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Navadurga (Devanagari:नवदुर्गा), which literally means Nine forms of Goddess Durga, constitute, according to Hindu mythology, the manifestation of Goddess Durga in nine different forms. These nine forms of manifestation are Śailaputrī शैलपुत्री, Brahmachāriṇī व्रह्मचारणी, Candraghaṇṭā चन्द्रघन्टा, Kuśamāṇḍāकुशमन्दा, Skandamātā स्कन्दमाता, Kātyāyanī कात्यायनी, Kālarātrī कालरात्री, Mahāgaurī महागौरी and Siddhidātrī सिद्धिदात्री; together worshipped during the Navratri (Nine Divine Nights) celebration in Autumn each year.
Forms of manifestation
Each one of the Navadurga is known by a particular name and the deity has a particular dhyana-mantra, a mantra for meditation, a free English version of which is mentioned below:
May the illustrious Shailputri Durga whom I salute and whose head is adorned by a halfmoon, who rides nandi, a bull and carries a spear fulfill the desires of my heart. She is known as 1st phase of Durga when she took birth as the daughter of Great Himalayas.
May the supreme Brahmachari Durga, who holds rosary and kamandalu in her lotus hands and whose nature is to attain Sachchidanandamaya Brahmaswarupa the Existence-Knowledge-Bliss absolute, be propitious on me.
May that Durga Devi, who rides on Tiger, who is endowed with intense anger and violence and is renowned by the name of Maa Chandraghanta, bestow her grace on me. Chandraghanta Maa is known and named Chandraghanta or Chandra-Khanda as Maa Durga wears the semi-circular moon (Chandra) which appears like a bell (Ghanta) on her forehead.
May Kushmanda Ma Durga who holds two pitchers full of blood in her lotus hands and the universe is created, sustained and drawn within Devi's ownself in a wink be propitious for me. In this form Mother Durga creates solar system by liberating her power to Lord Sun.
May the renowned Durga Devi Skandamata who is eternally seated on a throne and whose hands are adorned with lotuses, be ever propitious to me. As Mother of Skanda or Kartikeya, Maa Parvati or Maa Durga is known as Skandmata.
May the ever watchful Durga Devi Katyayani, who holds shining Chandrahasa (Sword) in Devi's hand and rides a magnificent lion and destroys the demons, bestow welfare on me.
May she Bhayankari Maa Durga who is with long lips, riding an ass, shining in various hues looks formidable because of the halo of Devi's lustre and is adorned with multi coloured ornaments remove my darkness of ignorance.
May the Mahagauri Ma Durga who rides a white Vrishaba the bull and who wears spotless white clothes and remains ever pure and also provides ever lasting bliss to Mahadeva Lord Shiva bestow all auspiciousness.
May the ever victorious Siddhidayini Ma Durga, who is always worshipped by the hordes of siddha, gandharva, yaksha, asura, and Deva, bestow success at my every venture. She is one who was worshiped by Lord Shiva to become in the form of Goddess Ardhnarishwara, then Goddess Shakti Appeared from the left side of Lord Shiva
- Dictionary of Hindu Lore and Legend (ISBN 0-500-51088-1) by Anna Dhallapiccola