Goddess Katyayani-The Sixth Form of Navadurga

Goddess Katyayani-The Sixth Form of Navadurga

Goddess Katyayani is the sixth form of Navadurga, who is worshiped as Mahishasuramardini. She is one of the most powerful aspects of Goddess Durga. Devi Katyayani is considered as the destroyer of all evil powers.

Appearance of Goddess Katyayani

Goddess Katyayani is depicted with three eyes and four hands that carry a lotus flower and sword on the left side and Abhaya and Varada Mudras on the right. She is also depicted with ten or eighteen hands. She is radiant as a thousand suns. Her vehicle is a lion.

Origin of Goddess Katyayani

Goddess Katyayani originated in the Ashrama (hermitage) of Sage Katyayana in the Himalayas. Sage Katyayana was born in the ‘Katya’ gotra (clan). For a long time he did severe penance to get the goddess as his daughter. The goddess was pleased with his penance and accepted his prayer and said, “I will appear at your tapovan and accept your service for the needs of the gods.”

Story of Katyayani

According to the Vamana Purana, Goddess Katyayani was created from the combined energies of Lord Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva and other gods. The gods gave different types of weapons to the goddess to destroy the demon, Mahishasura. Shiva gave her a Trishul (trident), Vishnu gave her a Sudarshan Chakra (disk), Varuna gave her a Shankha (conch shell), Agni gave a Varsha (spear), Vayu gave a Teer (arrow) and a Dhanush (bow), Surya gave her a Toon (quiver), Indra gave her Vajra (bolt), Kubera gave her a Gada (mace), Shiva gave her a Dhal (shield) and a Taloyar (sword) and Vishwakarma gave her his Kuthar (axe) and a Varma (armour), and Himalayas (the lord of the mountains) gave her a lion.

Katyayani Vrat

Vrindavan is a Mahapeetha. Ma Durga is present there in the form of Katyayani. She provides Krishna devotion to the devotees in the form of Katyayani. In Dwapara, The gopis of Vrindavan worshiped Goddess Katyayani to get Lord Krishna as their husband. Katyayani is addressed as Kali in Bhagavata and is called Ishwari of the universe. The gopis of Vrindavan observed this vrat throughout the month of Kartika. The gopis got up before sunrise and bathed in the river Kalindi. They made an idol of the mother and worshiped it with garland, incense, lamp, flowers and other fragrant things. Thus, as a result of worshiping the goddess for a month, Goddess Katyayani was satisfied and gave boons to the gopis and said, “Your wishes will be fulfilled in the next Purnima (full moon).” That Purnima is famously known as Raspurnima.

Nava Katyayani

In the outer circular dewar of the the Chausath Yogini Temple of Hirapur (also called Mahamaya Temple), Odisha state of India, we can see the reliefs of 9 Katyayanis, collectively known as Nava Katyayani. The height of each of these goddesses is 2 feet 6 inches to 2 feet 11 inches, which is made according to a well-planned clockwork pattern. And a special type of yellowish sandstone has been used to construct this idol. Almost every Katyayani is two-armed and they all stand on a single severed human head.

1st Katyayani

This goddess is holding her weapon in her right hand which is a sword. She is accompanied by two male attendants who are wearing veils. And the goddess is adorned with various ornaments like bangles, necklaces etc.

2nd Katyayani

This goddess is adorned with various ornaments like crown, necklace, ring etc. On the left side of her head is a beautiful bump. A male attendant to her right holds an umbrella over her head, and at her feet stand her two companions, a dog and a jackal.

3rd Katyayani

This goddess holds a knife as a weapon in one hand and a male skull in the other. Her female attendant holds an umbrella on her head, and like the second Katyayani, she is accompanied by a deer and a jackal.

4th Katyayani

This goddess also has a rudraksha bangle on the right side of her head. At her feet are a heron and a jackal, with one of her female attendants feeding her and another attendant holding an umbrella over her head.

5th Katyayani

This goddess is visually similar to Katyayani II, with a female attendant holding an umbrella on her head and a dog and a jackal at her feet.

6th Katyayani

This goddess is similar to the 4th Katyayani idol. There is a small tree on her right side. A female attendant stands beside her holding a half-moon umbrella on her head.

7th and 8th Katyayani are similar to the third Katyayani.

9th Katyayani

This goddess is naked and she is in Rudra form. She is holding her sword in one hand and a vessel made of human skull in the other. The presence of bow can be noticed with this goddess. She has no attendant with her. But she has two companions, a dog and a jackal, and like every other Katyayani, she also rests on a severed human head.

Worship of Katyayani

Goddess Katyayani is worshipped in Navratri festivals (Sharadiya and Chaitra Navratri). Besides Navratri festivals, Katyayani is worshipped on the occasion of Katyayani Puja in the month of Kartik-Agrahayan (November-December). It is mentionable that Katyayani Puja celebrated in Magura, Bangladesh is the biggest Katyayani Puja in our planet. To know more about the festival, you can read my article, ‘Katyayani Message from Magura‘.

Katyayani Dhyan Mantra

om katyayani mahabhage mahayoginy adhishvarim

nand gop sutam devi patiam me kurute namah

Meaning: Oh Goddess Katyayani, oh great potency of the lord, oh possessor of great mystic power and mighty controller of all, please make the son of Nanda Maharaja (Lord Krishna) my husband. I offer my respect and homage to you.

By Krishna Das

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