Sonia Sumitra Thakar
Durga Pooja is the celebration of Shakti in her many forms. The ninth day of Navaratri called the Mahanavami, is dedicated to the worship of Devi Siddhidatri. As her name suggests, she is the giver of the siddhis or supernatural powers. This manifestation of the Navadurga is believed to be the ‘moola roopa’ (original form) of Goddess Parvati.
Devi Siddhidatri is said to embody 26 divine mystical powers. The eight main siddhis are –
- Anima: The power to reduce oneself to the size of an atom
- Mahima: The power to expand oneself to an infinitely large size
- Garima: The ability to become infinitely heavy
- Laghima: The ability to become weightless
- Prapti: The power to be omnipresent
- Prakambya: The power to fulfill all one’s desires
- Ishitva: The power to possess absolute lordship
- Vashitva: The power to conquer all
As this goddess has the power to bestow occult powers on those who worship her with faith and devotion, she is said to be venerated by beings from all three realms (heaven, hell and earth) by men, gods, demons, and celestial beings.
This four-armed goddess carries a mace and discus (chakra) in her right hands and a conch and lotus in her left hands. She is clad in a red saree, wears a divine necklace around her neck and her head is adorned with an elaborate crown. She is seated on a fully bloomed lotus flower and her mount is a lion.
Origin of Devi Siddhidatri
As legend has it, when there was nothing but a deep dark void in the universe, the goddess Kushmanda manifested from a ray of celestial light. With her beatific smile she created the galaxies, the planets, the stars, the sun and all the heavenly bodies. She created the holy trinity of gods, Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, and their consorts—Saraswati, Lakshmi, and Parvati. Devi Kushmanda gave them their roles in the Universe as Creator, Sustainer, and Destroyer.
Lord Shiva undertook penance to attain more perfection and the Mahashakti created the Goddess Siddhidatri to bestow the 18 siddhis on him. And then, something incredible happened. Half of Lord Shiva’s body became one with goddess Siddhidatri and he took the form of Ardhnareshwar (half male and half female).
Significance behind the worship of Devi Siddhidatri
As per our ancient scriptures, those who worship the Goddess with utmost devotion can achieve anything they want in life. She bestows the blessings of siddhis and the ultimate spiritual knowledge of Brahman on true devotees. She removes suffering, instills courage, and fulfills desires. She gives us the strength to overcome obstacles and dispels darkness.
Devi Siddhidatri is worshipped as the goddess of wealth, beauty, arts and sciences. She is the giver of talents, skills, and wisdom.
On the ninth day of Navaratri, this manifestation of Durga Ma is offered a bhog of sesame seeds and fresh fruits, especially apples and pomegranates.
Many Hindus perform Kanya pooja (worship of nine young girls) on Navami rather than on Ashtmi. The concluding day of Navaratri is a very important and holy day for devotees of Ma Durga and is celebrated with great faith and religious fervour.
From the legends of the nine different forms of the Navadurga and the qualities exhibited by each manifestation there is so much we can emulate. If we can strive to absorb some of these spiritual values in our daily lives, we can honour the Mother and bring out the true spirit of the festival.
To unleash the powers of the Navadurga we can recite mantras specifically dedicated to the Goddess. You can check out the Sri Durga Nitya Aaradhana – a collation of prayers to the Ma Durga here.
This makes for a beautiful and meaningful gift for loved ones on this auspicious occasion. Take the step today to open up your life to receive the infinite the blessings of Ma Durga.