Navratri Day 8 – Mahagauri

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Mahagauri

The eighth day of Navratri is called Ashtami and is dedicated to Mahagauri. She is a beautiful form of Durga – equally radiant and compassionate. She’s adorned in pure white clothes, white ornaments and rides a white bull. She is said to have liberated the world from evil forces, and now has the powers of purifying the souls of her devotees and removing all of their sins. She helps improve our knowledge and has a calming effect on us. She is said to be free from the attachments of the material world, and will also help us detach in order to remove suffering from our lives. She will lead us to the path of virtue and inner power.

Take a few minutes today to give thanks for the lighter aspects of our lives, for the things that come freely and easily. Then think about your relationships (to people, things, activities, habits) and see if there is anywhere you might be able to detach a bit. Ask Mahagauri to bless you with her grace in order for you to release and detach more easily in order to create more of what your soul desires.

Mantra: Om Hreem Shri Mahagauri Durgayei Namaha

Oct 9th – Purple is worn

Navratri Day 7 – Kaalaratri

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Saraswati

The final three days of Navratri are dedicated to Saraswati, the goddess and grace behind knowledge, creativity and intuition. She lives in the space where creativity and inspiration arise, and she is the power behind us living and speaking our truth.

She is the goddess of creativity, more specifically writing and music. She’s the muse that removes our egos when we’re creating and gets us centered in the flow. Saraswati is always there to help us find the inspiration and creativity residing inside each one of us, and helps us to listen and trust our intuition.

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Kaalaratri

In addition to Saraswati, we also celebrate the fierce aspect Durga today – Kaalaratri. Although Kaalaratri depicts the dark side of existence, she is also the power that creates chaos in order to destroy negativity. She removes ignorance and arrogance and brings light into the darkness. She is a source of courage who demolishes evil, eliminates terrors and suffering, and is always there to protect us. She teaches us that destruction is a necessary force that cannot be ignored, and reminds us that the other side of the destruction coin is creation. This knowledge and her grace can help us remain unattached to the material world, and realize the fullness and potential of our being.

Take a few minutes today to give thanks to Kaalaratri for her constant protection, and for showing us that destruction is just part of the process of transformation and creation. Ask for her protection and wisdom if you are suffering, fearful, or wondering why it seems that things are falling apart. Remember that with her grace, and the grace that already exists within you, clarity and strength and transformation are yours.

Mantra: Om Hreem Shri Kaalaratri Durgayei Namaha

Oct 8th – Peacock Green is worn

Navratri Day 6 – Katyayani

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Katyayani

On the 6th day of Navratri the goddess Katyayani is celebrated. She is recognized as having 3 eyes and 4 hands. In one hand she is holding a sword, in another she holds a lotus, and in her other two she performs gestures of protection and generous giving. Legend says there was a great sage named Katya who performed extreme penance to have Durga be born his daughter, thus she has the name Katyayani. She is a warrior aspect of Durga and likely Durga’s fiercest avatar, being the one that defeats the great demon Mahishasura.

In yoga and tantra traditions she belongs to the sixth chakra (ajna chakra or third-eye), and can be invoked by concentrating on this point. She is a symbol of strength, knowledge, victory of good over evil and courage. She inspires devotees to face challenges and perceive the inherent strength within. She is also a goddess of love and can help anyone that desires love and marriage.

Although everyday of Navratri is dedicated to a different aspect of Durga, today is the last day of the three dedicated to Lakshmi. As the first three days were dedicated to Durga and her energy of action, the past three days have been dedicated to Lakshmi and her energy of love. To celebrate this last day of Lakshmi and Katyayani, take a few minutes of silence and focus on your third eye to see the inherent strength and love inside of you. Focus on how this love can expand within you and spread to those around you.

Mantra: Om Hreem Shri Katyayani Durgayei Namaha

Oct 7th – Green is worn

Navratri Day 5 – Skandamata

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Skandamata

Skandamata is the aspect of durga celebrated on the fifth day of Navratri. She is the the mother (mata) of Skanda, who is the brother of Ganesh and also known as Kartikeya. She has four arms, rides a lion, and holds Lord Skanda in her lap. Legend says that after great devotion and many years of penance, Tarkasur, the great demon, was awarded with the boon of being immortal unless killed by one of Shiva’s sons. Thinking that Shiva would never marry or have children the demon thought he had tricked his way into immortality. Not long after he began tormenting the people on earth, Shiva married and had Kartikeya, who defeated the great demon, and restored peace. Skandamata is therefore the great mother, and symbolizes the relationship between mother and son. It is said that anyone that worships her also worships her son and receives both blessings. The one who celebrates her receives love and affection and is blessed with motherly wisdom.

Take a few minutes of silence today to give thanks and appreciation for those people in your life that have shown you the way and showered you with love and affection. In your silence recognize your incredible wisdom and ability to fight the challenges in your own life. And above all see the nurturing side of yourself that is encouraging and supportive, and give it a little hug!

Mantra: Om Hreem Shri Skandamata Durgayei Namaha

Oct 6th – Yellow is worn

Navratri Day 4 – Kushmanda

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Lakshmi

The next three days of Navratri are dedicated to Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, material and spiritual prosperity, and beauty. In addition to being the bestower of abundance, she’s also the force that prepares us to receive it by supporting and allowing us to release any fears that may be holding us back. She is the dynamic energy of Lord Vishnu and appears with him in all of his incarnations. She is shown as having four hands representing the four goals of a man’s life: Dharma (righteousness and duty); Artha (Wealth and Prosperity); Kama (Wordly Desires); and Moksha (Salvation). The lotus she sits on represents beauty and consciousness. Her palms are always open sometimes with coins pouring from them signifying she is the giver of wealth and prosperity.

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Kushmanda

Kushmanda is the face of Durga that is celebrated on the fourth day of Navratri. Her name means “cosmic egg” and she is said to have created the Universe from total darkness with just her smile. She resides in the sun so her radiance and glow matches that of the sun. She’s the one that blesses us with light in the darkest of times, and reminds us that sometimes all it takes to light up the world is a smile.

Take a few minutes of silence today to give thanks for the light shining all around us and within us, and know what a difference your smile can make in the world!

Mantra: Om Hreem Shri Kushmanda Durgayei Namaha

Oct 5th – Navy or royal blue is worn

Navratri Day 3 – Chandraghanta

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Chandraghanta

Chandraghanta is the form of Durga celebrated on Day 3 of Navratri. Chandra meaning moon and Ghanta meaning bell – she is the goddess depicted with a bell-shaped half moon on her forehead. She has three eyes and ten hands carrying her weapons and other instruments, and giving blessings. Although extremely fierce, she is known for bringing blessings of peace, serenity and prosperity. She establishes justice and gives devotees courage and strength to fight their own challenges. She is protective of her devotees and assists them in making dreams reality and achieving spiritual bliss.

Take a minute of silence today and let the energy of Chandraghanta bless you with grace and courage to overcome any challenges you might be facing right now. Then take another minute to give thanks and appreciation to Chandraghanta for the clarity and vision you experience in your life.

Mantra: Om Hreem Shri Chandraghanta Durgayei Namaha

October 4th – Red is worn

Navratri Day 2 – Maa Brahmacharini

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Maa Brahmacharini

Maa Brahmacharini is the form of Durga celebrated on the second day of Navratri; she is the goddess of sages and saints. She is also known as Parvati and her name means the one who practices penance. She carries a Rudraksha mala (prayer beads) in her right hand, a Kamandal (water pitcher carried by ascetics  to represent a simple and self-contained life) in her left hand, and dresses in white. She personifies love and loyalty, and is full of wisdom and knowledge. Legend says she performed severe austerities in order to please Lord Shiva, whom she believed would one day be her husband. She sacrificed everything with the sole objective of obtaining his love, and in the end her penance was not in vain and they were married. Part of her austerities included a strict fasting regimen, and it’s stated that she was on a diet of leaves for 3,000 years while she prayed, and later went without any food or water.

With her blessing, devotees can fast for the duration of Navratri with no ill effects on their health. She’s the face of Durga that represents wisdom, strength, restraint, tolerance, dedication, and pure love; and these are also her blessings for us.

We can celebrate Maa Brahmacharini today by taking a few minutes of silence to give thanks for our own innate qualities of willpower, mental and emotional strength, dedication, and pure love towards others, ourselves, and our worldly endeavors.

Mantra: Om Hreem Shri Brahmacharini Durgayei Namaha

October 3rd – White is worn