Navadurga Symbolism: 9 Divine Forms of Goddess Durga

NavaDurga symbolize nine forms adi-shakti Goddess Durga. During Navratri, we awaken the energy aspect of Godhead in the personification of the universal mother Goddess Durga, which precisely betokens the remover of grief in life. She is commonly famous with the name “NavaDurga”, “Devi” (goddess) or “Shakti” (energy or power). So, Navratri nine nights considered to be very auspicious to worship the nine planets and nine divinities. Names of 9 forms of NavaDurga are Shailputri, Brahmacharini, Chandraghanta, Kushmanda, Skandamata, Katyayini, Kaalratri, Mahagauri and Siddhidhatri.

Nine Forms of Maa Durga

1st form: Shailputri Devi

Shailputri - 1st form of NavaDurga

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Who is Goddess Shailputri?

Shailputri is the first form of those nine Goddesses; and is also known as Bhavani, Parvati or Hemavati. She is known to be the earthly essence. Maa Shailputri is the major and the absolute form of the Goddess. Since she was the wife to Lord Shiva and is known as Parvati. She took birth as the daughter of Lord Himalaya; due to which she is named as Shailputri – the daughter of mountains. Her deity has a half moon in her forehead and holds a trident in her right hand & lotus flower in her left hand. The Goddess can be seen seated on mount Nandi (bull).

Maa Shailputri Story

The embodiment of the power of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, she rides a bull and carries a trident and a lotus in her two hands. In previous birth, she was daughter of Daksha, Sati. Once Daksha had organized a big Yagna and did not invite Shiva. But Sati being obstinate, reached there. There upon Daksha insulted him. Sati could not tolerate the insult of husband. So she burnt herself in the fire of Yagna.

In other birth, she became the daughter of Himalaya in the name of Parvati – Hemavati and got married with Shiva. As per Upanishad, she had torn and the egotism of Indra, etc. Devtas. Being ashamed they bowed and prayed that, “In fact, thou are Shakti, we all – Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva are capable by getting Shakti from you.”

Significance of Maa Shailputri

It is believed that the Moon (the provider of all fortunes) is governed by Goddess Shailputri. So, any bad effect of the Moon can be overcome by worshipping her. Shailaputri is the essence of the earthly existence. Her abode is in the Muladhara Chakra. The divine Energy is latent in every human being. The Tattva (element) is Earth, with the Guna (quality) of coherence, and with the Bheda (distinct) characteristics of Ghraana(the smell).

Important facts about Maa Shailputri

  • Origin: After self-immolation in Her form as Sati, the Mother Goddess took birth in the house of King of Mountains, as the daughter of Lord Himalaya.
  • Meaning: Shailaputri literally means the daughter (putri) of the mountain (shaila)
  • Worship Date: 1st day of Navratri
  • Planet: Moon
  • Favorite Flower: Hibiscus
  • Favorite Color: Orange
  • Shailputri Mantra: Om Devi Shailaputryai Namah ॐ देवी शैलपुत्र्यै नमः॥
  • Other Names: Bhavani, Parvati or Hemavati
  • Appearance: Devi Shailaputri is depicted with two hands and has a crescent moon on her forehead. She holds a trident in her right hand & a lotus flower in the left. She rides on mount Nandi (bull)

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2nd form: Brahmacharini

Goddess Brahmacharini - 2nd form of NavaDurga

Who is Goddess Brahmacharini?

Goddess Parvati took birth at the home of Daksha Prajapati in the form of the great Sati. Her unmarried form is worshipped as Goddess Brahmacharini. She signifies as the lady; who practiced the toughest penance and hard austerity. So, she is named Brahmacharini. Shevanti, Hibiscus and lotus flowers are used to garland the Goddess. The deity of the Goddess holds a mala in her right hand and kamandal in her left. She is always represented bare footed.

Maa Brahmacharini Story

According to different versions of her myths, maiden Parvati resolves to marry Shiva. Her parents learn of her desire, discourage her, but she pursues what she wants and did Tap for about 5000 years. In mean time Gods approached god Kamadeva – the Hindu god of desire, erotic love, attraction and affection and asks him to generate desire in Shiva for Parvati. They did this because of an asura named Tarkasur who gained the boon of being killed by only Lord Shiva’s child. Kama reaches to him and shoots an arrow of desire. Shiva opens his third eye in his forehead and burns the cupid Kama to ashes.

Parvati does not lose her hope or her resolve to win over Shiva. She begins to live in mountains like Shiva, engage in the same activities as him, one of asceticism, yogin and tapas; it is this aspect of Parvati that is deemed to be that of goddess Brahmacharini. Her ascetic pursuit draws his attention and awakens his interest. He meets her in disguised form, tries to discourage her, telling her Shiva’s weaknesses and personality problems. Parvati refuses to listen and insists in her resolve. Shiva finally accepts her and they get married.

Significance of Maa Brahmacharini

On the 2nd day of Navratri, Maa Brahmacharini is worshipped. The form of Goddess Brahmacharini signifies love, loyalty, wisdom, and knowledge. The facade of Maa Brahmacharini symbolizes simplicity. She holds a rosary in one hand and a Kamandal in other. Maa Brahmacharini, the word “Brahm” refers to Tapa and her name means -the one who performs Tapa. Going by the story, she was born to Himalaya. Devrishi Narada influenced her thoughts and as a result, she practiced tough tapa or penances as she was determined to obtain Lord Shiva.

Important facts about Maa Brahmacharini

  • Origin: After the Shailputri form, the Mother Goddess took birth at the home of Daksha Prajapati, as his daughter, Sati, who was born to marry Shiva. This unmarried form of the Mother Goddess is worshiped as Brahmacharini.
  • Meaning: The word “Brahm” refers to Tapa and her name means – The one who performs Tapa.
  • Worship Date: 2nd day of Navratri (Dwitiya Tithi)
  • Planet: Mars
  • Favorite Flower: Chrysanthemum flower
  • Favorite Color: White
  • Brahmacharini Mantra:Om Devi Brahmacharinyai Namah ॐ देवी ब्रह्मचारिण्यै नम
  • Other Names: Tapascharini, Aparna and Uma
  • Appearance:Walks on bare feet, carrying a japa mala in Her right hand and a kamandalu in Her left hand.

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3rd Form: Chandraghanta

Goddess Chandraghanta - The 3rd Form

Who is Maa Chandraghanta?

Chandraghanta Devi(3rd form of NavaDurga) is called the Goddess of spiritual and internal power. People who have unnecessary enemies and severe obstacles in life should worship the Goddess to set themselves free. Goddess Parvati is the wife to the almighty Lord Shiva. After a marriage he adorned the Goddesses forehead with a Chandra made from chandan. This is the reason due to which she is known as Chandraghanta.

Maa Chandraghanta Story

After Lord Shiva gave Parvati his word that he would not marry any woman, her sufferings overwhelmed him so much that he gave up, followed by a tearful reunion and then agrees to marry her. Soon, the joyous moment of Parvati’s life comes. Shiva brings a procession of gods, mortals, ghosts, ghouls, goblins, sages, ascetics, Aghoris and Shivaganas to the gates of King Himavan’s palace to take away his bride Parvati, on the occasion of his remarriage. Shiva arrives at King Himavan’s palace in a terrorizing form and Parvati’s mother Menavati Devi faints in terror. Parvati appears to Shiva and sees his fearsome form, so to save her parents and other family members she transforms herself into Goddess Chandraghanta.

Significance of Maa Chandraghanta

The devotees who adore and worship Chandraghanta develop an aura of divine splendor. Their persons emit invisible power-waves which exercise a great impact on those who come in contact with them. They easily achieve success in life. Chandraghanta is ready to destroy the wicked, but to her devotees she is a kind and compassionate Mother showering peace and prosperity. During the battle between her and the demons, the horrible sound produced by her bell sent thousands of wicked demons to the abode of the Death God.

She is ever in a warring posture which shows her eagerness to destroy the foes of her devotees so that they may live in peace and prosperity. Divine vision is acquired by her grace. If a devotee happens to enjoy divine fragrance and hears diverse sounds, he is said to be blessed by the Mother.

Important facts about Maa Chandraghanta

  • Origin: Goddess Chandraghanta is the married form of the Mother Goddess following on from Shailputri and Mahagauri. After getting married to Shiva, Goddess Mahagauri started adorning her forehead with a half moon(Chandra) shaped like a bell(Ghanta) due to which, she became known as Goddess Chandraghanta.
  • Worship Date: 3rd Day of Navratri (Tritiya Tithi)
  • Planet: Venus
  • Favorite Flower: Lotus
  • Favorite Color: Red
  • Chandraghanta Mantra: Om Devi Chandraghantayai Namah ॐ देवी चन्द्रघण्टायै नम
  • Other Names: Chandrakhanda, Chandika and Rannchandi
  • Appearance:Goddess Chandraghanta mounts the tigress. She wears the semi-circular moon(Chandra) on her forehead. The half-moon on her forehead looks like the bell(Ghanta) and hence, Her name. She is depicted with ten hands. Goddess Chandraghanta carries Trishul, Gada, sword and kamandalu in Her four left hands and keeps the fifth left hand in Varadamudra. She carries a lotus flower, arrow, Dhanush and Japa Mala in Her four right hands and keeps the fifth right hand in Abhaya Mudra.

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4th Form: Kushmanda

Goddess Kushmanda - The 4th Form

Who is Kushmanda Mata?

Goddess Kushmanda is the fourth form of the NavaDurga is worshipped on the fourth day of Navratri. Ku means little, Ushma means energy and Anda means cosmic egg. Here the whole universe is represented as a cosmic egg and the Devi is believed to end the darkness with her divine smile.

Goddess Parvati is believed to stay and reside in the center of the sun and liberate energy to the universe and hence took the avatar of Goddess Kushmanda. It is said that she is as radiant as the sun and possesses healing powers. She can be seen riding a lioness and has eight hands. She has Kamandal, Dhanush, Bada and Kamal in the right hands and AmritKalash, Jap Mala, Gada and Chakra in the left hands in that order.

Maa Kushmanda Story

It is about the time when the universe was no more than a void full of darkness. There were no indications of the world anywhere. But then a ray of divine light, which is ever existing, spread everywhere, illuminating each and every nook of the void. This sea of light was formless. Suddenly, it started taking a definite size, and finally looked like a Divine Lady, who was none other than Goddess Kushmanda herself. The birth of the universe occurred because of the silent smile of Goddess Kushmanda. She was the one who produced the Cosmic egg. Her smile sent away the entirety of the darkness and thus formed a new creation of the universe. She gave light and life to the entire universe with her silent smile.

The earth, planets, sun, stars and the galaxies were all brought into being. But to sustain life, the world needed the sun God. So, the Goddess centred herself in between the sun and she became the cause of the energy and light necessary for life. The sun gives life to the world and Goddess Kushmanda herself is the power of the sun and is the source of all energy when she resides within the core of the Sun God. From her smile, a body of energy came forth from her and from that potent energy, came forth light and creation. She always smiles when the Gods, inferior people and other celestial beings honored her.

Significance of Kushmanda Mata

Maa Kushmanda appearance may be of a source of power which is always busy killing and suppressing the bad and wicked. However, for her devotees, Maa is serene, gentle and peaceful. By worshipping Maa Chrandraghanta, you will open the doors to great respect, fame and glory. Maa also helps you attain spiritual enlightenment. Her idol, which symbolises both beauty and bravery, gives you the strength the keep the negative energy away and repels all the troubles from your life.

Important facts about Goddess Kushmanda

  • Origin: After taking the form of Siddhidatri, the Mother Goddess started living within the Sun thereby liberating the Sun’s energy to the universe. Since then, this form of the Goddess has been known as Kushmanda, namely for her power and capability to live inside the Sun.
  • Meaning:Ku means little, Ushma means energy and Anda means cosmic egg.
  • Worship Date: 4th day of Navratri (Chaturthi Tithi)
  • Planet: Sun
  • Favorite Flower: Jasmine
  • Favorite Color: Royal Blue
  • Kushmanda Mantra:Om Devi Kushmandayai Namah ॐ देवी कूष्माण्डायै नम
  • Appearance: Kushmanda is depicted with eight to ten hands holding a trident, discus, sword, hook, mace, bow, arrow and two jars of honey (Elixir) and blood. Her one hand is always on abhayamudra from which she blesses all her devotees. She rides on a tiger.

5th form: Skandamata

The Fifth form NavaDurga - Skandamata

Who is Skandamata?

When Goddess Parvati became the mother of Lord Kartikeya (Lord Skanda), she came to be known as Skandamata. The 5th day of Navratri is dedicated to the worship of the Skanda Devi.

Significance of Skandamata

It is believed that she awards devotees with salvation, power, prosperity and treasures. She can grant oceans of wisdom even to most illiterate person, if he/she worships her with complete devotion. Skandamata who possesses the brilliance of the sun fulfills all the desires of her devotees. He who is selflessly devoted to her, attains all the achievements and treasures of life. The worship of Skandamata purifies the heart of a devotee. Her worship is ultimately conducive to salvation. She is regularly known as “The Goddess of Fire”.

Important facts about Skandamata

  • Origin: In her form as mother of the God of War, Lord Skanda(Kartikeya), she is known as Goddess Skandamata.
  • Meaning: Mother of Lord Skanda
  • Worship Date: 5th day of Navratri
  • Planet: Mercury
  • Favorite Flower: Yellow Rose
  • Favorite Color: Yellow
  • Skandamata Mantra:Om Devi Skandamatayai Namah ॐ देवी स्कन्दमातायै नम
  • Other Names: Padmasana
  • Appearance: Goddess Skandamata mounts the ferocious lion. She carries baby Skanda in her lap. Goddess Skandamata is depicted with four hands. She carries lotus flowers in Her upper two hands. She holds baby Skanda in one of Her right hands and keeps the other right hand in Abhayamudra.

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6th Form: Katyayani

The 6th Form - Goddess Katyayani

Who is Goddess Katyayani?

On the havoc created by Mahisasur, Goddess Parvati had taken the avatar of Goddess Katyayani, 6th form of NavaDurga. She is also referred as the warrior Goddess. Certain religious texts state that Goddess Pravati was born at the home of sage Katya and hence the name Katyayani. She can be seen riding a lion and carrying a lotus stem and sword in her right hands. She is said to be gifted with the lion by Goddess Gauri.

Maa Katyayani Story

Maa Katyayani was born to Katyayana Rishi’s house and hence she is called Katyayani. Their four arms are arms and lotus flowers, their vehicle is lion. These are Goddesses of the Brajamandal, Goddesses worshiped them for getting Krishna. Mother Katyayani is worshiped for the barriers in marriage, a worthy and kind husband receives from his grace. Jupiter’s relationship with Jupiter is considered by these.

In our sages, a sage Kshatriya of a great caste was born. They did not have any child. Having a desire to get Mother Bhagwati as a daughter, she made harsh austerity of Parama Maa Bhagwati. Pleased with the penance of Maharishi Katyayana, Goddess gave her a boon of a daughter. After a while, the tyranny of the demon Mahishasura increased greatly. Then, with the brightness of the Trinity, a brightly-colored and quadruped woman was born and killed her. 

Significance of Maa Katyayani

Maa Katyayani is the 6th form of the NavaDurga. A girl facing issues for fixing a marriage can pray Maa Katyayani to obtain a happy and smooth marriage life. She ensures harmony and peace in married life. It is also believed that worshipping her can help eradicate all the negative effects of planets in horoscope.

Important facts about Goddess Katyayani

  • Origin: To destroy demon Mahishasura. The daughter of sage Katyayana, who incarnated to help Devas
  • Meaning:  The name of Goddess Katyayani is being born in the Katya tribe.
  • Worship Date: 6th day of Navratri
  • Planet: Jupiter
  • Favorite Flower: Marigold
  • Favorite Color: Green
  • Skandamata Mantra:Om Devi Katyayanyai Namah ॐ देवी कात्यायन्यै नम
  • Appearance: Goddess Katyayani rides on a magnificent lion and is depicted with four hands. She carries a lotus flower and sword in her left hands respectively and keeps her right hands in Abhayamudra and Varadamudras.

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7th Form: Kalaratri

Goddess Kalaratri - Most ferocious avatar of NavaDurga

Who is Goddess Kalaratri?

The 7th form of NavaDurga is known as Goddess Kalaratri. She is considered to be the most ferocious avatar of NavaDurga and is known for destroying ignorance and removing darkness from the universe.

During the devastation created by the demons Shumbha and Nishumbha Goddess Parvati took the avatar of Kalaratri Devi. It is said that these two demons invaded the Devlok that is the abode of the Demi Gods. After getting frustrated the Demi Gods prayed Goddess Parvati to help them defeat the asuras. It is then when Kalaratri avatar was created.

This avatar is depicted as a destructive form of the Goddess. She can be seen riding a dark black donkey. Her complexion is dark black and she has four hands. The positioning of her hands are in abhaya and varada mudra and she carries sword and an iron hook in her left hands.It is said that she licked the blood of demon Rakta Beeja, who had the potential to create more demons from his own blood. Because of the powers she possesses, she is also referred as Goddess Shubhankari.

Maa Kalaratri Story

According to legend, Dasta Shumbha-Nishumbha and Raktabeej had made a stroke in all the three states. Worried by this, all the goddesses went to Shivji. He asked the goddess Parvati to kill the demons and protect their devotees. Considering Shivji, Parvati ji assumed the form of Durga and killed Shumbha-Nishumbha. But as soon as Durga killed the bloodbath, the blood released from her body produced millions of raktabeej. Seeing this, Durga ji made Kalaratri from its fast. After this, when Durga killed the raktabeej, Kalaratri filled his blood in his face and slaughtered his bloodbase after cutting his throat.

Significance of Kalaratri Devi

Worshiping Maa Kalaratri, on 7th day of Navratri is considered so auspicious. A regular chanting of Kalaratri mantra can remove all the fear from the heart and make the devotees bold and self confident. If you are suspicious of any evil spell or force pursuing you, you may free yourself from it by chanting the incredibly powerful Kalaratri mantra. This mantra shall bestow peace and shall win the protective shield of goddess Kalaratri for her devotees. Yogis and occult practitioners chant this mantra to attain mystic powers.

Important facts about Goddess Kalaratri

  • Origin: This is the fiercest and the most ferocious form of the Mother Goddess, in which she manifests to destroy the demons, Sumbha and Nisumbha.
  • Meaning: Goddess of the Night. Also referred as the one who is the death of time. This form primarily depicts that life also has a dark side – the violence of Mother Nature that encompasses death and destruction.
  • Worship Date: 7th day of Navratri
  • Planet: Saturn
  • Favorite Flower: Krishna kamal
  • Favorite Color: Grey
  • Kalaratri Mantra: Om Devi Kalaratryai Namah ॐ देवी कालरात्र्यै नम
  • Other Names: Goddess Shubhankari
  • Appearance: Her complexion is dark black and She rides on a donkey. She is depicted with four hands. Her right hands are in Abhayamudra and Varadamudra. She carries a sword and deadly iron hook in her left hands.

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8th Form: Mahagauri

Mahagauri - 8th form of Navadurga

Who is Goddess Mahagauri?

Mahagauri is the 8th manifestation of goddess Durga and amongst the NavaDurga. Mahagauri is 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 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.

Maa Mahagauri 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 Himalaya. 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” – most beautiful form of NavaDurga. Still, for the task of demons’ 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 (Chandraghanta). 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 Kaalratri again to kill Raktabija and Kaushiki had killed Shumbh and Nishumbh, after which she got merged with Kali to transform her back into Gauri.

Significance of Goddess Mahagauri

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 devotees heart and make him pious. Her puja is performed during Ashwin Shukla Ashtami.

Important 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
  • Mahagauri Color: Purple
  • Mahagauri Mantra: Om Devi Mahagauryai Namah ॐ देवी महागौर्यै नम
  • Other Names: Vrisharudha
  • 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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9th Form: Siddhidatri

Siddhidatri

Who is Siddhidatri Devi?

The 9th form of Navadurga is known as Goddess Siddhidhatri. She is the moola roopa(original form) of Maa Parvati. Maa Siddhidhatri has four hands holding a discus, conch shell, trident and mace, sitting on a fully bloomed lotus or a lion. She possesses eight supernatural powers, or the siddhis, called Anima, Mahima, Garima, Laghima, Prapti, Prakambya, Ishitva and Vashitva. Anima means reducing one’s body to the size of an atom; Mahima means expanding one’s body to an infinitely large size; Garima means becoming infinitely heavy; Laghima means becoming weightless; Prapti means having omnipresence; Prakambya achieving whatever one desire; Ishitva means possessing absolute lordship; and Vashitva means having the power to subjugate all. Lord Shiva was blessed by Siddhidatri by being given by all the eight powers.

Significance of Siddhidatri Devi

Maa Siddhidatri is immediately pleased with her devotees; and achieves religion, meaning, work and salvation in her world. On the 9th day of Navratri, devotees should put all their attention towards the Nirvana cycle. This chakra is located in the middle of our skull. By doing so, the devotees receive the power present in their Nirvana Chakra by the grace of mother Siddhidatri.

Important facts about Siddhidatri Devi

  • Origin: In the beginning of the universe, Lord Rudra worshipped the unmanifest form of the Mother Goddess, Adi Parashakti for creation. As Adi Parashakti, the Mother Goddess was pure energy and had no form. She thus appeared in the form of Siddhidatri from the left half of Shiva.
  • Meaning: Siddhi means supernatural power or the ability to achieve a sense of the ultimate source of creation and existence and Dhatri means the giver.
  • Worship Date: 9th day of Navratri (Maha Navami)
  • Planet:Ketu
  • Favorite Flower: Champa
  • Siddhidatri Color: Peacock Green
  • Siddhidatri Mantra: Om Devi Siddhidatryai Namah (ॐ देवी सिद्धिदात्र्यै नम)
  • Other Names: Ardhanarishwar
  • Appearance: Goddess Siddhidatri sits on Kamal and rides on the lion. She is depicted with four hands. She has Gada in the one right hand, Chakra in the other right hand, lotus flower in the left hand and Shankh in the other left hand.

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