The festival of Navratri signifies a time of celebration and togetherness. Apart from being one of the oldest festivals in India, Navratri is also celebrated by people all over the country over a period of 9 days.
It is a sacred festival where devotees express their devotion by praying and observing fasts. Goddess Durga, along with her multiple avatars, is worshipped over a period of 9 days.
A special color is associated with each day of Navratri, which signifies the importance and meaning of each day. Maa Shailaputri is worshipped on the first day of Navratri, while devotees offer prayers to Maa Bramhacharini on the second day.
Worshipping Maa Chandraghanta
The third day of Navratri is signified by peace, calm and purity. It is dedicated to Maa Chandraghanta, who is also believed to be the Shakti of Lord Shiva.
Maa Chandraghanta is also referred to as the “married” form of Devi Parvati. She is known to protect her devotees from all types of evil spirits and has a half-moon (shaped like a temple bell) sitting on her forehead.
History and Origin
Maa Chandraganta was known as Devi Sati in her previous birth. In this incarnation, she was married to Lord Shiva and even sacrificed her life when her father insulted him.
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She was then born again as Parvati, the daughter of mountains, and observed severe penance to marry Lord Shiva. Due to her continued dedication, she came to be known as Maa Bramhacharini and Lord Shiva agreed to marry her.
The marriage preparations were in full swing and everyone was happy for Lord Shiva and Maa Parvati. However, on the day of their marriage, Lord Shiva arrived with a huge, but strange marriage procession.
Ghosts, sages, goblins, ghouls, aghoris and ascetics were all part of this unusual marriage procession. Lord Shiva, himself, had multiple snakes around his neck and his whole body was smeared with ash.
Moreover, Lord Shiva had snakes in his hair too, which gave him a scary and horrifying look. Maa Parvati’s relatives were left shocked upon seeing such a terrifying form of Lord Shiva and almost everyone fainted out of pure horror.
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Maa Parvati got worried and feared that her family and Lord Shiva would be highly embarrassed because of this situation. So, she immediately transformed herself into a terrorizing avatar - Chandraghanta.
This was a frightening sight and she looked as terrifying as Lord Shiva. Maa Chandraghanta’s complexion turned golden and she now had ten arms. She used her tenth arm to bless her devotees, while the other nine arms carried a specific object or weapon.
She carried a Trishula (Trident) with two hands and a Kamandalu (Watering Pot) in another hand. Also, Maa Chandraghanta carried a Gada (Mace), a bow and arrow, a sword, a Ghanta (Bell) and a Kamala (Lotus).
In this terrifying form, Maa Chandraghanta approached Lord Shiva and convinced him to take a noble form. Lord Shiva agreed and transformed himself into a handsome prince. Also, he was now bedecked with beautiful jewels and ornaments.
Finally, Lord Shiva and Maa Parvati’s marriage took place with all the prayers and rituals. Their marriage was celebrated all over the world and is observed till today as Maha Shivratri.
Goddess of the Third Day of Navratri
Maa Chandraghanta’s vehicle is a lion. This avatar of Maa Durga shows that she can both - compassionate towards her devotees and terrifying towards her enemies.
She is known to bless her devotees with divine grace and fearlessness. Maa Chandraghanta is one of the most powerful forms of Goddess Durga and is also known to offer relief from suffering and distress.
Read More About Navratri:
Navratri 2020 (Day 1) – The Story of Maa Shailaputri
Navratri 2020 (Day 2) – The Story of Maa Bramhacharini
Navratri 2020 (Day 4) – The Story of Maa Kushmanda
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