Nine forms of Durga Matha decorated in south
Dussera festival is celebrated differently in India as it is a nine days festival, Dussera Navarathri is celebrated with great pomp. As the goddess Durga took nine incarnations as Shaliputra, Bhramacharini, Chandra Ganta, Kushmanda, Skanda, Katayayini, Kaal Rathri, Maha Gauri, Siddidatri and is decorated in nine different forms on each day In south as:
- Bala Thripura Sundari Devi
- Gayathri Devi
- Annapurna devi
- Mahalaxmi Devi
- Lalitha Thripura Sundari Devi
- Saraswathi Devi
- Durga Devi
- Mahishashura Mardhani Devi
- Raja Rajeswari Devi
Bala Thripura Sundari Devi:
During Dussera Navarathri festival, the first day is worshipped deity Shailiputra as Sri Bala Tripura Sundari Devi in south. She is the one of the incarnations of Goddess Durga. Bala Tripura Sundari Devi has four hands, in her upper hands she holds beads and a book and with her lower hands are in Abhaya and Dhyan Mudra. Bala Tripura Sundari Devi is in red complexion, dressed in red clothes.
Deity Sri Bala Tripura Sundari Devi is the child form of Lalitha Tripura Sundari Devi worshipped as a nine years old female child deity, who fulfils all the desires of life and treats all her devotees with same love and care.
Balatripura Sundari Devi is the first goddess in the Tripura traya and is the main goddess of all in the sriyantra. Without chanting the mantra of Bala Balatripura Sundari Devi one is not eligible to perform the sri yantra pooja. Her mantra generally provides a shishya’s entry to Srividya. She is also said to be the strength of the Goddess.
The second day of Dussera Navrathri is worshipped as Gayathri Devi the second incarnation of Matha Durga as Bhramacharini. Deity Gayatri Devi is considered as the veda mata combined with all the phenomenal attributes of Brahman. Goddess Gayatri Devi is also worshipped as the Hindu Trimurti. Gayatri Devi is also worshipped as the mother of all Gods and the incarnations of deities Lakshmi, Sarasvati and Parvati.
Deity Gayatri Devi is seated on a lotus with five faces and 10 hands. Her five faces represents prana, apana, vyana, udana, samana as Pancha tatwas (five elements) and earth, water, air, fire and sky as pancha pranas (five lives/ winds). In her ten hands Gayathri Devi carries five weapons, shankha, chakra, lotus, varada, abhaya, kasha, ankusha, ujjwala utensil, rudrakshi mala.
Gayatri Devi is the presiding deity of the Morning Prayer and rules over the Rigveda and the garhapatya fire. Gayatri mantra chanted thrice a day.
Annapurna Devi pooja is considered as the most important rituals in India, she is one of the aspect of goddess Parvati. During Dussera Navrathri festival, on the third day deity Annapurna Devi is worshipped with great devotion. Annapurna Devi is considered as the Hindu Goddess of nourishment. Anna means food and grains. Purna means full, complete and perfect. Deity Annapurna Devi is the consort of Lord Shiva.
Annapurna Devi is referred to the goddess of fertility and agriculture who is worshipped mostly in the villages of India. The idol of goddess Annapurna Devi is depicted with a bowl filled with grains, representing the plentiful of food she has to offer to her children.
According to the mythological, the origin of Goddess Annapurna Devi when Lord Brahma and Vishnu being worried about the disappearance of food from earth that caused the deaths of many human beings. They pleaded Lord Shiva who invited the goddess Annapurna Devi to earth and begged for food from her. Then Lord Shiva distributed the food received from her. Since then Lord Shiva promised goddess Annapurna Devi promised that she should continue to nourish the people of earth and in turn he would give moksha to the people of Kasi where the goddess resides.
Goddess Laxmi/Lakshmi is the consort of Lord Vishnu/Narayana. She is the Goddess of wealth, opulence and prosperity. There are many rituals performed by devotees to seek her blessings. There are three main festivals when Goddess Laxmi is revered the most by several Hindu communities.
The worship of Goddess Lakshmi (Mahalakshmi) forms an integral part of Navratri. She is worshipped during the second three days of Navratri. In the popular sense, Goddess Lakshmi is the wielder of wealth and prosperity. However She is the source of all virtues and bestows the same on all those who seek refuge in Her. Mahalakshmi Ashtakam is a prayer forms a sure solution for all problems of life.
Lalitha Tripura Sundari Devi:
Goddess Lalitha Tripura Sundari Devi is worshipped as the red Goddess the most powerful incarnations of Goddess Durga to demolish the demon called Bhandasura who was formed from the ashes of Manmadha, god of Kamadev, who is considered as the God of Love and seduction.
Deity Lalita Tripura Sundari Devi is considered the personification of the ultimate female power. The name Lalita means The One Who Plays, Tri-Pura means the three worlds and Sundari means beauty. She is the magnificent beauty of the three worlds. Lalita Tripura Sundari Devi is also known as tripura as intellect, feelings and physical sensation and the three states of the soul as awakening, dreaming and sleeping states.
Lalita Tripura Sundari Devi has goddess Kali’s determination and Durga’s charm, grace and complexion. She has a third eye on her forehead and has four arms, dressed in red dress with heavy ornaments seated on a lotus laid on a golden throne. The goddess Lalita Tripura Sundari Devi carries in her hands various Shaivite attributes like five flowery arrows, noose, goad and bow. Lalitha Devi is also associated with Sri Chakra, the ultimate Chakra representing the origin and existence of the universe.
Lalita Sahasranama Stotra, the hymn of 1000 names of Lalita is the best one venerated by the followers of all the traditions.
The goddess of knowledge Saraswati Devi is the incarnation of Durga. She has the other name as goddess Sharda which represents the fountain head from where all of knowledge arises. The name Saraswati is derived from “saras” means flow and “wati” means a woman.
Goddess of knowledge Saraswati Devi is depicted as beautiful fair deity with four arms dressed in a white saree, seated on white lotus but is not ornamented with heavy jewels as she represents to her modest. Saraswati Devi is also called the Mother of the Veda’s and the repository of Brahma’s creative intelligence and also called Vak Devi, the goddess of speech. Saraswati Devi rides on a swan and a peacock. She is depicted as playing music on a veena.
Saraswati Devi also guides the souls of the deceased to find their way to the after life. Her four arms represent the the four aspects of human personality in learning: mind, intellect, alertness, and ego.
The goddess Shakti known as Durga is the cosmic energy that animates all beings. Goddess Durga Devi is a triple personification of deities Saraswati, Lakshmi and Kali. The Goddess Durga is worshipped in her peaceful form as Maha Gauri.
Durga Devi is depicted as the powerful Radiant Goddess. She has three eyes, 10 powerful arms with her and a quarter moon on her forehead. Her complexion is a red-golden glow with lush hair with beautiful curls. Goddess Durga Devi is dressed in a very bright and shiny saree that emits fierce rays and ornamented with beautiful gold jewels, ocean pearls and precious stones embedded in it.
Goddess Durga Devi was gifted all the weapons by various gods as Trishulam(trident) gifted go Rudra, Sudarshana Chakram gifted by Lord Vishnu, god Indra gifted Vajrayudham(thunderbolt ), lord Brahma gifted kamandalu and god Kuber gifted Ratnaharalu to the Goddess Shakti.
Mahishasura Mardini Devi:
Goddess Durga Matha is worshipped in the most powerful role of her as Mahishasura Mardini, the destroyer of Buffalo demon Mahisha. Goddess Mahishasura Mardini Devi is the mother of all beings, divine and mortal called as Maha Devi.
Deity Mahishasura Mardini Devi is depicted in the warrior form riding on lion. During the war between Durga matha and demon Mahishura, he could not win, but he has taken many powerful forms to defeat the goddess. And while he was in mid-transformation from Buffalo back to Human form, goddess Durga slayed the demon and saved the Universe and from then she has named as Mahishasura Mardini.
On the day of Maharnavami Mahishasura Mardhini Pooja is performed where Goddess Siddhidhatri Pooja is performed.
Raja Rajeshwari Devi:
On the day of Vijayadashami, goddess Raja Rajeshwari Devi is worshipped. Goddess Raja Rajeshwari Devi is considered as she controls every living beings mind and sensory organs. The deity Raja Rajeshwari Devi takes the authority over transcendental knowledge and wisdom.
According to the spiritual practice, goddess Raja Rajeshwari is the presiding deity of Sri Chakra and also on Swadisthana Chakra. Goddess Raja Rajeshwari Devi is considered as one of the most powerful forms of Goddess Durga who has the power of creating the universe and to destroy it.
By worshipping Goddess Raja Rajeshwari Devi, one can keep their thoughts, desires, lifestyle and health in control.