In the form of Chamundi, Durga, as the name implies killed
two demons, Chanda and Munda. From the forehead of Durga sprang a goddess of jet-black complexion,
robed in the hide of an elephant, with a garland of dead corpses. With red-hot
eyes and a long tongue she uttered a big shout and jumped upon the two demons.
After this, the goddess Durga was also named as Chamunda
Durga, in fact, is the goddess most widely worshipped throughout India in various
ways and under various names. The goddess Durga has nine
important forms called the Nava-Durga. During the Navaratri festival (October), each of the goddesses
is worshipped on a particular night for the destruction of evil and for the preservation
of Dharma (religion).
The nine Durgas are:
SHAILPUTRI: She is worshipped on the first night and is the daughter of Himavan.
She has two hands, one holding a trident and the other a lotus. She rides a bull.
BRAHMACHARINI: The second Durga-Shakti has two hands. One holds a water-pot and
the other a rosary. She symbolizes devotion.
CHANDRAGHANTA: The third Durga-Shakti is golden complexioned, rides a tiger and
has ten hands and three eyes. The hands hold various types of weapons with two
in a boon-giving and protective mode.
KUSHMANDA: The fourth Durga-Shakti has eight arms, holding various types of weapons
and a rosary. She rides a tiger and has a presence like that of the Sun.
SKANDAMATA: Riding a lion, she is the mother of Skanda who is shown sitting on
her lap. She has three eyes and four arms with two holding lotus flowers and
two in a blessing and protective mode.
KATYAYANI: The sixth Durga-Shakti is the daughter of the sage Katya. Riding a
lion, she has three eyes and eight arms holding various weapons. She is golden
KALARATRI: She is black colored with flowing hair, has three eyes and rides a
donkey. She has four hands with two holding a cleaver and a torch.
MAHAGAURI: She is fair complexioned with four arms and wearing white clothes.
She holds a drum and a trident and rides a bull. She has a peaceful expression
on her face.
SIDDHIDHATRI: This form is shown seated on a lotus or a tiger. She has four arms
and has the ability to bless her devotees with twenty-six different boons.