Navratri is a festival dedicated to the worship of the Hindu deity – Goddess Durga. The word ‘Navratri‘ means ‘nine nights’ in Sanskrit, nava meaning nine and ratri meaning nights. The tenth day is celebrated as Vijaya Dashami or Dusshera, to mark the victory of good over evil. This important festival of India begins today and shall continue up to the 2nd of October, followed by Dusshera on October 3rd.
To know more about Navratri, you can check the Wikipedia article: Navratri
Goddess Durga is the personification of Shakti (power) and manifests herself in nine forms. These nine forms of Durga are worshipped one after the other on nine days and nights of Navratri. Devi (or Goddess) Shailputri is first among the nine embodiments of Goddess Durga and is worshipped on the first day of Navratri.
I made a sketch of the Goddess today, to mark the auspicious beginning of the festival.
Let me tell you the story behind Her origin, how the Goddess came into being. After the self-immolation as Goddess Sati due to the insults her father Daksh made on her husband Lord Shiva, the Goddess took rebirth as Parvati, the daughter of Lord Himalaya. However, it was very difficult for Parvati to get her husband back, as He had embraced a long period of meditation and withdrew himself from the Universe, to redeem himself of the loss of his previous wife. After a severe penance of utmost devotion and submission, Parvati was blessed with a re-chance to marry Lord Shiva. She was awakened as a Goddess – Devi Parvati – and her first form came as Shailputri.
In Sanskrit ‘Shail‘ means the mountain and due to which Goddess was known as Shailputri, the ‘daughter of the mountain’.
Goddess Shailputri is depicted with two hands. She carries Trishul in the right hand and the lotus flower in the left hand.The mount of Goddess Shailputri is a white-coloured bull and because of that she is also known as Vrisharudha .
Today, the air reverberates with the Sanskrit verses in reverence to the Goddess.
Ya devi sarva bhutesu, Shailputri rupena sansthita
Namastasyai, namastasyai, namastasyai, namo namaha!
The goddess who is omnipresent as the divine Shailputri.
I bow to her, I bow to her, I bow to her again & again.
To know about the Goddess’ second form – Brahmacharini, read my blog post: Navratri Day 2: Worshipping Devi Brahmacharini through artwork