – and its destructive force – in different ways”.  That avers that each guru has created a mob that can unleash frenzied mayhem at will. As an illustration he picks on the Art of Living and says “mobilization of collective opinion by Art of Living followers against the findings of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) regarding the damage caused by Art of Living’s “World Culture Festival” to the Yamuna floodplain in Delhi in March 2016 is, really, another form of mob action”.

I am completely dumbfounded and non-pulsed. Let us try to decipher the line of thought for a moment along with related facts.

First, there apparently was mobilization of collective opinion!! Pray, whose “collective opinion” is being referred to? The author has glibly begun his article with the conclusion “The charisma of the guru (usually a male) lies in the fact that he is able to convince his followers that his own acts are not anti-social but a-social”. Their opinion obviously need not be mobilized. Then it can only refer to the general public. People are therefore ill informed, gullible, and bereft of reasoning and logic. That does not paint a very complimentary picture of the so-called ‘hoi polloi’, does it?

Next, Sanjay has gone on to suggest that the NGT was weighed down by pressure of public opinion. In other words, NGT, a court of law, headed by a judge from Supreme Court decides matters based on public opinion rather than facts presented before it!! This seems to betray an utter contempt of the institution, should it not act in a manner aligned to thoughts and ideas of the author.  He seems to have left out a fact that Art of Living has adhered strictly the judicial court route. Complete scientific evidence of no damage was submitted to the court whereas the NGT committee members had no proof to sustain their claims of damage to the grounds where the world cultural festival was held. 

And then comes the final burst. Since public memory is assumed to be notoriously short and frail. So “streets occupied by the Art of Living followers – and the damage caused to public property” are different from recent incidents yet similar!!! Which street Art of Living followers occupied and which public property was damagedNeedless to say Sanjay does not seem too keen to mention any of those details. 

Isn’t this intellectuals mob frenzy of worse kind? Creating  things that do not exist and damaging reputation beyond repair!