In Hindu mythology, Durga is a fierce form of Devi, the Mother Goddess, the all-powerful almighty goddess. According to a legend the gods could not defeat the buffalo demon Mahish, who was threatening the existence of the universe. They begged Shiva for his assistance, and Shiva advised all the gods to release their shaktis.
The shaktis of the gods emerged in female form. These goddesses fused together in blinding light from which arose a magnificent goddess with many arms. She was as beautiful as she was deadly. Durga was born fully-grown and is depicted as extremely beautiful and full of rage.
The gods called this goddess Durga, the invincible one, and they armed her with all their weapons. Thus armed, Durga rode to the top of a mountain on a lion. In a bloody battle, she defeated Mahish and his army of demons and thus saved the Universe from this demon’s menace.
“ఘంటాశూల హలాని శంఖముసలే చక్రం ధనుస్సాయకం హస్తాబ్జెర్దధతీం ఘనాంత విలసచ్ఛీతాంశు తుల్య ప్రభామ్ గౌరీదేహ సముద్ఛవాం త్రిజగతామాధారాభూతాం మాహా పూర్వా మత్ర సరస్వతీ మనుభజే శుంభాది దైత్యార్దినీమ్”
Goddess Durga is adorned as Bala Tripura Sundari on the second day of sharad navaratri celebrations. Tripura Sundari Devi is the Consort of Tripura, also known as Gouri Devi , the Consort of Eshwara. She controls Heart, Mind, Wit and Ego. She assures protection with her hand gesture promising fearlessness (Abhaya) and the string of prayer beads. Mental imbalances and negative emotions disappear with her worship which leads to eternal bliss. She is the first form of the Trinity of Tripura in Sri Chakra. She is the presiding deity of the sixteen forms of Knowledge. Therefore devotees pray for Her grace by worshipping Her in the form of a girl child. Adorers offer prayers to Her to be blessed with healthy offspring. On this day girl children from two and below ten years are treated as incarnations of the Deity Herself and are presented with new clothes and worshipped.
The mantra “OM aiM hreeM SreeMaalaatripurasuMdaryainamOnama” is chanted for 108 times. Kheer or milk pudding is offered to Goddess as part of the ritual. Trisati is recited.
“హ్రీంకారాసన గర్భితానల శిఖాం సౌఃక్లీం కళాంబిభ్రతీం సౌవర్ణాంబర ధారిణీం వరసుధాదౌతాం త్రినేత్రోజ్జ్వలామ్ వందే పుస్తక పాశమంకుశధరాం స్రగ్భూషితాముజ్జ్వలాం తాంగౌరీం త్రిపురాం పరాత్పర కళాంశ్రీచక్ర సంచారిణీమ్”
The star moola has very special significance in sharad navaratri days. The Goddess Durga Devi bestows Her darshan as Saraswathi, the Mother of knowledge on this sacred day. The Puranas describe Saraswathi Devi as the form of ‘Brahmachaitanya’. She sits on a white lotus and holds the veena, a baton, clay pot with a spout, a string of prayer beads. She drives away the ignorance and darkness in Her devotees with Her Abhaya hastha .She granted the power and glory of word as great a boon to the great litterateurs like Vyasa, Valmiki and Kalidasu. Students’ minds blossom on worshipping Her. She is the third form of the Trinity of Trisakthi; residing deity of music and literature; lives on the tip of the tongue of all living creatures.
“విద్యుద్దామ సమప్రభాం మృగపతి స్కంధస్థితాం భీషణాం కన్యాభిః కరవాలఖేట విలద్దస్తా భిరాసేవితాం ! హసైశ్చక్రగదాసిఖేట విసిఖాంశ్చాపం గుణం తర్జనీం బిభ్రాణా మనలాత్మికాం శశిధరాం దుర్గాం త్రినేత్రాం భజే”
During Sharad Navaratri celebrations on the day with ashtami tithi the Goddess appears as Durga Devi in Her grand divine form warding off misfortunes. The Puranas declare that Mother killed a Demon by name Durgamudu in this manifestation, which is the first form in the great five natural forms. She graces man entangled in earthly worldly bonds and leads him towards salvation. Worshipping Mother, radiating brilliant glory in million manners, removes problems caused by enemies and gives victory. By chanting Mother’s name tribulations due to the bad planetary positions are avoided. She graces Her worshippers and fulfils their wishes. Red coloured clothes, red rice grains and red flowers are to be used for Her worship. Durga suktam should be recited.
The mantra “OMduMdurgaayainamaha” should be chanted. Rice cooked with green gram and mixed vegetables should be offered. Durga and Lalitha ashtotra must be read.
“మహిషమస్తక నృత్త వినోదిని స్ఫుటరణన్మణి నూపుర మేఖలా జననరక్షణ మోక్ష విధాయిని జయతి శుంభ నిశుంభ నిఘాదిని”
Mahishasuramardini Devi is the most ferocious of the nine forms of the goddess. Mother Goddess appears as Mahishasuramardini on asvayujasuddha navami to protect the virtuous and punish the vicious.This particular day is celebrated as ‘Maharnavami’ as a token of victory. She makes the lion her seat and equipped with weapons appears most powerful manifested with the powers of all goddesses in Her. She is known as ‘Mahishasuramardini’ after crushing a demon called Mahishasura. Worshipping Her eliminates fear of enemies and results in success. Praying to Her gives the same result as worshipping all the Goddesses. Chandi sapathasathi votive ritual has to be performed.
The mantra “OMaiMhreeMSreeMsarvasammOhinyaisvaahaa ” should be recited. Consecrated food items such as tamarind rice or pulihora, garelu raw green gram soaked(vada pappu) and paanakan (water mix with jaggery, elaichi and pepper) should be offered.
“అంబారౌద్రిణి భద్రకాళి బగళా జ్వాలాముఖీవైష్టవీ బ్రహ్మణీత్రిపురాంతకీ సురనుతాదేదీప్యమానోజ్జ్వలా చాముండాశ్రిత రక్షపోషజననీ దాక్షాయణీ పల్లవి చిద్రూపీ పరదేవతా భగవతీ శ్రీ రాజరాజేశ్వరీ”
Sree Rajarajeswari Devi is the last form of the Goddess during Sharad Navaratri celebrations.The whole Universe worships Her.Devotees offer prayers to Her as Maha Tripura Sundari-one among the Trinity of Tripura.She is also worshipped as Aparajitha Devi or Goddess of Triumph with no Defeat.She is the embodiment of inborn glow and light.She sits on the lap of Lord Eswara.She represents Yoga. She illuminates the internal consciousness of man wrapped by illusions. She is the presiding deity of Sri Chakra, an immense and infinite power form.
The mantra “aiM kaa e eela hreeM, kleeM hasakahala hreeM sauha sakalahreeM” should be chanted. Lalithasahasranamam should have recited accompanied by kumkuma pooja. Laddus are offered as consecrated food. Married women with their husbands in good form are also worshipped. If possible Sri Chakrarchana should be performed.
"శరన్నవరాత్రి ఉత్సవాలలో శ్రీ అమ్మవారి అలంకారములు"
Bedecking of the Goddess during the nine nights during autumn season is commonly known as sharad navaratri.
“ముక్తా విద్రుమ హేమనీల ధవళచ్చాయై ముఖైస్త్రీ క్షణైః యుకామిందు నిబద్ధరత్న మకుటాం తత్త్వార్థ వర్ణాత్మికామ్ గాయత్రీం వరదాభయాంకుశకశ్శుభ్రం కపాలం గదాం శంఖం చక్రమధార వింద యుగళం హసైర్వహం తీం భజే ”
Gayatri Devi is the embodiment of all Vedas. Mother is the primordial source of all mantras. She has five faces with the colours of pearl, coral, gold, blue sapphire and dazzling white and is equipped with conch, wheel, mace/club and ankus.Aadi Sankaracharya described Gayatri Devi as the incarnation of Infinite divine power. Her devotees worship her as Gayatri at dawn, Savitri at noon and Saraswati at dusk. According to the Puranas Agni, Brahma, Vishnu, and Rudra reside in Her face, head, heart and knot of hair. Meditating on Her bestows on one immense divine power and prevents calamities, alleviates problems and grants Divine Knowledge(Brahma jnyana).Worshipping Gayatri brightens mind and wit. Recitation of Gayatri mantra equates to recitation of the four Vedas.
The mantra, “OM bhoorbhuvasvahatatsaviturvaraeNyaM bhargOdaevasyadheemahi dhiyOyOnahprachOdayaat” should be chanted with Mother in mind. A savoury called “allapu gare” made with black gram and ginger should be offered to Her. Brahmins who have studied the Vedas should be treated as the form of Gayatri. Gayatri stotra should be recited.