Navadurgās

From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Sometimes transliterated as: Navadurgas, NavadurgAs, Navadurgaas


Navadurgās literally means ‘the nine Durgās’.

Significance of Durgā

Durgā is one of the most popular and widely worshiped aspects of the Divine Mother, Pārvatī. According to the famous work Devīmāhātmya, she is the personification of the essence and powers of all the gods. Works on the Devī-sect sometimes put forward several varieties of Durgā. Nine of these are often grouped together and called ‘Navadurgās’.

Navadurgās as per Devīmāhātmya

According to the Kavacastotra of the Devīmāhātmya, they are:

  1. Sailaputrī
  2. Brahmacāriṇī
  3. Candraghaṇṭā
  4. Kuṣmāṇḍā
  5. Skandamātā
  6. Kātyāyanī
  7. Kālarātrī
  8. Mahāgaurī
  9. Siddhidātrī

Navadurgās as per Brahmāndapurāṇa

As per the Brahmāndapurāṇa, the list includes:

  1. Nilakaṇṭhī
  2. Kṣemaṅkarī
  3. Harasiddhi
  4. Vanadurgā
  5. Rudradurgā
  6. Agnidurgā
  7. Jayadurgā
  8. Vindhyavāsinī
  9. Ripumāridurgā

Iconographic Representation of Navadurgās

Iconographically, the main deity is shown with 18 arms[1] and the other eight with 16 hands. The various objects shown in the hands are more or less the same as those of the main goddess. Some of them are:

  1. Akṣamālā - rosary
  2. Kheṭaka - shield
  3. Khaḍga - sword
  4. Darpaṇa - mirror
  5. Dhanus - bow
  6. Bāṇa - arrow
  7. Dhvaja - banner
  8. Tarjanī-mudra - pose of warning
  9. Śakti - spear
  10. Mudgara - hatchet
  11. Śula - lance
  12. Cakra - discus
  13. Śaṅkha - conch
  14. Etc.

These different aspects may be invoked for different purposes.


References

  1. It is approximately 18 hands.
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore