Day 8 : Mahagauri
Mahagauri is the beautiful manifestation of Goddess Durga in her eighth form. She is worshiped on the eighth day of Navratri, more commonly known as Ashtami. Being a symbol of purity, serenity and tranquillity, Mahagauri is said to put an end to all the suffering of her devotees. It is also believed that Mahagauri is the 16 year old unmarried form of Goddess Parvati.
Form of Devi :
This eighth avatar of Navadurga in her physical form is depicted as a three-eyed and four-armed beautiful Goddess mounted on a white vrishabha (bull). Two of her arms on either side are in the Varada and Abhay mudras (poses) to bless and alleviate fears from the lives of her devotees, while her other two arms hold a trishul (trident) and damru (tambourine). On this day, the goddess is dressed in peacock green clothes and is adorned with white ornaments. Because of her fair complexion, Goddess Mahagauri is often compared with the moon, a conch and jasmine flowers.
Story of Devi Mahagauri :
The story of Mahagauri has many versions. The most popular one goes like this. After killing all demons in the form of Kaalratri, Parvati was left with skin as dark as night. This made her husband Mahadev tease her with the nickname ‘Kali’ (dark-skinned). Agitated, Parvati applied to Brahma by undergoing a severe penance lasting many days, to regain her fair skin. Pleased, Brahma advises her to take a bath in the Mansarovar River in the Himalayas (some local variants replace Mansarovar River with the holy Ganges River).
Acting on Brahma’s advice, she takes a bath in the river. As she bathes, her dark skin separates from her and takes the form of a female. This female is Kaushiki who goes on to slay the demons Shumbha and Nishumbha. Shumbha and Nishumbha had gained boon from Brahma, according to which they could not be slayed by a man, demon, God or deity. Parvati regains her white complexion and beauty, and comes to be known by the name Mahagauri, which means “extremely fair”
In another story, Parvati wishes to beget Lord Shiva as her husband and as per Rishi Narad’s advise, she undergoes a severe penance deep in the forest to please Shiva. She forgets all comforts, even food, and braves heat, cold, rain and storms for many years.
Her body is soon covered with dirt, soil, insects and dry leaves. Pleased by her devotion, Lord Shiva acquiesces and bathes her in the water of the Ganga that flows from his locks. She emerges in the form of Mahagauri, as white as a jasmine flower and coloured in white.
Spiritual Significant of Devi Mahagauri by Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
The eighth form of the Mother Divine is called Mahagauri.
Mahagauri means that form which is beautiful and resplendent. If you see, Nature has two extremes. One of the forms is Kaalratri which is most terrifying and devastating, and on the other hand you see Mahagauri which is the most beautiful and serene form of the Mother Divine.
Mahagauri represents the epitome of beauty. Mahagauri confers and fulfils all your wishes and desires. Devi Mahagauri gives you all blessings and boons that you seek for material gains, so that you become content from within and move forward in life.
Mahagauri Mantra :
श्वेते वृषेसमारूढा श्वेताम्बरधरा शुचिः।
महागौरी शुभं दद्यान्महादेव प्रमोददा॥
Meaning: “The meaning of her name is Maha (great or extreme) and Gauri (white complexion). The very beautiful Mahagauri rides on a white Vrishabha (bull) and wears pure white clothes and ornaments.”
Colour of the Day : Purple