In the Hindu pantheon, Devi Durga is considered the feminine epitome of strength. Not only she is depicted in various Vedic literature as a goddess having feminine power but also determination, wisdom and punishment beyond this material world. Millions of Hindus worldwide celebrate these nine days of the Navratri festival with much enthusiasm and devotion as it brings them closer to their deity Durga Mata. So what do the 9 Avatars of Goddess Durga represent? Let’s discuss this with Rooftop.
1. Shailputri (Daughter Or Mountains)
Firstly, one of the 9 Avatars of Goddess Durga is the goddess of energy and material wealth. She is depicted as a lion-faced woman with four hands holding a noose made of flowers in each hand, a sword and a bow in her fourth hand.
The Brahmani Mata is an undoubtedly powerful form of Durga. In this form, she holds a weapon in each hand, representing the three Gunas – Sattva, Rajas and Tamas – present in all beings. In addition, she has four eyes representing wisdom, action and knowledge, respectively.
“Chandra” means moon, whereas “ghanta” stands for the bell. Maa Chandraghanta symbolises her power over time and space. She is the ultimate embodiment of bravery and courage. She is worshipped on the third day of Navaratri. Further, she is believed to have the power of Lord Shiva.
Kushmanda means “the one with a beautiful face”. Furthermore, it is associated with the Mooladhara chakra or energy centre below the navel. This Durga Avatar represents the goddess as a personification of good fortune and prosperity.
5. Skanda Mata
Skanda Mata wears a tiger skin and rides on a tiger while carrying a lotus flower, which symbolises purity and spiritual knowledge. It is in charge of all military operations against the evil who oppose her or try to harm anyone else’s life or property.
6. Katyayani (Daughter Of Katyaya)
This Avatar represents a powerful form of Goddess Durga that can kill any demon or enemy with just one look. This sixth Avatar of Maa Durga symbolises victory over evil, strength, and knowledge. She is the most powerful Avatar because she destroys the demon Mahisasura.
Kalaratri is the form of Goddess Durga, who is depicted as a tiger. She looks fierce with a huge mouth. This avatar is known as “Kali” or “Black One”. The word “Kal” in her name means black and dark, and the other word “ratri” means night. She is said to have assumed this form when she killed Mahishasuramardini, an evil demon who had killed many gods and goddesses before him in battle.
Mahagauri is the eighth form of Navadurga. This traditional avatar represents a peaceful form which Goddess Durga took on after killing Mahishasuramardini. According to Hinduism, MahaGauri fulfils all her devotees’ wishes. Mahagauri puja is performed with white flowers, especially jasmine, and this is the day when Kanjak Puja is performed.
The last Avatar of Maa Durga is worshipped on Navaratri’s last day: the holy Navami Tithi. Goddess Siddhidhatri sits on a lotus, and her mount is a lion. She has four hands carrying Gada, Chakra, Shankha, and a Lotus. She is worshipped to receive Siddhi and Niddhi, which stands for wisdom and health.
The Symbolism Of Maa Durga In Indian Art
Above all the concept of the Maa Durga paintings and sculptures in Indian Art has evolved over decades. In addition to traditional motherly affectionate visualization to the portrayal of fierce and independent modern women, Maa Durga’s paintings have been an integral part of women’s empowerment. Bengal oil paintings of Goddess Durga have been famous worldwide. Legendary creations like Kalighat, Pattachitra have been appreciated since the pre-independent era. One of the most common things among the 9 avatars of Goddess Durga is “Shakti” (power) as if these avatars are calling out to all the women in our society to stand up for their rights and happiness.