After worshipping and celebrating the different forms of Shakti for eight days, it’s time for devotees to bid adieu to their beloved Maa Durga. Navami is the ninth and final day of Shardiya Navratri; hence devotees will worship the ninth form of Navdurga, Goddess Siddhidatri. Also known as Maha Navami, the ninth day of Navratri marks the day when Maa Durga annihilated the buffalo demon, Mahishasura.
The Navami Tithi of Shardiya Navratri will be observed on October 14, which is today. The devotees will worship and celebrate Maa Durga, also called ‘Mahishasura Mardini’, with all zest and fervour. The story of Maa Durga slaying the treacherous demon, considered one of the major events in Hindu mythology, signifies the victory of good (Maa Durga) over evil (Mahishasura). Hence the significance of Maha Navami is greater than other days of Navratri. Maha Navami, the last day, is also celebrated as the third day of Durga Pujo.
The auspicious day of Navami is dedicated to the Goddess, who is the ‘moola roopa’ of Maa Parvati, meaning the one who originated from Parvati, Maa Siddhidatri. ‘Siddhi’ means supernatural power or meditative ability, and ‘Dhatri’ means giver or awarder. It is believed that by worshipping Maa Siddhidatri, it is possible to achieve the eight siddhis, which are as follows: Anima, Mahima, Garima, Laghima, Prapti, Prakyamya, Inshitva and Vashitva.
Siddhis are nothing but material, supernatural, paranormal, or somewhat magical powers that are attained by yogic sadhanas or meditation. The Goddess with four hands, Maa Siddhidatri, can be seen draped in a red saree. She is seated on a fully-bloomed lotus. In some of her pictures, the Goddess can also be seen riding a mighty lion. The ninth avatar of Navdurga holds a lotus in her lower left hand, a shanka (conch shell) in her upper left hand, a chakra (discus) in her upper right hand, and a gada (blunt mace) in her lower right hand.
Legend has it that the supreme God, Lord Shiva attained all the eight siddhis by worshipping Goddess Siddhidatri. Interestingly, it is believed that the left side of Lord Shiva’s body is none other than Maa Siddhidatri; hence Mahadeva is also worshipped as Ardhanarishwara, the ‘Half-Female Lord’.
On Maha Navami, devotees can perform a havan in honour of Maa Siddhidatri and the other eight forms of Navdurga. Pan-supari, flowers (specifically pink), fruits, dry fruits and some sweets should be offered to the Goddess. One should light a diya (lamp) of ghee in front of her idol or image. Reciting or listening to Durga Sapta Shati is an important ritual of Maha Navami. After Durga Sapta Shati, devotees can offer satvik bhog to the Goddess and perform aarti. Mantras of Maa Siddhidatri should be chanted with devotion, especially by those who are fasting.
Goddess Siddhidatri is the one who can fulfil every desire. She is capable of giving all kinds of occult powers. The possessor of divine siddhis, the Goddess removes ignorance and provides divine knowledge and wisdom to her devotees.
‘Om Devi Siddhidatryai Namah’
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