Brahmacharini-the second form of Navadurga

Brahmacharini-the second form of Navadurga


Brahmacharini is the second form of Navadurga. According to Hindu Puranas, Goddess Parvati was born in the form of Sati and her unmarried form is known as Goddess Brahmacharini. She is the symbol of toughness and hard austerity. She is worshiped on the second day of Navratri festival.

Appearance of Brahmacharini

Goddess Brahmacharini has two hands. She holds her japa mala (rosary) in one hand and Kamandalu in the other. Goddess Brahmacharini appears in Jyotirmayi (enlightened) form. Her Bhairava is Chandramouliswar.

Mystic Legend of Brahmacharini

The mythic legend that prevails about the goddess Brahmacharini is the backstory of the Goddess Parvati’s marriage to Shiva in the Himalayan home of Giriraj (mountain king). After the renunciation of Sati, Shiva became absorbed in meditation. So he did not care that Sati was reborn as Parvati. Meanwhile, the gods were plagued by Taraksura’s tyranny. The demon got the boon that none other than Shiva’s son could defeat him in battle. But Shiva was not thinking about the marriage. Then the way? Necessarily Narada advised Parvati to do penance. As advised by Narada, Parvati performed severe austerities by first eating only fruits for one thousand years, then eating only vegetables for one hundred years, then fasting for some time, then eating only bela leaves for three thousand years and finally fasting without water for several thousand years. Mother Menka was saddened to see Parvati’s ascetic body and said to dissuade her daughter, “U ma” (no more!). Satisfied by her severe austerities, Brahma came and gave her a boon, “You will get Shiva as your husband.” The ascetic form of Goddess Parvati is the goddess Brahmacharini. According to Srimad Devi Bhagavatam, Goddess Parvati is another name of ‘Brahmacharini’ as she wanders in Sarvaveda. She is also called ‘Chhoti Durgaji’ (Little Durga) in Kashi.

Ramayana Story of Goddess Uma

According to the Ramayana, Uma is the second daughter of the mountain king Himalaya (the first daughter being Ganga). She lived an ascetic life. According to the Harivamsa, three daughters were born to Menka in Ursa in the Himalayas – Aparna, Ekparna and Ekpatala. All three of them did severe penance. Ekpatla performed penance by eating a single nagkesar flower, Ekparna by eating a single leaf and Aparna by not eating anything. Disturbed by Aparna’s austere penance, her mother Menka told her, ‘U Maa!’ (No more!) Henceforth, Goddess Aparna came to be known as ‘Uma’. She (Uma) was the eldest of the three sisters; She got Mahadeva (Lord Shiva) as her husband.

Temple of Brahmacharini

There is a temple of Goddess Brahmacharini near Durgaghat in Kashi (Varanasi), India. The temple is quite small. The height of the goddess is also a few hands. But the face of this idol facing east has a golden mask. A large number of devotees throng this temple on the second day of Sharadiya and Vasanti Navratri (Chaitra Navratri) festival.

Worship of Brahmacharini

Goddess Brahmacharini bestows knowledge of Brahman. By worshiping him not only does temperance and mental strength increase, the devotee also gains eternal merit and he always attains knowledge and victory. On the second day of Navratri, a saint worships Brahmacharini by fixing his mind in the Swadhisthana chakra.

By Krishna Das

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