Understanding the Meaning and Significance of MaaDurga

If you are a believer of Hinduism or a devotee of MaaDurga, then you will agree with the mythological belief that MaaDurga is the sole source of the energy of the entire universe. She is respectedand worshiped as the Divine Mother, who has caused the genesis of the entire creation. Everything that exist in this universe, ranging fromtangible items to the invisible energies, all are the manifestation of energyinto different forms. This ultimate energy is called Devi. This is the reason why MaaDurga is often called Shakti, which is the Sanskrit word for energy or driving force. We require energy to walk, eat, sleep and even blink our eyes. The fact that there is nothing in this world that can be done without having strength establishes that this universe is governed and driven by Shakti. Followers of Hinduism offer prayers and seek blessings of MaaDurga throughout the year; but there are 18 days of the year that are especially devoted to the worship of MaaDurga. These 18 days are divided into two groups of nine days. These nine days are called Navratri. Navratri is a Hindu festival that is celebrated for nine days/nights with each day being devoted to one of the nine forms of MaaDurga. Like any other Indian festival, Navratri has a significance associated with it.

The Significance of Navratri

Navratri translates into nine nights. Nights are usually associated with rest and rejuvenation. We sleep at night, to get revived and rejuvenated for the morning. Similarly, Navratri or the festival of nine nights is that time of the year, when people turn towards their inner most source of energy. It is the time of the year when people strive to connect with their inner self, nurture and rejuvenate themselves through worships, prayers, hymns, meditation, fasting, and following other spiritual practices. These practices not only help them connect with their inner self, but also with the divine and thus, making them refreshed and revived.Navratri is considered and celebrated like a festival. The festival of Navratri comes twice a year and it is all about evoking the Shakti, the driving force of the universe. During Navratri, we worship Durgapaintings and idols, and perform various rites. All these practices are a medium of evoking this Shakti. That is why, during Navratri, Devi is adored and revered in the form of Nav-Durga, the nine embodiments of Mother Divine. The nine forms of Devi are:

  • Shailputri
  • Brahmacharini
  • Chandraghanta
  • Kushmanda
  • Skandmata
  • Kathyayini
  • Kaalaratri
  • MahaGauri
  • Siddhidhatri

The festival is devoted to the revered MaaDurga and her nine forms. These nine forms of MaaDurga are worshipped by her devotees during the nine days of Navratri. The nomenclature of these nine incarnations of MaaDurga differ is various Hindu mythological scriptures. Pictures and MaaDurga paintings depicting the Nava-Durga also differ from one region to another. The widely accepted account of nine forms of Nav-Durga is the one found in the revered scripture Devi Mahatmya.

These nine forms of Devi are worshiped to arouse the Shakti that acts like an armor to ward off all evils and negativities. Whenever you face an obstacle or have a mental block, just remembering these forms of the Devi can eradicate the obstacles and mental blocks. Those who suffer from anxiety, insecurity and fear, should chant the different various names of the Devi. Chanting the name of the Devi not only helps you stabilize your heart and mind, but also augments the consciousness and makes you balanced, courageous and composed.

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