Durga Navami or Maha Navami is the ninth and final day of Navaratri celebrations. It is considered as the last day of battle between Goddess Durga and Mahishasura. Therefore, the day marks the victory of good over evil. On this auspicious day, Goddess Durga is worshipped in the form of Siddhidatri. In Sanskrit, ‘Siddhi’ means supernatural, spiritual achievement or perfection and ‘Datri’ means giver. Hence, Siddhidatri showers her worshippers with spiritual bliss and achievements thereby leading them to perfection.
Goddess Siddhidatri: Myth
According to Hindu Mythology, a divine ray of light or energy led to the creation of Adi Shakthi or Goddess Kushmanda. It is Goddess Kushmanda who created the rest of the universe. She first created the holy trinities, i.e, Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva. She then assigned them with the roles of creation, sustenance and destruction in the universe.
As the holy trinities needed clarity on their works, they did pence and Goddess Kushmanda appeared in front of them in the form of Goddess Siddhidatri. Lord Brahma told her the difficulty in creation with the absence of man and woman. Also, Lord Shiva asked Goddess Siddhidatri to provide him with perfection.
Goddess Siddhidatri then comes up with a solution. She created three clones of herself. They were named Goddess Lakshmi, Goddess Saraswati and Goddess Sati. Goddess Siddhidatri then placed Goddess Sati as the other half of Lord Shiva, creating the form of ‘Ardhanarishvara’. Later in the Myths, Goddess Sati takes a rebirth as Goddess Parvathy. Hence, Ardhanarishvara is the half-woman and half-man form of Lord Shiva. Goddess Saraswathi and Goddess Lakshmi helped Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu in their roles. Because of this act of Goddess Siddhidatri, Lord Brahma was able to complete the creation of the universe. The Goddess also endows Lord Shiva with ‘Ashta Siddhi’ or eight great perfections.
Goddess Siddhidatri: Form
Goddess Siddhidatri is dressed in a red saree adorned with jewellery. She has four hands and powerful eyes. Each of her four hands hold a lotus, gadha, conch and chakra. The goddess is seated on a lotus and she rides on a lion. The Goddess has an extremely graceful figure. Since Goddess Siddhidatri is the mother of all the creations, she is considered to be surrounded by the entire creations, including Gods and Demons worshipping her.
Significance of Maha Navami
Maha Navami celebrates the victory of Goddess Durga over Mahishasura. The day also showers the blessings of Goddess Siddhidatri upon the devotees. Goddess Siddhidatri with her divine grace is an embodiment of Ashta Siddhi. They are Anima, Mahima, Garima, Laghima, Prapti, Prakambya, Ishitva and Vashitva. Hence, she provides her worshippers with the eight great perfections. This helps any person to become a Siddha thereby leading a blissful life. Goddess Siddhidatri removes darkness and ignorance from the lives of her worshippers replacing it with light and knowledge. On this day, the devotees worship Goddess Siddhidatri to remove their sins, to fill their lives with great virtues and to remove negativity from their lives.
Maha Navami Celebrations
Maha Navami is the final day of the pooja. Mantras will be chanted and people end their fasting baby feeding young girls before them. Maha Navami is celebrated differently in different states of India. In the North-Eastern states, young girls will be invited to the households and will be fed, considering them to be various forms of the Navdurga. In the North-Western States, Maha Navami will be celebrated by lightening up the installed holy pots with diyas. The South considers Maha Navami to Saraswati pooja and celebrates the day by worshipping books and weapons in the name of Ayuda Pooja.