Devi (or Goddess) Mahagauri is eighth among the nine embodiments of Goddess Durga and is worshipped on the eighth day of Navratri.
To know about the Goddess’ previous form – Kaalratri, read my blog post: Navratri Day 7: Worshipping Devi Kaaratri through artwork
This is the coloured sketch, I made, of Goddess Mahagauri .
According to Hindu mythology, when Parvati did severe penance to please Lord Shiva, the severity of her penance turned her body color dark. When Lord Shiva accepted her great devotion, he washed her body with pure water of the river Ganges that made her body completely Gour (or white). Hence, her name ‘Gauri‘ came into being. ‘Maha’ means ‘great’. So the name Mahagauri.
Goddess Mahagauri is depicted with an extremely fair complexion and with four hands. She carries Trishul (trident) in one right hand and keeps the second right hand in Abhay mudra (assuring safety and bliss). She adorns Damaru (two-headed drum)in one left hand and keeps the second left hand in Varada mudra (dispensing boons).
Today, the air reverberates with the Sanskrit verses in reverence to the Goddess.
Ya devi sarva bhutesu, Mahagauri rupena sansthita
Namastasyai, namastasyai, namastasyai, namo namaha!
The goddess who is omnipresent as the divine Mahagauri .
I bow to her, I bow to her, I bow to her again & again.
To know about the Goddess’ ninth and final form – Siddhidatri, read my blog post: Navratri Day 9: Worshipping Devi Siddhidatri through artwork