New Delhi: The nine-day-long auspicious festival of Navratri starts from The nine days dedicated to the nine different forms of Durga or feminine power is one of the most celebrated festivals in India.
Maa Durga is worshipped in nine forms and each day is dedicated to one of her avatars.
The first night of Navratri is dedicated to Shailputri, the daughter of the mountains.
Shailputri is worshipped as an absolute form of Mother Nature. The goddess is depicted with a crescent on her forehead, a trident in her right and a lotus in her left hand. She is mounted on the back of a bull.
Chant this mantra to seek Shailputri's blessings:
वन्दे वांछित लाभाय चन्द्रार्द्वकृतशेखराम्।
वृषारूढ़ा शूलधरां यशस्विनीम्॥
Vande Vanchhitalabhay Chandrardhakritshekharam
Vrisharudham Shooldharam Shailputreem Yashasvineem
Durga, the most powerful, was created by the holy trinity - Brahma (the creator), Vishnu (the preserver) and Shiva (the destroyer) to eliminate a demon named Mahishasur, who's treachery ruined peace and sanctity in the three worlds.
Here's wishing one and all a very Happy Navratri.