**Happy Durgashtami**

Significance of Durgashtami:

Durgashtami or Durga Ashtami, is the eight day of the Navaratri and Durga Puja celebrations. Durgastami is also known as Mahashtami and is one of the important days of Durga Puja. Weapons of Goddess Durga are worshipped on the day and it is known as Astra Puja. The day is also known as Virashtami as there are displays using arms or martial arts. It is one of the most important day for Goddess Worship in Hindu religion.

There is also a belief in some regions that Goddess Kali appeared from the forehead of Durga on this day to annihilate Chanda and Munda and Rakthabija. During the Durga Puja rituals on Mahashtami day the 64 Yoginis and Ashtanayikas – the eight consorts – of Durga are also worshipped. The eight consorts of Durga, also known as Eight Shaktis, are interpreted differently in different regions of India. But ultimately all the eight goddesses are incarnations of Shakti with different aims.

Sometimes they are also an attempt to give form to a particular aspect of Shakti. The Ashtanayikas that are worshipped during Durga Puja are Brahmani, Maheswari, Kameswari, Vaishnavi, Varahi, Narasinghi, Indrani and Chamunda. Numerous minor deities including many attendants and guards of Durga are worshipped on the day.

The 8th incarnation of Goddess Durga is called Maha Gauri. On Ashtami, Maha Gauri is worshipped. She does the welfare of all her devotees. Maa is said to give effectual results. It is said about Goddess Durga that she rides lion. She is crowned with moon on her head. She is Kantiwali and has four arms. She has shell, Chakra, bow and arrow in her four arms. She has three eyes. She wears an armlet, necklace, bangle, anklet etc, and she has earrings with gemstones. Goddess Durga is the destroyer of the evil. The 9 Durga are the symbol of the 9 power.Her 9 incarnations are worshipped during the Navratri. These goddesses are the symbol of Brahmacharya, awareness, sacrifice, simplicity, knowledge, fearlessness, patience and sense of service.

Another small tale doing the rounds from ages goes this way:

Once there lived a gaint named Durgam in India. Everyone living on earth, heaven and hell were terrified by his cruel acts. Then, Goddess took the Avtar of Durga or Durgseni and killed that monster. She saved the life of devotees and Brahmans. By killing the monster Durgam , she became famous as Durga. The word "Durga" in Sanskrit means a fort, or a place which is difficult to overrun. Another meaning of "Durga" is "Durgatinashini," which literally translates into "the one who eliminates sufferings." Thus, Hindus believe that goddess Durga protects her devotees from the evils of the world and at the same time removes their miseries.

Wishing everyone a very happy Durgashtami. The below picture is one of the many Durga deity decoration in Bangalore.

6 comments:

Sujatha Sathya said...

i like that shloka a lot

Bikramjit said...

Hmmm Happy DurgaAshtmi to you and family and everyone around you

Bikram's

KParthasarathi said...

Best wishes for a Happy Puja

Rachna said...

Happy Durgaashtami to you!

ಅಶ್ವಿನಿ/ Ashwini said...

@Sujatha: hmmm My fav too.. Hope you had a wonderful navaratri.. Lots of sweets and fun...

@Bikram: Thank you.

@KParthasarathi: Thanks. Hope you had a nice one too.

@Rachna: Thanks:)

Vyankatesh said...

Nice insights!!

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