The 9 forms of Mother Durgaa – NauRaatri/Navraatri
Navraatri is the celebration of 9 nights to honor Mother Durgaa in 9 different forms for her amazing victory over an extremely powerful asura (demon) whose name was Mahishasura.
Bhagawati Durgaa is extremely powerful and she is comprised of 9 other forms or aspects of the Devi and it for that reason we celebrate these 9 forms of the Devi on each night of the Navraatri cycle.
Each night for the following nine days a form of her is worshipped with a particular color and a specific Prasad unique to that deity who makes up Maha Durga.
Goddess Shailaputrai is the first form of Durgaa Ma. The weapons she carries are a Trishul(trident) and a lotus. She rides the great bull Nandi. The name Shaliaputrai in Sanskrit means Child of the Mountain and the name many will know her by is Bhagawati Parvati.
The flag color that represents her is Red according to our Vedic Scriptures therefore let there be no misconceptions of the colors that will be listed for each form of the Maha Devi.
Goddess Brahmacharini who is still Parvati is the second form of the Devi. She holds a rudraksha mala and a kamandalu. This is the meditative form of the goddess. This form represents Bhagawati Parvati when she reaches the highest level of meditation which is an extremely powerful state which lets her access the Shakti of the universe. The flag color that represents her is yellow.
Chandraghantaa is the 3rd form of Durgaa. Her name roughly translates to a being who has a crescent moon shaped like a bell. This form has her third eye always open and ready for war against any Rakshasa/Asura. She is also known by other names such as Chandrakhanda and Rannchandi and Chandika. The flag color that represents her is white.
Bhagawati Kushmaanda is the 4th form of Durgaa. Her name is made of 3 Sanskrit words but when put together means creator of the universe. Now many will say Brahma is the creator of the universe but when there was nothing but darkness and no life existed Kushmanda would then illuminate the darkness of the Universe with her smile and then everything came into creation and then Brahma took over after. Kushmanda is known for such immense power which makes sense because without her the universe would still be dark.
She rides a lion and carries many weapons but is always ready to bless her devotees even in war mode. The color flag that represents her is green.
Bhagawati Skandamata is the fifth form of Durgaa Ma and sometimes goes by the name Panchami which means the fifth. Skandamata means mother of Skanda who is the god of war also known as Kartikeya. She has one hand ready in Abhaymudra which is to bless and dispel fear of her devotees. She holds her child Kartikeya in another hand and holds 2 lotuses. With her child she would be a force to reckon with. The flag color that represents her is blue.
Goddess Katyayani is the 6th form of Durgaa and is known as a form of Shakti. She is considered an extremely fierce warrior Goddess and when waging war she rides a lion and wastes no time in the fight. She is also known as the daughter of the Sage Katyayan. The flag color that represents her is white.
Bhagawati Kaalaraatri is the 7th form of Durgaa her name translates to, one who brings an end to darkness. She is known to have adorned war paint on her skin to make her look more terrifying to her enemies while she rides into battle carrying a sword, noose and a Trishul and has her 3rd eye active in combat to increase her powers. The flag color that represents her is black.
Goddess MahaGauri is the 8th form of Durgaa. Her name means one who shines extremely bright. She is depicted riding a white bull. She is known as a warrior but one who brings the light in the darkest of times. When all hope seems lost she storms the battlefield with intense brightness. The flag color that represents her is yellow
Bhagwati Siddhidaatri is the 9th form of Durgaa. Her name translates to one who gives/awards powerful abilities. This form of Durgaa represents Yoga which is union of mind, body and soul, which is attaining perfection. The flag color that represents her is a red flag.
By The Hindu Professional Society of Canada (HPSC).