Sunday, April 1, 2018

Goddess Shailaputri is Worshiped on First Day of Navratri



Nine days of the Navratri represent nine different avatars of Goddess Durga. All these forms are revered with equal fervour. The embodiment of all things powerful, sublime and energetic, each avatar of Goddess Durga has something to learn from. First and the most prominent being, Goddess Shailaputri.
Shailaputri is the first form amongst Navadurga or the nine forms and is worshipped on the first day during the Navratri celebrations. Also known as Sati, Bhavani, Parvati or Hemavati, Goddess Shailaputri is considered the absolute form of Mother Nature. In some cultures, she is also known as Goddess Parvati, wife of Lord Shiva, the mother of Ganesha and Kartikeya. The Goddess is depicted having a half moon on her forehead, holding a trident in her right hand and a lotus in her left while riding Nandi, the bull.

Born as the daughter of Himalaya and first, among the Navdurgas, Shailaputri literally means daughter (putri) of the mountain (shaila). According to the mythology, Shailaputri was born in the house of the King of Mountains, Himalayas and was thus known as “Shailaputri”.

In some scriptures like Shiva Purana & Devi-Bhagavata Purana the story of Mother Goddess is written as follow: In her earlier birth, she was born the daughter of Daksha as Sati and was the consort of Lord Shiva. Once Daksha organized a big Yagna and did not invite Shiva. Sati however, being obstinate, reached there, upon which Daksha insulted Shiva. Sati being a devoted wife could not tolerate the insult of her husband and burnt herself in the fire of Yagna. In the next birth, she was born the daughter of Himalaya by the name of Parvati and was again married to Shiva.

As per Upanishad, she reduced the egotism of Indra and the other Devtas. Being ashamed, they bowed and prayed that, “In fact, thou are Shakti, we all – Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva are capable of getting Shakti from you.” Thus, Shailaputri is considered the manifestation, of the power of Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva.

Devi Shailaputri has been considered the embodiment of patience and upon awakening begins her journey from her father to her husband from the Muladhara Chakra or the root chakra which in yogic terms is said to be the base from which the three main psychic channels emerge. Muladhara is considered the foundation of the “energy body” or the “Shakti”. The ultimate search for her husband requires patience and devotion which Devi Shailaputri exemplifies. In Navratri pooja, the first day is dedicated to Yogi’s keeping their mind concentrated on Muladhara to generate energy. This is the starting point of their spiritual discipline. They start their sadhana from here. “Shailaputri” is thus the Muladhara Shakti to be realized within self and is sought for higher depths in the yogic meditation.

Shakti is an important manifestation of the human body. According to the Art of Living, “When the mind is wavering, chanting the name of this Devi Shailaputi helps the mind to be centred and committed. It gives us strength, courage, and composure.”
From love and devotion to stability, this avatar of Durga is the flag bearer of several elements.

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