Navratri - A festival of worship
Devotees appease Durga Devi by reciting Durga Mahatmaya or Durga Stuti. Durga Saptashati, is in Sanskrit text, is part of Markanday Mahapuran. Durga Stuti – version of Durga Saptashati, written in simple language by Pt. Chaman Lal Bhardwaj- holds equal importance. It is said that if a devotee recites the Durga Stuti with full faith – will be blessed by Devi Durga certainly.
The recitation of Durga Stuti holds great importance during navratri when the series of chapters are read by two methods- Tryangam and Navangam. Tryangam consists
of reading three prayers viz Devi Kavacham, Devi argalam and Devi keelakam followed by meditation and chanting of the Navakshari manthra - “Om Iym hreem kleem Chamundayai , viche namah”.
Navangama means nava- nine and angam means body [literally] and consists of nine stotras where nine prayers are recited before starting reading of the holy book. They are chanting of 1.Nyasa 2.Avahana 3. Namani 4. Argala 5.Keelaka 6.Hrudaya 7.Dhala 8.Dhyana and 9.Kavacha. It is recommended that the entire Devi Mahatmya should be read in one sitting. However, if one cannot, then the chapters are divided accordingly.
Ist Day- Chapter 1
IInd Day- Chapters 2, 3 and 4
IIIrd Day- Chapters 5 & 6
IVth Day- Chapter 7
Vth Day- Chapter 8
VIth Day- Chapters 9 and 10
VIIth Day- Chapters 11
VIIIth Day- Chapter 12
IXth Day- Chapter 13
After completion of the reading it is necessary to chant the Devi Suktham consisting of the slokas 7 to 36 of chapter 8
You can conclude the recitation on the ninth day or the tenth day of Ramnavami by recitation of Devi Apradha Kshama prarthna.
Recitation of Siddha Kunjika Stotra should also be done after each recital. And the prayer devoted to the day of that Goddess of the nine Goddess should be performed.
Nine forms of Goddess:
The first day is devoted to Maa Shailputri- means daughter of mountains. She represents Sati- the wife of Lord Shiva, who could not tolerate the insult of husband and burnt herself in the fire of Yagna. In her next birth she became the daughter of Himalaya in the name of Parvati or Shailputri. She is adorned by a halfmoon and rides the bull Nandi. She carries Spear in her hand. Maa Shailputri represents power i.e. Shakti.
The second day is devoted to Maa Brahmcharini- She has rosary and kamandalu in her hands. She is tapsiwini and bestows knowledge and bliss of absolute to all.
Third day Chandraghanta is worshipped- She wears the semi-circular moon (Chandra) which appears like a bell (Ghanta) on her forehead. She rides on tiger and is in anger form.
The fourth day is devoted to Kushmanda – she created solar system by empowering her power to Lord Sun. She holds two pitchers of blood in her hands.
The fifth day is governed by Skandamata – Means mother of Skanda – the other name Lord Kartikeya. She is affectionate and loves all.
The sixth day is devoted to Katyayani- Maa PArvati's Partial expansion took birth in Sage Katya's home and gets energy from trinity and demi Gods, then the Goddess the known as Maa Katyani. She holds sword in her hands and is terror for demons. She protects the world from evil.
The seventh day is for Kaalratri – Her appearance is fearful. Evils get afraid of this appearance. In Skanda Purana, Devi Parvati liberates her golden sheath and her complexioned becomes dark that is why known as Kaal ratri. She is known as to remove ignorance.
The eighth day Mahagauri is worshipped- Gauri is another name given to mother Parvati- is young and unmarried. She rides on Vrishbha – bull. Her appearance is serene and cool. She is pure and blesses Lord Shiva with everlasting bliss.
The ninth day is devoted to Siddhiratri- means to bless all with auspicious powers. She bestows success to all. She was worshipped by Lord Shiva in the form of Ardha Naarishwar, then Shakti. She holds the left side of Lord Shiva.
32 Names of Maa Durga and their meanings that starts with the name Durga:
The recitation of these thirty two names of Maa Durga relieves from difficulties and make free from doubt.
1. Durga—The reliever of difficulties.
2. Durgatirsamini- who puts difficulties at peace.
3. Durgapadvinivarin- dispeller of difficult adversities.
4. Durgamacchedini- who cuts down difficulty.
5. Durgasadhini- the performer of discipline to expel difficulties.
6. Durganashini- the destroyer of difficulties.
7. Durgatoddharin- who holds the whip of difficulties.
8. Durgenihantri- who sends difficulties to ruin.
9. Durgamapaha- who measures difficulties.
10. Durgamajanada- who makes difficulties unconscious.
11. Durgadaityalokadavanaia- who destroys the world of difficult thoughts.
12. Durgama- the mother of difficulties.
13. Durgamaloka- the perception of difficulties.
14. Durgamatmasvarupin- the intrinsic nature of the soul of difficulties.
15. Durgamargaprada- who searches through the difficulties.
16. Durgamavidya- the knowledge of difficulties.
17. Durgamasarita- the extrication from difficulties.
18. Durgamajanasamsthana- the continued existence of difficulties.
19. Durgamadyanabhasini- whose meditation remains brilliant when in difficulties.
20. Durgamoha- who deludes difficulties.
21. Durgamaga- who resolves difficulties.
22. Durgamarthasvarupin- who is the intrinsic nature of the object of difficulties.
23. Durgamasurasanhantri- the annihilator of the egotism of difficulties.
24. Durgamayudhadharin- bearer of the weapon against difficulties.
25. Durgamangi- the refinery of difficulties.
26. Durgamata- who is beyond difficulties.
27. Durgamaya- this present difficulty.
28. Durgamesvari- the empress of difficulties.
29. Durgabhima-who is terrible to difficulties.
30. Durgabhama- the lady to difficulties.
31. Durgabha- the illuminator of difficulties.
32. Durgadarin- who cuts off difficulties.
The 108 names of Maa Durga with their meanings:
Akashagamini -Flew In The Sky
Arogyada -Granter Of Good Health
Asurakshayamkari- Reducer Of The Number Of Demons
Ataviduhkhandhara Rakshika- Protector From Ignorance And Distress
Ayurda -Granter Of Longevity
Balarkasadrushakara- Like The Rising Sun
Bandhananashini- Detacher Of Attachments
Bhaktavatsala- Lover Of Devotees
Bhayanashini -Remover Of Fear
Bhootanushruta -Well-Wisher Of Bhootaganas
Brahmacharini- Seeker Of Brahman/wandering like Brahmani.
Chandravispardimukha -Beautiful Like The Moon
Dhanakshayanashini -Controller Of Wealth Decrease
Dhanurdharini- Holder Of Bow
Divamalya Vibhooshita- Adorned With Beautiful Garlands
Divyambaradhara -Beautifully Robed
Durga -Devi Durga
Durga -Remover Of Distress
Durga -The Inaccessible
Hri- Holy Chant Of Hymns
Indradhwaja Samabahudharini -With Shoulders Like Indra's Flag
Jyotsana -Radiant Like Flames
Kali -Goddess Of Death
Kamacharini -Acting On One's Own Accord
Kamsavidravanakari- Threatened Kamsa
Kanttadhara- Holder of Shiva's Neck
Kaumaravratadhara- Accepts fasts of young girls
Keyurangadadharini -Bejewelled With Armlets And Bracelets
Khadgaketaka Dharini -Holder Of Sword And Shield
Khama -Embodiment Of Forgiveness
Krishna –sister of Lord Krishna
Krishnachhavisama- Like Krishna's Radiance
Kulavardhini -Developer Of The Race
Kumari -Young Girl
Kundalapurnakarna Vibhooshita- Wearer Of Earrings Covering The Ears
Mahachakradharini -Holder Of Chakra
Mahakali -Wife Of Mahakala
Mahishasuranashini- Destroyer Of Mahisha
Mamsapriya- Fond Of Flesh
Mayoora Pichhavalaya- Wearer Of Peacock-Feathered Bangles
Mohanashini -Destroyer Of Desires
Mruthyunashini -Destroyer Of Death
Mukutavirajita -Shining With Crown Adorned
Nagararakshika -Protector Of Land
Nandagopakulajata -Daughter Of The Nandagopa Race
Narayanavarapriya -Fond of Narayana's Boons
Padmapatrakshi- Eyes Like The Lotus Leaf
Papadharini -Bearer Of Others' Sins
Papaharini -Destroyer Of Sins
Pashadharini -Holder Of Rope
Pashupriya -Fond Of All Beings
Peenashroni Payodhara -Large Bosomed
Pravasarakshika -Protector Of Travellers
Purnachandra Nibhanana- Beautiful Like The Full Moon
Putrapamrityunashini -Sustainer Of Son's Untimely Death
Rajyada- Bestower Of Kingdom
Sagaragirirakshika -Protector Of Seas And Hills
Sangramajayaprada- Granter Of Victory In The War
Sangramarakshika -Protector Of Wars
Sankarshanasamanana -Equal To Sankarshana
Santati -Granter Of Issues
Sarvakaryasiddhi Pradayika -Granter Of Success In All Attempts
Saukhyada -Bestower Of Well-Being
Seedupriya -Fond Of Drinks
Sharanya -Granter Of Refuge
Shatrusankata Rakshika -Protector From Distress Caused By Foes
Shikhipichhadwaja Virajita -Having Peacock-Feathered Flag
Shilathata Vinikshibda -At Birth,Slammed By Kamsa
Shiva -Shiva's Half
Surashreshtta -Supreme Among The Celestials
Sutada -Granter Of Issues
Trailokyarakshini- Protector Of The Three Worlds
Tribhuvaneshwari -Goddess of The Three Worlds
Tridashapujita -The Goddess Of The Celestials
Tridivabhavayirtri -Goddess Of The Three Worlds
Vapurda -Granter Of Beautiful Appearance
Varada- Granter Of Boons
Vasudevabhagini -Sister Of Vasudeva
Vindhyavasini`- Resident Of The Vindhyas
Vividayudhadhara -Bearer Of Various Weapons
Vyadhinashini -Vanquisher Of Ailments
Yashodagarba -Sambhoota Borne from Yashoda's Womb.
May Goddess Bless you with Her Divine Grace!