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Shailaputri - Daughter Of The Mountain

Shailaputri – Daughter Of The Mountain

Navadurga are the nine manifestations of the goddess Durga. They are also called Nabadurga in the eastern parts of India like Bengal & Kolkata. These nine depictions of goddess Durga are worshipped all over India during the 9 days of Navratri. The correlation between these nine goddesses and the nine days of the festival urges us to understand their backstories, their biggest strengths and the power that they hold in the universe. So, without further ado, let’s jump right into the story of our first manifestation – Shailaputri.

The encoding of the name Shailaputri goes as follows – Shaila is mountain & Putri is the daughter. The first day of the Navratri festival is celebrated in her name and it is known as Pratipada. She is considered a form of shakti (strength). She is the wife of Shiva and has two children – Ganesha and Karthikeya.

She is the bearer of Trishul (trident) in the right hand and the lotus flower in the left hand. Her vehicle is the Nandi bull. She looks ever so beautiful dressed in white and adorned with gold jewellery. As per the religious text of Upanishads, goddess Shailaputri impressed and humbled the Trimurti (trio) of Brahma, Vishnu & Mahesh. So much so that they told her that she is the source of strength (shakti) to the gods as well.

Let us understand why Durga had to take the form of Shailaputri in the first place. In the prior birth, Shailaputri was the daughter of Daksha and went by the name of Sati. Once when Daksha had organised a massive Yagya, he did not invite Shiva. Sati however wanted to attend the Yagya and did so. Daksha insulted Shiva and Sati jumped into the fire out of rage and furiousness. This story indicates the Sati practice in Hinduism which is long gone but existed for a long time in Hindu culture.

Sati re-birthed as Parvati and became the daughter of king Himavan and queen Menavati. King Himavan was the king of the Himalayas. The birth parents of Sati in this life were extremely dedicated to lord shiva. Shailaputri Devi is also known as the goddess of the root chakra. Muladhara (root) chakra is one that guides man towards his spiritual awakening in life and understanding his purpose in this given time on earth.

To dig a little deeper and to take a different route in understanding the word Shailaputri and the goddess herself, we will have to look at the importance that a mountain holds in this world. Mountains are the symbolism of height and greatness in one’s life. If one looks at mountains from that angle, we can say that Shailaputri’s Shail does not only stand for the mountain but also for the heightened spiritual sense. We can keep her as our idol for the spiritual journey in our lives. She is also considered as the guider of spiritual awakening and goddess of Muladhara. This definitely nudges us into the direction of praying to her for spiritual peace leading to mental wellbeing.

One can expect a stone-like power, commitment and freedom from a wavering mind when prayed to goddess Shailaputri. Chanting her name brings peace, composure, clarity, courage and strength to their mind and their lives.

When a person reaches the peak of any experience or feelings, he starts to experience a spiritual feeling that has never been experienced before. This is the true meaning and point of revelation for Shailaputri in their lives.

Let us now come back to Navaratri and the customs followed during the first day of this festival. Devotees offer ghee on the foot of the goddess to get rid of illnesses and diseases in their lives. Devotees also dress up in the colour of the day which usually keeps changing from year to year. In 2021, yellow is the colour of the first day which signifies optimism, joy and cheerfulness throughout the day while worshipping Goddess Shailaputri.

Her mantra is “Om Devi Shailputryai Namah”.

Click here to read about Navaratri – The Origin And The Importance Of The Festival.

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