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Mahagauri - The Goddess of Peace

Mahagauri – The Goddess of Peace

The eighth day of Navaratri out of the nine days is for the worship of the goddess Mahagauri. She is considered to be the eight manifestation of Goddess Parvati. According to the Hindu cultural texts, the goddess has the powers to fulfil each desire of her devotee. The desires that are asked with a clean and pure heart reach her and are granted by her as boon to the devotees. She is the goddess who relieves all the pain and suffering in one’s life.

Mahagauri has four arms out of which the right arm is allaying fear meaning destroying fear, worries and sufferings in the world. Her lower right hand holds a Trishul (trident) ready to slay demons. She is holding a tambourine (a musical instrument) in her left arm and the lower one is in an hasta mudra to give out blessings to her devotees. Mahagauri is known to bless her devotees with the qualities of peace and endurance giving her the name or title of goddess of peace and endurance.

Goddess Mahagauri is compared to a moon or a Kunda (white flower) because of her fair complexion and extremely beautiful face. She is also known as Shwethambara or Swethambardhara because of her white clothes. This gives her another title of Shubra Vastra Dharini (one who wears white clothes).

When Goddess Parvati decided to impress lord shiva, she went into a severe penance in the forest not caring about storms, drought, heat or cold. All these elements made her complexion dark with time. Lord Shiva was pleased with her dedication and devotion and he agreed to marry her. He then unleashed the holy Ganges who was tied in his jata (hair). The water from the Ganges washed off the accumulated dirt from the body of goddess Parvati and gave her back the white complexion and shining face. Thus she was started to be called Mahagauri (maha meaning extremely and Gauri meaning brilliant/shining).

On the eighth day that is the Ashtami, Coconut is offered to the goddess. Raw milk, sweets made from mawa, black chickpea and fresh jasmine flowers are offered to her and little Gouris who are invited to houses for a small prayer. You can read more on the tradition of inviting small girls for prayers in the Navratri article.

Click here to read about Kalaratri – The Ferocious Side Of Durga.

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