Navratri: The festival of honouring embodiment of feminine ‘Shakti’

Written by Seema K Jayaraman
Day 1
Pratipada dedicated to ‘Devi Mata Shailaputri’ daughter of the mountains, daughter of mighty Himalayas..Goddess riding the bull with a trishul in right hand and a lotus in the left.
या देवी सर्वभूतेषु शक्ति-रूपेण संस्थिता। नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमो नमः||
The Holy festival of honoring the embodiment of feminine ‘Shakti: form in Various Devi swaroopas – Avtaars taken by Devi to relieve Earth and mankind from various forms of evil over a long stretch of time..the nine holy nights of victory over evil.. .now joyously honored and celebrated by Sanatana Dharma keepers the our times with constraints on free time we Mumbaikars demonstrate solidarity in celebration by donning specific colors understood to be dear to specific Devi forms..the masses at various congregation points like railway stations, buses, offices, markets will spout forth in uniformity of vibrant colors of a particular shade. Isn’t it silly and fun..
I would love to share a favoured Devi Shloka that I learnt from my Ammama & Mom taken from Devi Bhagwatham which Ammama had mugged up to help her sail through her own life challenges and which all of next gen. love to chant and hold dear as a true family heirloom.
‘Varansyam Vishalakshi Gauri Mookha Nivasini
Kshetre vai naimyisharanye prokta sa linga dharni
Prayage Lalita Prokta Kamugi Gandh Madhavane
Manase Kumadha Prokta Dakshine Chouthare thatha…’

Day 2

Mata Brahmacharini

The second day of Navaratri is Dedicated To Devi Avtaar Mata Bramhacharini. Her name is derived from two root words Bramha means the eternal, the absolute and Charini means (feminine) conduct, engaging, to follow, moving. Her name means the one who followed the quest of sacred knowledge.
 She is in the form of an ascetic, the one in deep meditation in which Devi Parvati as a Kanya ( unmarried girl daughter of Mighty  Himalaya)  undertook severe austerities in the Himalayan forests,  meditating or performing Tapas irrespective of the severity of the seasons for several 1000 years.. in her single minded penance to attain Shivaityam or Mahadeva Shiva.
Holding a rosary in one hand and a Kamandalam in the other she symbolizes simplicity, wisdom, loyalty. It was during this state she finally gave up the meager satvik food, subsisting on leaves & roots and finally giving up even leaves too and hence her famous name ‘Aparna’
She is considered to reside in the swadishtana chakra and is meditated upon
 The mantra dedicated to her is :
या देवी सर्वभूतेषु माँ ब्रह्मचारिणी रूपेण संस्थिता।
नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमो नम:।।
दधाना कर पद्माभ्याम अक्षमाला कमण्डलू।
देवी प्रसीदतु मई ब्रह्मचारिण्यनुत्तमा।।
Yā dēvī sarvabhūtēṣu mām̐ brahmacāriṇī rūpēṇa sansthitā |
Namastasyai namastasyai namastasyai namō nama: ||
Dadhānā kara padmābhyāma akṣamālā kamaṇḍalū |
Dēvī prasīdatu ma’ī brahmacāriṇyanuttamā ||
Continuing with the Devi Shloka from Devi Bhagwatham my Grandma (Amamma’s favorite) and blessing to her next gen.
Vishwakama Bhagawathi Vishwa Kama Prabhoorini
Gaumam te Gautami Devi Mandare Kama Jaarni
Madhul Kada Chaitarade Jayanti Hastinapure
Gauri Prokta Kanya Gubje Ramba Do Malayachale..’
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About the author

Seema K Jayaraman

Author is Poetry Editor of