Gifted by the Divine

Believed to have appeared from the left side of Lord Shiva, Goddess Durga or Parvati attains her ninth embodiment in the form of “Siddhidatri”, meaning the giver of supernatural powers.  On the 9th and final day of the Navrati festival, the “Siddhidatri” form of the Goddess is worshiped in full spirit and enthusiasm.

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Being the one, who grants the ultimate wish of acquiring intuition, farsightedness, spiritual direction and likewise supernatural powers, Goddess Siddhidatri is worshiped by all gods, saints and demons across the heaven, earth and hell, with much devotion.

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siddhidratriThe “Siddhidatri” incarnation has four hands and is seen seated on a lotus or Her lion. With her peaceful and loving expressions, she holds a discus, a conch shell, a trident and a mace and blesses her devotees with spiritual enrichment.

After nine days of strict disciplinary lifestyle, fasting that majorly includes fruits as a primary diet, chanting the holy mantras  and meditation for most others, the Ninth day is the rewarding day with the gift of self realization and the much needed connection with the inner self.

Following the regime of the worship, rituals and fasting, the 9th day of Navratri, marks the moment of rejoice and cultures across the Nation, have their own signature style for celebrating this moment.

Scattered Hindus all over the world dance to the tune of the colorful “Garba dance” with vibrant colored sticks as the prime prop, celebrating the ninth day of the holy Navratri. Predominantly, celebrated in the  Northern & Western Indian states , the “Dandiya” or the “Garba” is a much popular and globalized festive dance and it is hard to resist the rhythm that it sets in your body.

For the Eastern India, and for the Bengalis who are crazy and overjoyed to celebrate the Navratri in the form of Durga Puja, it is their traditional “Dhunuchi Dance” holding an earthen pot with burning aromatic camphor and dried outer shells of coconut, done in the praise of the Mother Goddess.

For the Southern India, it is  “Bathukamma” where women dressed in traditional attires and jewelry, decorate bountiful and colorful seasonal flowers with medicinal powers, are piled in the shape of a temple and is dedicated to the Mother Goddess, inviting Her and praising Her as the life-giver and the goddess of Motherhood.

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With all the rejoice, festive spirit, awaited rituals and course of worship, the Navratri comes to a glorious end with “Goddess Siddhidhatri” on this 9th day of the festival.

However it is only the grandeur that comes to an end today, otherwise the entire stretch of these nine days are gentle reminder for all of us, to sit back from the usual run of regular chores and reconnect ourselves with the sweet change of the season as autumn sets in the stage of transition from the harsh summers to the cooler winters. It is also the dire need for the mind to breathe and rejuvenate, the time when migrated members of a family come back home to celebrate the festive spirit, the excitement of new clothes and an enjoyable break from the regular food.

Nevertheless, keeping rituals and ceremonial practices aside, it does reminds us the need for discipline not only in terms of clean eating but also clean thinking – one that sets the mind, body and soul to a detox or a purifying mode, enough to last another tough year until the “Sharad Navratri” arrives again.♥

   ♥ “Shubha Navratri” ♥

 

 

P.S: As adorable as the significance of  “Goddess Siddhidatri”, is this pleasing feature image of the Mother Goddess done by Suchita. Thanks you so much. 🙂

Others: Web

 

By Virtue of her Radiance

Day 8 of Navrtari ~ Goddess Mahagauri

Ancient legends and mythology narrates fascinating stories of  the Hindu Gods and Goddesses. For the 8th incarnation of Goddess Durga’s, “Mahagauri” avatar, there are interesting stories that reveal her this image.

After the long endless years of penance to become Lord Shiva’s wife in Her role as Goddess Brahmacharini and as the slayer of the demon, in her form of Goddess Katyayani and Kaalratri, Goddess Parvati/Durga was exhausted and her complexion was fatigued, pale and somewhat dark.  On a private gathering, post the victorious war that slayed the demons, Lord Brahma, Shiva and Vishnu on this note, seemed to have casually and lovingly teased Goddess Durga, for her apparent dullness and this certainly did not interest the lady and made her upset.

But how could Lord Shiva be at comfort when his precious beloved wife wasn’t at ease and was all dull? With the sensibility of a loving Husband, Lord Shiva is believed to have then washed the body of his wife, Goddess Parvati with the water of the Holy Ganga and she regained her sparkling and radiant beauty back.

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“Mahagauri”, meaning extremely fair, radiant, peaceful and calm is also the ‘wish-fulfilling’ avatar of the Mother Goddess that is worshiped on the 8th day of the Holy Navratri.

Because of her white and fair complexion, she is compared to the conch, the moon and the white flower of Kunda. Symbolically, the night blooming jasmine is also her favorite flower.

She wears a simple white sari, is depicted with 4 arms and rides a white bull. One of her right hand is in a posture that alleviates fear and with the other she holds a trident whereas she holds a small drum in one of her left hand and the other remains in a blessing posture for her devotees. In this form, She now personifies herself again as the happy wife of Lord Shiva and the composed and peaceful Mother figure.

It is believed that “Goddess Mahagauri” is the absolute goddess of kindness and mortality. She purifies the soul of those of her devotees and her earthly children, by forgiving their sins and help them get rid of materialistic vices and misery by leading them to path of contentment and self-realization.

♥ Happy Navratri ♥

P.S: The innocent chirpy girl in white and the happy bull/cow is sure to bring a smile from the Heaven above. Thanks a bunch Suchita for this extraordinarily cute feature image for this blog.

Other Pic: The Web

The Mystery of the Dark

Day 7 of Navratri ~ “Goddess Kaalratri”

One of the fiercest from of Goddess Durga is her “Kaalratri” form. Her dark complexion, bountiful hair, a shining necklace and four hands -two left hands holding a torch and a cleaver and the other two right hands, in postures of blessing and protecting, riding on the back of a donkey, is her characteristic appearance. Worshiped on the seventh day of the Navratri– the Hindu festival that celebrates Mother Goddess in her nine forms over these 9 nights and 10 days.

After the warrior form of “Katyayani”, “Kaalratri” is yet another fearless form of the Hindu Goddess. Not to misjudge or misinterpret her intense and dark appearance, this avatar of the Hindu Deity, embodies this image to destroy all demon entities, negative energies and unholy spirits.

In her this Kaalratri form, Goddess Parvati/Durga is said to have defeated the demons named Shumbha and Nishumbha, riding a powerful donkey.

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Her this darkness is symbolic of “Time”, meaning “kaal” and also meaning black, acknowledging it being created long before light itself. This dark or black complexion also signifies Her as the destroyer of ignorance and helps her devotees attain salvation by freeing them from the oblivion of the cycle of birth and death. Also many Hindus claim to believe that, for the welfare of the creation and her children, the Mother Goddess had absorbed into Her, all ignorance, negativity and sorrows that turned her complexion black.

Irrespective of her intense appearance, she always bears blessings and good luck for the welfare of her devotees and her children while removing the darkness of fear and worry from their lives.

In other words, She is just like any mother, who acquires yet another form to combat the darkness of fear, worries and ignorance from the life of her beloved children. Although she embodies an angry or even in some cases a blood thirsty image, there is no way that can interfere with the absolute reason and intention of her love and well-being for her children.

” May this Navratri, eradicate darkness in all forms, from our lives.”

♥ Happy Navratri ♥

P.S: This feature image is an extremely loving portrayal in contrast to the conventional angry image of “Goddess Kaalratri”. Thank you Suchita for letting me feature your illustration in my blog.

Other pic source: The web

 

You are my world!

Day 5 of Navratri ~ “Skandamata”

“Skandamata” is the fifth avatar of Goddess Durga being celebrated during the rejoice of Her nine nights of valor and love, in the form of Navratri. Evolving from the stages of Shailaputri (as a daughter), Brahmacharini (as a student, lover & worshiper), Chandraghanta (as a wife), Kushmanda (the creator), She is now a Mother – “Skandamata”.

This name is extracted from the name of her son, “Karthikeya”- also known as “Skanda” and “Mata” meaning mother, thereby addressing her as Karthikeya’s beloved mother.

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The Skandamata avatar of the Goddess, radiates the universal adoration of a mother for her son/child. It demonstrates the bonding and love between Her (now as a mother) and Her Son, Karthikeya or Skanda, who comfortably sits on her lap, cherishing the priceless moments of His mother’s benevolence.

Depicted with four hands, the Skandamata carries lotus flowers in her two hands, holds her son on her lap with one and the fourth hand remains in a blessing mudra or posture and as a sign of protection to her devotees, against all hardships and danger. Even here, She bravely rides a lion, as her vehicle and is praised for her valor and strength. Some texts also portray Her, as seated on a lotus flower and likewise, also refers Her as Goddess Padmasana (Padma- lotus & Asana- being seated).

Being rejoiced and celebrated in the spirit of Motherhood, Goddess Skandamata, is not seen carrying any weapons in Her this avatar,but lotus flowers instead that exhibits her tenderness as a mother. Although, her riding on the back of a lion is symbolic of her bravery and courage, but the love that emits as she protectively holds her first son on her lap, is  extremely compassionate and delicately reveals or declares the undisputed affection and love every mother shares with her child.

P.S: Would you agree any less with me if I’d mention of the unspoken joy and excitement that a child can only enjoy with his or her mother? I simply adore “Master Karthikeya” holding a lollipop and being exhilarated in His mother’s company. Thank you, for the feature image Suchita. ♥

 Other Pic Source: Web

A Smile for the Universe

Day 4 of Navratri ~ “Kushmanda”

The 4th day of the Navratri (the worship of power for 9 holy nights), praises the “Kushmanda” form ,of the Hindu Goddess Durga.

This name of “Kushmanda” is explained in scriptures and vedic texts as- ‘Ku’ meaning a little, ‘ushma’ meaning warmth or energy and ‘anda’ referring to as the cosmic egg.

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It is believed that, when the universe was non-existent and was all sheathed under darkness, the avatar of Goddess Durga as “Kushmanda”, produced the “Cosmic Egg”  with her benevolent smile. Interestingly, She was so powerful and radiant that she resided in the core of the Sun, to provide it with enough light and energy and likewise the ‘Universe’ was thus born. It is from this section of the Hindu Mythology, that states the Sun God, being governed by Her.

In all sorts of depiction, Goddess Kushmanda is portrayed as radiant, glowing and luminous as ever. Even here, like her previous form of the “Chandraghanta“, She holds a discus, a sword, a hook, mace, bow- arrow and two jars of honey and blood and  rides on a tiger or a lion as her own personal brave vehicle.

The “Kushmanda” form of the Goddess is also addressed as “Ashtabhuja”– meaning one with eight hands and is symbolized as the source of direction, power and universal creation.

As per Hinduism, it is also at this stage, where the Goddess reveals or splits herself  into three significant forms – Goddess Lakshmi (symbolizing wealth), Goddess Saraswati (symbolizing knowledge & wisdom) and Goddess Kali (the slayer of evil).

Also, making complete sense and correlation to the Fall Festival, the bright orange Pumpkin has been referred to as being her favorite fruit. Ever since then, it is with sincere traditions, that a pumpkin has been being offered to please Her, during the course of the ritualistic worship. 🙂

Well, here it makes me say that, there is a little bit of the Halloween and a bit of the Navratri, spread all across the globe, making us feel yet more connected. ♥

“Shubha (Happy) Navratri”

P.S: Adorable as it could be, this feature image is a really cute depiction of the “Kushmanda” form of the Goddess, by my friend/artist/illustrator~ Suchita

Other Pic Source: Web