Navratri day 8 : Durga Asthami today

NV Naidu

We are heading closer towards Dasshera. It's Durga Asthami today, an auspicious day to worship the goddess, pay obeisances to devi Parvati and her nine forms. On the eighth day of Navratri, devotees seek blessings from Maa Mahagauri.

On the day of Ashtami, many major rituals like Kanya Puja, Sandhi Puja, and Shodashopachar Puja are performed. Ashtami celebrations begin with Mahasnan, the grand holy bath which is done to get rid of all the impurities.

Also, as this year, the day to worship Mahagauri falls on a Monday (attributed to Lord Shiva), it is considered to be even more auspicious. Here's why...

There’s an interesting story that explains how Mahagauri got her name. It is believed that Goddess Shailputri, who did hard penance (tapasya) to win over and marry Lord Shiva, became Goddess Parvati after she tied the knot with Mahadev.

After years of severe penance, the skin of Goddess Parvati had turned dull. Lord Shiva cleansed her with the holy Ganga water to turn her skin alive and glowing. Gauri, thus, earned her name due to her mesmerising skin tone. She is also revered as Shwetambardhara.

The four-armed Goddess carries a Trishul in one right hand, and the second right hand can be seen in an Abhaya Mudra. While she holds a Damaru in one left hand, her other left hand is positioned in Varada Mudra. Mahagauri rides a white bull (Vrish) and is also known as Vrisharudha apart from Shwetambardhara.

Holy chants:

Om Devi Mahagauryai Namah

Ya Devi Sarva Bhutesu "Ma Mahagauri" Rupena Samasthitha, Namastasyai Namastasyai Namastasyai Namo Namah

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