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Mahagauri: The 8th and Most Beautiful Form of NavaDurga

Mahagauri is the 8th form of the goddess Durga (NavaDurga) & worshiped on the 8th day of Navratri. According to Hindu mythology, Goddess Mahagauri has the power to fulfill all the desires of her devotees. The one who worships the goddess gets relief from all the sufferings in life. Mahagauri has four arms. Her right arm is in the pose of allaying fear and her right lower hand holds a trident in it. She holds a tambourine in her left upper arm and the lower one is in the form of a blessing.

Goddess Mahagauri
Goddess MahaGauri
The most beautiful form of Goddess Durga
Other Names Vrisharudha
Affiliation 8th Form of NavaDurga
Worship Day 8th Day of Navratri
Planet Rahu
Weapon Trident, Damaru (tambourine)
Ride Bull
Mantra Om Devi Mahagauryai Namah
(ॐ देवी महागौर्यै नमः॥)

Story

The demons Shumbha and Nishumbha could only be killed by a female child of Parvati. Hence, as advised by Brahma, Shiva used his magic to turn Parvati’s skin black, giving Parvati the epithet “Kali”, meaning “black”. However, the word “Kali” can also mean “death”, so Parvati was teased.

Parvati was agitated by this teasing, so she performed severe penance to Brahma so as to get her fair complexion back. She succeeded in her penance and was advised by Brahma to take a bath in the Mansarovar River in the Himalayas. As she took a bath, her dark skin separated from her and took the form of a female. She was called Kaushiki, being born from the skin of Parvati.

As a result of the separation of her black skin, Parvati got her white fair complexion back, and so she gained the epithet “Mahagauri” – the most beautiful form of Goddess Durga. Still, for the task of the demon assassination, she gave her fair complexion to Kaushiki and she (Parvati) again attained the form of Kali. Goddesses Saraswati and Lakshmi provided their powers to Kali as a result of which Kali transformed into Chandi. Chandi killed demon Dhumralochan. Chanda and Munda were killed by Goddess Chamunda who appeared out from the third eye of Chandi. Chandi then transformed into Kalaratri again to kill Raktabija and Kaushiki had killed Shumbh and Nishumbh, after which she got merged with Kali to transform her back into Gauri.

Read also: Navratri Katha

MahaGauri Puja

Devotees install nine earthen pots and invoke the Goddess image in them. Nine forms of Durga are been worshipped during Maha Ashtami Puja and some young unmarried girls are treated like goddesses. This ritual is known as Kanya Puja and performing this ritual on a single day during Durga Puja is preferred on Maha Ashtami. Navami Homa is the most important ritual during Durga Puja and devotees perform Homa at the end of Navami Puja.

Maha Ashtami Puja Vidhi

  • Begin the worship by wearing yellow clothes.
  • Burn the lamps in front of the mother and meditate on them.
  • Offer worship to the mother in white or yellow flowers. After that, chant their mantras.
  • If worship is done at the midnight, then its results will be more auspicious.
  • Offer white flowers and white dessert to the Maa Mahagauri.
  • Also offer perfume. First chant the Maa Mahagauri mantra. Then chant the original mantra of “Shun Shukrai Namah” of Venus. Keep your perfume presented to the goddess and keep using it.
  • On Ashtami tithi, there is a tradition of feeding girls. Navratri is not only a festival of fasting and vrat. It is also a festival of women’s power and respect for the daughters.
  • Therefore, there is a tradition of Kanya Puja – worshiping and feeding virgin girls in Navaratri.
  • Although Navratri is a tradition of worshiping girls every day, Ashtami and Navami are definitely worshiped.

You may like: 108 Names of Goddess Durga with meanings

Significance

Goddess Mahagauri is known as the forgiving goddess and forgives sinners and purifies them. She is the Goddess who denotes peace and endurance. It is said that worshiping her will clean the devotee’s heart and make him pious. Her puja is performed during Ashwin Shukla Ashtami.

You may like: Weapons of Maa Durga & Their Significance

Facts about Goddess MahaGauri

  • Origin: Goddess Shailputri at the age of sixteen was extremely beautiful and blessed with a fair complexion. Due to her extremely fair complexion, she was known as Goddess Mahagauri.
  • Meaning: The name Mahagauri means extremely white, as she was white in color and very beautiful (Maha = great; Gauri = white).
  • Worship Date: 8th day of Navratri (Maha Ashtami)
  • Planet: Rahu
  • Favorite Flower: Night-blooming jasmine, mogra
  • Favorite Color: Purple
  • Mantra: Om Devi Mahagauryai Namah (ॐ देवी महागौर्यै नमः॥)
  • Other Name: Vrisharudha
  • Ride: Bull
  • Weapon: Trident, Damaru (tambourine)
  • Appearance: She rides the bull, just like Goddess Shailputri. She has four arms, holding a Trishul in one of her right hands and depicts the Abhayamudra with the other right hand. She carries a tambourine or Damaru in one left hand and depicts the Varadamudra or kamandalu in her other left hand.
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