Navdurga, the nine Goddesses of Navratri is the manifestation of Durga in nine different forms and are mentioned in the Durga Saptashati and Devi Mahatmya. The nine goddess are Shailaputri, Brahmacharini, Chandraghanta, Kushmanda, Skanda Mata, Katyayani, Kalaratri, Mahagauri, and Siddhidatri. Each goddess has her governing planet, mantra, mount, and iconography. These goddesses are worshipped during all the Navratri celebrations that occur four times – Chaitra Navratri, Sharad Navratri, Magha Gupta Navratri and Ashadha Gupta Navratri – throughout the year.
Goddess Siddhidatri is worshipped on the ninth day of Navratri and bestows all type of knowledge to her devotees. She is surrounded by Siddhas, Gandharvas, Yakshas, Demons and Gods who worship her. It is believed that she provides direction and energy to the planet Ketu and hence it is governed by her. It is said that in the beginning of the universe Lord Rudra worshipped Adi-Parashakti, a formless Goddess, for creation. The goddess Adi-Parashakti appeared in the form of Goddess Siddhidatri from the left half of Lord Shiva.
After taking the form of Siddhidatri, Goddess Parvati started living inside the Sun so that she can release energy to the universe. Hence, she is known as ‘Kushmanda’. The name Kushmanda is derived from three words ‘Ku’ means ‘a little’, ‘Usma’ means ‘energy’ and ‘Anda’ means ‘the cosmic egg or universe’. The glow and radiance of the goddess is as bright as the Sun. She is worshipped on the fourth day of Navratri. Sun is governed by Kushmanda.
After Goddess Kushmanda, Goddess Parvati took birth at the home of Daksha Prajapati. She represents the severe penance undertaken by Sati and Parvati in their respective births to attain Lord Shiva. Her unmarried form is worshipped as Brahmacharini and the married as the great Sati. She is also known as Tapashcharini, Uma, and Aparna and is worshipped on the second day of Navratri. The red planet Mars i.e. Mangal is governed by Goddess Brahmacharini.
In Sanskrit, ‘Shail’ means ‘mountain’ and ‘putri’ means daughter. Hence she is called as Shailputri. It is believed that the Goddess is the rebirth of Sati, the daughter of Lord Himalayan and wife of Lord Shiva. The Goddess is worshipped on the first day of Navratri. It is believed that the Moon is governed by the Goddess.
This is the form of Goddess Parvati when she did penance to marry Lord Shiva. It is said that she performed Tapasya for several years and that caused soil and dust to collect on her body. Lord Shiva cleaned her with Ganga water. Hence, purity is depicted from Goddess Mahagauri. Her complexion is extremely fair and adorns white colour, due to which is usually compared to the moon and white flower. She is also known as Shwetambardhara. She governs planet Rahu.
Goddess Chandraghanta is the married form of Goddess Parvati. After Mahagauri marries Lord Shiva she started adorning half Chandra on her forehead. Hence, she is known as Goddess Chandraghanta. She is worshipped on the third day and governs planet Shukra.
Devi Skanda Mata
When Goddess Parvati gave birth to Lord Skanda (also known as Subrahmanya or Lord Kartik or Lord Muruga), brother of Lord Ganesha, she was known as Goddess Skandamata. She is worshipped on the fifth day of Navratri and governs planet Budha. She mounts on the ferocious lion and carries Skanda in her lap. She is also known as Goddess Padmasana.
Goddess Katyayani is the daughter form of Goddess Parvati born to Sage Katya of Katya clan. She is an epitome of love and also the violent form of Goddess Parvati. She is also known as Warrior Goddess because Parvati took the form of Katyayani to destroy demon Mahishasura. She is worshipped on the sixth day and governs planet Brihaspati.
Goddess Kalaratri is the most ferocious form of Goddess Parvati. She was born when Goddess Parvati removed the outer golden skin to kill demons Shumbha and Nishumbha. This form of Goddess Parvati destroys ignorance and removes darkness. She is worshipped on the seventh day of Navratri and governs planet Shani.