Maha Navratri or the Sharad Navratri is celebrated during the advent of winters in India.
During this time, the nine forms of Durga or the nine forms of Shakti – energy - are prayed to by different communities.
Manifestations of ever powerful goddess are three - Mahasaraswati, Mahalakshmi and Mahakal.
They are the Shaktis of Brahma, Vishnu and Rudra respectively without whom the trinity is incomplete.
Goddess Durga means ‘The inaccessible’ or ‘the invincible’
She is the most popular incarnation and is one of the main forms of Shakti.
Durga was manifested to destroy Mahishasur, who had the boon that no man could destroy him. Gifted by the gods, with different powers and weapons, Durga is a form of Adi Shakti.
Mantra - Om Aim Hreem Kleem Durga Devyai Namah
Bhadrakali means Mahamaya Kali. She is worshipped in Kerala and she is associated with the Keralian Martial Arts - Kalarippayattu. She is supposed to be born to Shiva to destroy ‘Daruka’. Lokanarkavu Temple is dedicated to Bhadrakali. She is the main centre of the ‘Shakt’ sect of hindu Goddess worship in the southern India.
Mantra - Om Glaum Bhadrakalyai Nama?
Amba Ma or Divine Mother represents the power of the Supreme Being that preserves moral order and righteousness in the creation.
She is a composite goddess who includes different elements of many Gods and Goddesses. She stands for motherhood and all the positive energy in the universe.
Mantra - ‘Om Ambe Ambike Ambaalike Na Manayati Kashchana, Saa Satyaashwakaah Subhadrikaam Kampilyavaasinim’
Annapurna is the Hindu goddess of nourishment. ‘Anna’ means grains and ‘Purna’ means ‘Complete’ or ‘whole’. It is said that she does not eat a morsel unless all her devotees have been fed in her temple. She is the residing deity at Kashi, Banaras.
Mantra was composed by Adi Shankaracharya called the Sri Annapurna.
Mantra - Kasi Puraadheeshvari, Bhikshaam Dehi, Kripa-Valambana-Karee, Mata Annapurnesvari
Bhairavi is the fierce facet of the Divine Goddess, indistinguishable from Kali, except as the companion of the Bhairava – Form of Shiva.
She is also called Shubhamkari, good mother to good people and terrible to bad ones.
She is especially important in Occult practices and is a powerful goddess of Tantra vidya.
Mantra - Om Bhairavi Saham
Chandi or Chandika’s reference originates in Bengal which is the prime seat of the ‘Shakt’ sect. To defeat Mahisasur, all the energies of the Gods came together, throwing out blaze in all directions.
The unique light, permeated the three universes with its shine, combined into one, and became a female form.
Her actual name is believed to be Chandraghanta
Mantra - Om Aim Hree? Klee? Chaamu??aayai Vicche
Tripurasundari is known by many names such as Lalita, Sodasi, Rajarajeshwari and others.
Tripurasundari is the primary goddess associated with the ‘Shakta’ Tantric tradition‘ - Sri Vidya.
Her name means ‘Beautiful in all the Three Worlds’, and the Indian state of Tripura derives its name from the goddess. She is also worshipped as the Sri Yantra.
Mantra – Om Mahaa Tripurasundaryai Namah
Bhavani or ‘giver of life", is the power of nature or the source of creative energy. She is also known as Karunaswaroopini meaning - one who is merciful.
Ma Bhavani was the tutelary deity of the Maratha leader Shivaji. She is a Kul Devi for many Maharashtrians surpassing castes of the state.
According to mythology, a demon by name Matanga caused destruction upon the gods and humans who approached Bramha for help and upon his advice turned to the Mother Goddess Shakti, who took up the form of the destroyer,
Mantra – Bhavaani Bhavaani Bhavaani Trivaaram Udaaram Mudaa Sarvadaa Ye Japanti, Na Shokam Na Moham Na Paapam Na Bheetih Kadaachit Kathanchit Kutashchijjanaanaam
The famous Mookambika Temple on the banks of the never drying river Sauparnika in Karnataka, is the home to the goddess Mookambika.
The goddess is called Mookambika as she is said to have slain the demon Mookasura. The idol of Chandramaulishvara is said to have been installed by Shri Adi Shankara. The idol is the Jyotirlinga Signifying both Shiva and Ambika Devi.
Mantra - Om Sarvashaktyaika Roopashree Mookaambikaayai Namo Namah