This year, the Maha Saptami of Shardiya Navratri will be observed on October 12, which is today. Saptami is the day when the most fierce form of Navdurga is celebrated and worshipped, the Goddess of power, Maa Kalaratri. Though technically October 12 should have been the sixth day of Navratri, but today being Saptami Tithi, this day will be celebrated as the seventh day of Navratri which is dedicated to Goddess Kalaratri.
On the day of Maha Saptami, many other pujas like Utsava Puja and Navagraha Puja are performed along with worshipping Maa Kalaratri. The most destructive form of Goddess Durga, Maa Kalaratri has four hands and unlike other avatars of Navdurga who ride lion or tiger, Kalaratri can be seen seated on a black donkey.
Her complexion is as dark as the darkest night, the three-eyed Goddess holds a curved sword and an iron hook in her two left hands, while her right two hands can be seen in Abaya (Protecting) and Varada (Blessing) mudra.
According to mythological legends, Maha Saptami was the day when Goddess Durga commenced war against the buffalo demon, Mahishasura who is known as the most menacing demon in history.
Shumbha-Nishumbha were the two demons who had invaded Devalok. Worried Gods then prayed to Maa Parvati to assist them in the fight against the demonic duo. Both Shumha and Nishumbha sent their two lesser Asuras, Chand and Mund on the battlefield.
Goddess Durga who was fighting the demons as Durga created a dark goddess who was none other than Kalaratri, who killed both Chand and Munda. Hence, Kalaratri is also worshipped as Chamunda.
Kalaratri is also hailed as Shubhankari – The one who does good and auspicious deeds. Maa Kalaratri makes her devotees fearless. Saptami is considered highly auspicious for Navgraha (Nine planets) puja.
'Om Devi Kalaratryai Namah'
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