We are on day 8 of Durga Festival– Navratri also famous as Durga Ashtami.
Durga Ashtami is one of the most auspicious and remarkable days of this long Durga Festival.In India fasting is undertaken by many people on this holy occasion. It is believed that Goddess Kali appeared on this day from the forehead of Mother Durga and annihilated Chanda, Munda, and Rakthabija (the demons who were associates of Mahishasura). The 64 Yoginis and Ashta Nayikas (the eight consorts of Goddess Durga) are worshiped during the Durga Puja rituals on Mahashtami. The Ashta Nayikas, also known as Eight Shaktis, are interpreted differently in different regions of India. But ultimately, all the eight goddesses are incarnations of Shakti. They are the same powerful Divine Feminine, representing different energies.
This brings a old tradition on Durga Ashtami originated in North India, to honor the kanjaks( little girls)in the home. A group of young, unmarried girls are invited into the home to honor them. The tradition is based on the belief that each of these young girlsrepresents the shakti (energy) of Durga on Earth. The group of girls are welcomed by washing their feet, welcoming them into the home, and the girls are fed with sweets and foods and honored with small gifts.
On this day the devotees worship and adore the Goddess Maha Gauri.The goddess of beauty and women, clean and bright like a ray of light.
Mahagauri is the eighth manifestation of goddess Durga and amongst the Navadurgas. According to Hindu mythology, Goddess Mahagauri has the power to fulfill all the desires of her devotees. The one who worships the goddess gets relief from all the sufferings in life. Mahagauri has four arms. Her right arm is in the pose of allaying fear and right lower hand holds a trident in it. She holds a tambourine in her left upper arm and the lower one is in the form of a blessing.
Watch out this space for another one day , to know more about various forms of Durga Maa.
Fact Courtesy: Wikipedia
Image courtesy: Roova Lijuan