Maha Navami is celebrated as good over evil, reflecting upon the role of Siddhidhatri, who killed the evil buffalo headed demon Mahishasura on this day. Read this article to learn about the story of Goddess Siddhidhatri and the Maha Navami puja details.
Maha Navami is the day when Goddess Durga took the form of Siddhidhatri and killed the evil buffalo headed demon Mahishasura. This day is celebrated as the victory of good over evil. This manifestation of Goddess Durga is known as ‘Mahishasura Mardini’, the ferocious form.
On this day, a few people also perform Kanjak Puja and invite young girls below the age of 10 – who are regarded as representative of the Goddess - and offer them food, gifts and seek their blessings.
Siddhidhatri is the form of Goddess Parvati. She has four hands holding a discus, conch shell, mace, and lotus. She is sitting on a fully bloomed lotus or a lion. She poses eight siddhis (spiritual powers) and many other supernatural powers that she gave to the Trinity (Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva) to help them fulfil their responsibilities. She is always surrounded by devas (deities), gandharvas (celestial beings who are divine performers), yakshas (a kind of supernatural being), and asuras (demons) who worship her.
The siddhi which she provides is the realization that only she exists; and she is the Goddess of all achievements and perfections.
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Siddhi means ‘supernatural power’ and dhatri means ‘giver’ or ‘awarder’. She has the power to give you all kinds of mystical powers and divine aspirations. It is believed that one half of Lord Shiva is Goddess Siddhidhatri. Therefore, this form is also known as Ardhanarishvara. Lord Shiva attained siddhis with the help of Siddhidhatri.
When the universe was under the influence of complete darkness, the ray of divine light which is ever existing and illuminating, suddenly took the form of Divine Light as Goddess Mahashakti. This form of the Goddess is also known as Siddhidhatri. The Supreme Goddess came forward and created the Trimurti - Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. She advised the three lords to contemplate so as to understand their roles for performing their duties towards the world. The Trimurti sat on the river bank and started their penance.
Pleased, the Goddess appeared in front of them in the form of Siddhidhatri and bestowed Lakshmi, Saraswati and Parvati as their consorts. She distributed the respective roles to the Trimurti - Creator, Preserver and Destroyer; and provided divine miraculous powers to help them perform their duties. The eight mystical powers are Anima – reducing size of the body, Mahima – expanding the size of the body, Garima – becoming heavy, Laghima – becoming weightless, Prapti – having omnipresence, Prakambya – achieving whatever one desired, Ishitva – possessing absolute lordship, and Vashitva – having the power to subjugate all. Apart from these treasures, she granted them nine more treasures and ten other supernatural powers. Then, the Trimurti created man, woman, devas and devis, daityas and asuras, yakshas, apsaras, and so on. The 14 worlds were thus created and constructed by the power of Sidhdhidhatri in the ninth form of Goddess Durga.
The Goddess is decorated with pink coloured clothes and pink flowers. This form of Durga is considered the supreme form of Mahashakti. Few people also perform Chandi Yagna or Navami Yagna at the end of Maha Navami.
Children, especially girls, below the age of 10 are invited to the puja pandals or people’s houses. Their feet are washed with great care and a special puja is held. This is known as ‘kanya puja’ and symbolises the nine forms of Goddess Durga. Mother nature is evoked in all creative forces on this day.
This year, the date for Maha Navami is ¬- Mon, Oct 23, 2023.
Pratishthapan (प्रतिष्ठापन): Invoke the Goddess with the following Mantra (Sacred verse).
Asyai Pranah Pratishthantu Asyai Pranaksharantu Cha।
Asyai Devatvamarchayai Mamaheti Cha Kashchana॥
Om Siddhidhatri Namah।
Supratishtho Varado Bhava॥
Asana Samarpan (आसन समर्पण): After the invocation of Goddess Durga, take five flowers in ‘Anjali’ (by joining palm of both hands) and leave them in front of the idol of the Goddess to offer a seat (Asana) to her manifestation - Goddess Siddhidhatri.
Padya Samarpan (पाद्य समर्पण): After offering Asana to Goddess Durga, offer water to wash her feet.
Arghya Samarpan (अर्घ्य समर्पण): After offering Padya Samarpan, offer scented water to the Goddess.
Achamana (आचमन): After Arghya Samarpan, offer water to Goddess Durga for Achamana (purification ritual).
Snana (स्नान): Goddess Durga is then to be offered water for her bath.
Panchamrita Snana (पञ्चामृत स्नान): This is again offering a bath to the Goddess with Panchamrita (the mixture of milk, curd, honey, ghee, and sugar).
Payah/Dugdha Snana (पयः/दूध स्नान): After Panchamrita Snana, now give a bath with Paya (milk) to Goddess Durga.
Dadhi Snana (दधि स्नान): After Dugdha Snana, now give a bath with curd to Goddess Durga.
Ghrita Snana (घृत स्नान): After Dadhi Snana, give a bath with ghee to the Goddess.
Madhu Snana (मधु स्नान): After Ghrita Snana, give a bath with honey to Goddess Durga.
Sharkara Snana (शर्करा स्नान): After Madhu Snana, give a bath with sugar to the Goddess.
Suvasita Snana (सुवासित स्नान): After Sharkara Snana, give a bath with scented oil to Goddess Durga.
Shuddhodaka Snana (शुद्धोदक स्नान): After Suvasita Snana, give a bath with pure water (Gangajal) to Goddess Durga.
Vastra Samarpan and Uttariya Samarpan (वस्त्र समर्पण वं उत्तरीय समर्पण): Offer Moli (मोली) as new clothes to the Goddess, in preferably pink colour. Then offer clothes for the upper body parts of the Goddess.
Yajnopavita Samarpan (यज्ञोपवीत समर्पण): After offering clothes, offer Yajnopavita (a sacred thread) to the Goddess.
Gandha (गन्ध): Then offer scent to Goddess Durga.
Akshata (अक्षत): After Gandha offering, extend ‘Akshata’ (unbroken rice) to Goddess Durga.
Pushpa Mala, Durvankura, Sindoor (पुष्प माला, शमी पत्र, दुर्वाङ्कुर, सिन्दूर): Now offer a garland made of flowers, durva, sindoor, and vermilion to the Goddess.
Dhoop (धूप): Next, offer the Goddess ‘dhoop’ (incense) to Goddess Durga.
Deep Samarpan (दीप समर्पण): Now offer ‘deep’ (light) to the Goddess.
Naivedya and Karodvartan (नैवेद्य एवं करोद्वर्तन): Offer Naivedya, i.e., fruits, sweet porridge, laddoo, etc. to the Goddess.
Chandan Karodvartan (चन्दन करोद्वर्तन): After Naivedya, offer Chandan (sandalwood) mixed with water to the Goddess.
Tambula, Narikela and Dakshina Samarpan (ताम्बूल, नारिकेल एवं दक्षिणा
समर्पण): Now offer Tambula (betel nuts with areca leaves) to Goddess Durga along with Narikela (coconut) and Dakshina (gift).
Neerajan and Visarjan (नीराजन एवं विसर्जन): Finally, after Tambula Arpan and Dakshina Samarpan, perform the Aarti for Goddess Durga while chanting the following Mantra.
Kadali Garbha Sambhutam Karpuram Tu Pradipitam।
Arartikamaham Kurve Pashya Me Varado Bhava॥
Om Siddhidhatri namaha
Karpura Neerajanam Samarpayami॥
Pushpanjali Arpan (पुष्पाञ्जलि अर्पण): Now offer Pushpanjali, i.e., flowers to the Goddess. You can also perform Chandi Yagna for the removal of obstacles and to bless you with prosperity and abundance.