Day 6 of Navrarti – “Katyayani Devi”
It is on the 6th day of the Navratri festival – the grand celebration of the evolution of the Hindu Goddess Durga, when the worship of “Goddess Katyayani”is observed.
According to legends, She was born to a saint called Katyayana and thus was derived her name. The “Katyayani” form of the Goddess Durga, marks her personality as the fearless warrior and is depicted with a variety of swords and weapons to slay the evil.
As per the Hindu Mythology, when the gods and saints were distressed and tormented by the demon “Mahisasura”, they made an appeal to the Super Gods for some respite. The audacity of “Mahisahura” had become so profound, that it enraged the patience of the Gods. The fury of Brahma(the creator), Vishnu(the preserver), Shiva (the destroyer) and of other godly spirits, erupted such dense flames from their eyes, that it is believed to have formed a mountain of radiance. It is from this light, said to be equivalent to the brightness of 1000 suns, that the true spirit and purpose of this avatar of Goddess Durga, as “Katyayani” was evolved.
Prior to creating this unrest, Mahisasura, on the other hand, through his devotion and thousand of years of meditation, had won the hearts of the Gods and had his wish, never to be destroyed or killed by any man, granted. This grant of wish had filled Mahisasura , with so much pride and arrogance that
Blinded by pride, the demon had created a rampage of destruction and an endless series of assault on the weak and the innocent. Troubled by this prolonged menace, it was then that sufferers had to make a plea to the Holy Spirits to seek rescue and resolve and the Gods’ then realized the blunder, they had done by granting Mahisasura, his wish to be indestructible.
The only way left then, was him being defeated not by a man but by a woman. This need of the hour, led to creation of the Goddess Durga /Adishakti (the supreme power/being)/ Mahashakti (one with Immense Power) or simply , Shakti (beholder of power) and this avatar of the goddess warrior also came to be known as Goddess Katyayani.
Rising from the flames of fury, Goddess Durga emerged with three eyes, black hair and ten hands. Shiva gifted her the trident, Vishnu gave Her the discus, Brahma gave a rosemary, a water pot a sheild and a sword, Varuna (the Hindu God of the water & ocean) gave shankha or the conch shell, Agni (Hindu God of Fire) gave a dart, Vayu (the Hindu God of the winds) bestowed Her with a bow, Surya (the Sun God) an assortment of arrows, Indra(God of the Rains) – a thunderbolt, Kuvera (the lord of wealth) gifted her with the Gada or the mace, and Visvakarma (the lord of the community of metal smiths, gold smiths & carpenters) granted Her with a battle-axe and other necessary weapons needed to slay the demon.
Adorned by the Holy Gods’, Goddess Katyayni was now all set, armored and enhanced with weapons and accessories, bravely riding on the back of her Lion vehicle, ready for her quest to start war and kill the demon Mahisasura.
This is how, the purpose of the birth of “Goddess Katyayani”~ the warrior princess was solely to defeat the demon, “Mahisasura”. On this 6th day of the nine nights and 10 days of the Navratri festival, Hinduism praises and worships the Mother Goddess of Power , to have acquired the warrior embodiment to save the world from evil and let the power of Truth and Virtue always prevail.