Day 3 : Chandraghanta
In Hinduism, Chandraghanta is the third form of Goddess Durga. Her name Chandra-Ghanta, means “one who has a half-moon shaped like a bell. Her third eye is always opened and she always ready for war against demons”. She is also known as Chandrakhanda, Chandika or Rannchandi. Her worship takes place on the third day of Navratri(the nine divine nights of Navadurga). She is believed to reward people with her grace, bravery and courage. By her grace all the sins, distresses, physical sufferings, mental tribulations and ghostly hurdles of the devotees are eradicated.
Form of Devi :
Goddess Chandraghanta mounts on the tigress. She wears the semi-circular moon (Chandra) on her forehead. The half-moon on her forehead looks like the bell (Ghanta) and because of that she is known as Chandra-Ghanta. She is depicted with ten hands. Goddess Chandraghanta carries Trishul, Gada, Sword and Kamandal in her four left hands and keeps the fifth left hand in Varada Mudra. She carries lotus flower, Arrow, Dhanush and Japa Mala in her four right hands and keeps the fifth right hand in Abhaya Mudra.
Story of Devi Chandraghanta :
In the previous incarnations as the wife of Lord Shiva, Devi Sati immolates herself in the sacrificial fire meant for a grand yagna. In her next incarnation, Ma Adi Shakti (Supreme Power) takes birth as Parvati. In this birth, her parents are the King of Mountains, Himavan and Mean.
Upon the insistence of Sage Narada, Parvati observed austere penance to get Lord Shiva as her consort. Shiva, after losing Sati, had become detached from worldly affairs and had retired into the mountains in deep meditation, isolation and austerity.
But after seeing Parvati’s resolve to get him, Shiva relents and agrees for the marriage. On the day of marriage, Shiva reaches King Himavat’s palace in a most terrorising form along with the strangest marriage procession. His body was smeared with ash, with snakes around his neck and in the matted locks of his unkempt hair.
His marriage procession consisted of ghosts, ascetics, sages, gobblins, ganas, ghouls and aghoris. Upon seeing such a terrorizing form of Lord Shiva and his strange marriage procession, Parvati’s mother and other relatives were left in a stage of shock. Most of them faint purely out of terror.
To avoid ay embarrassment to her family and to Lord Shiva, Parvati transformed herself into a terrorizing form – Chandraghanta.
In this form, her complexion was golden and she possessed ten arms. In nine of her arms she wielded the following weapons – a trident, mace, arrow, bow, sword, lotus, goad, bell and a kamandalu (water pot), while with the tenth hand, she blessed her devotees. Her vehicle is a lion. This form depicts that Adi-shakti can be terrible and malevolent towards her enemies while being compassionate and motherly towards her devotees.
In the form of Chandraghanta, she prayed and persuaded Shiva to take the form of a handsome prince and also turn his marriage procession nobler. Shiva thus reappeared as a charming prince bedecked with many jewels. Shiva and Parvati’s marriage is celebrated as Maha Shivratri every year.
By the grace of Ma Chandraghanta all the sins, distress, physical sufferings, mental tribulations and ghostly hurdles of the devotees are eradicated. Riding the lion, she exudes fearlessness in her devotees. She also embodies serenity. The devotees who adore and worship her with their deeds, minds and speech, develop an aura of divine splendour around themselves. It is said that they can easily achieve success in every walk of life. Ma Chandraghanta is ever ready to destroy the wicked being but to a devotee she always appears as the kind and compassionate mother showering Love, Peace, and Prosperity.
Spiritual Significance of Devi Chandraghanta by Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Chandra (Moon) means the mind. The mind keeps having its ups and downs. Usually, we fight with our own mind. Negative thoughts such as jealousy, hatred, etc. come in the mind and one starts struggling to get rid of them, but it does not happen. You cannot get rid of your mind. Running away from your mind does not help. The mind is like your shadow.
We become dejected and restless the moment our mind is gripped by any negative feeling. We try to wash away all these things from our mind by doing various techniques, but it works only for a short time. After a while, the mind comes back to square one! Do not struggle to get rid of that. Chandra also signifies the various feelings or shades of emotions and thoughts (similar to the different phases of the waxing and waning moon).
Ghanta means a bell from which only one kind of sound arises. Do you ever hear multiple sounds from a bell? No matter how you play it, only one kind of sound comes from the bell. In the same way, when the mind that is scattered and entangled in different thoughts and emotions gets consolidated and established at one point (in the Divine), then it gives rise to the Divine energy within us which becomes one-pointed and rises upwards. This is what is meant by Chandraghanta. Her name literally means (The bell of the moon).
It means that state where the scattered mind becomes steady and consolidated towards one thing only. Do not run away from the mind, for the mind is also a form and manifestation of the Mother Divine. The Mother Divine is present even as sorrow, misery, hunger, and peace as well. The essence here is to take everything together – whether harmonious or unpleasant – as a collective whole, bringing all thoughts, emotions and sounds as one Naad (sound) like the sound a bell or a large gong makes. This is the meaning behind the Devi’s name Chandraghanta, and the third day of Navratri is celebrated to honour this form of the Mother Divine.
Chandraghanta Mantra :
पिण्डज प्रवरारूढा चण्डकोपास्त्रकैर्युता।
प्रसादं तनुते मह्यम् चन्द्रघण्टेति विश्रुता॥
Meaning: O Goddess Chandraghanta, who rides on Tiger, angry on enemies, holds many weapons in 10 hands, be propitious to me.
Colour of the Day : Red