Durga is worshipped in different forms. She is a form of "Shakti". The evolution of Shri� Maha Saraswati, Shri Maha Laxmi and Shri Mahakali (the 3 main forms of "Shakti") took place from Shri Brahma, Shri Vishnu and Shri Mahesh respectively. Each of these 3 deities gave rise to 3 more forms and hence in all, these 9 forms together are known as Nav-Durga. The nine forms of Durga are worshipped during the nine days of all four Navratri's of the year.
Durga Shailputri (Daughter
of Mountain) : "Shail" means mountains, "Putri" means
daughter. Parvati, the daughter of the King of the Mountains
Himavan, is called 'Shailputri". The first among nine Durgas
and 1st night of Navratras is devoted to the puja of
Shailputri . Her two hands display a trident and a lotus. Her
mount is a bull.
Mantra - वन्दे वाञ्छितलाभाय चन्द्रार्धकृतशेखराम्। वृषारुढां शूलधरां शैलपुत्रीं यशस्विनीम्॥
Vande Vanchhit Laabhaay, Chandrardhkritshekharaam | Vrisharudham Shooldharaam Shailputriim Yashaswinim ||
|The second Durga Shakti is
Brahamcharini. Brahma that is who observes
penance(tapa) and good conduct. Here "Brahma" means "Tapa".
The idol of this Goddess is very gorgeous.One hand hold a
"Kumbha" or water pot, and the other holds a rosary. She
personifies love and loyalty. Bhramcharini is the store house
of knowledge and wisdom. Rudraksha beads are Her most adored
Mantra - दधाना करपद्माभ्यामक्षमालाकमण्डलू। देवी प्रसीदतु मयि ब्रह्मचारिण्यनुत्तमा॥
Dadhaanaa Kar Padaabhyaamakshmala Kamandalu | Devi Prasidati Mayi Brahmcharinyanuttamaa.
|The name of third Shakti is
Chandraghanta. There is a half-circular moon
in her forehead. She is charmful and bright. She is Golden in
color, possesses ten hands and 3 eyes. Eight of her hands
display weapons while the remaining two are respectively in
the mudras of gestures of boon giving and stopping harm.
Chandra + Ghanta, meaning supreme bliss and knowledge,
showering peace and serenity, like cool breeze in a moonlit
night. This Durga Shakti rides a tiger. She is mainly
worshipped in Tamil Nadu.
Mantra - पिण्डजप्रवरारुढा चण्डकोपास्त्रकैर्युता। प्रसादं तनुते मह्यां चन्द्रघण्टेति विश्रुता॥
Pindaj Pravaarudh chandkopastrkairyuta | Prasadam Tanute Madhyam Chandraghanteti vishrutaa ||
|With the fourth night begins the
worship of Kushmanda, possessed of eight
arms, holding a weapons and a mala ( rosary), her mount is the
tiger and She emanates a solar aura. "Kumbh Bhand" means to
see the cosmic dance in the form of Pindi; the knowledge of
cosmic intricacies in the human race. The abode of Kushmanda
is Bhimaparvat !
Mantra - सुरासम्पूर्णकलशं रुधिराप्लुतमेव च। दधाना हस्तपद्माभ्यां कूष्माण्डा शुभदास्तु मे॥
Suraasampoornam Kalasham Rudhiraaplutamev Cha | Dahdana Hastpadmaabhyaam Kushmanda Shubhdaastu Me ||
|Fifth name of Durga is "Skanda
Mata". Rising a lion as Her chosen vehicle, She holds
Her son skanda on her lap. She displays three eyes and four
hands; two hands holds lotuses while the other two hand
display defending and granting mudras, respectively. Its said,
by the merch of Skandmata, even the fool becomes an ocean of
Mantra - सिंहासनगता नित्यं पद्माश्रितकरद्वया। शुभदास्तु सदा देवी स्कन्दमाता यशस्विनी॥
Sinhaasangataam Nityam Padmaanchit Kardwayaa | Shubhdaastu Sadaa Devi Skandmata Yashaswini ||
|Katyayini is the sixth form
amongst the Navadurga. She holds shining
Chandrahasa (Sword) in Devi's hand and one hand
is depicted as giving blessing. She rides a
magnificent lion and destroys the demons, bestow
welfare on me.
Mantra - चंद्र हासोज्ज वलकरा शार्दू लवर वाहना| कात्यायनी शुभं दद्या देवी दानव घातिनि||
Chandrahaasojjval Karaa Shaardoolvarvaahanaa | Katyayani Shubham Dadyaad Devi Daanavghatini ||
|Black (or blue ) skin with
bountiful hair and 4 hands, 2 clutching a cleaver and a torch,
while the remaining 2 are in the mudras of "giving" and
"protecting". Her vehicle is a faithful donkey. The destroyer
of darkness and ignorance, Kaalratri is the
seventh form of Nav-Durga meaning scourer of darkness; enemy
Mantra - एकवेणी जपाकर्णपूरा नग्ना खरास्थिता, लम्बोष्टी कर्णिकाकर्णी तैलाभ्यक्तशरीरिणी।
वामपादोल्लसल्लोहलताकण्टकभूषणा, वर्धनमूर्धध्वजा कृष्णा कालरात्रिर्भयङ्करी॥
Ekveni Japakarnpoora Nagn Kharaasthita | Lamboshthi Karnika karni Tailaabhyaktshariirini ||
Vaam Paadollasallohlata Kantakbhushanaa | Bardhan Moordham Dhwajaa Krishnaa Kalratribhayankari ||
|The Eighth Durga is "Maha
Gauri." She is as white as a conch, moon and Jasmine.
She is of eight years old. With four arms and the fairest
complexion of all the Durgas Shaktis, Mahagauri radiates peace
and compassion. She is often dressed in a white or green sari.
She holds a drum and a trident and is often depiected riding a
Mantra - श्वेते वृषे समारुढा श्वेताम्बरधरा शुचिः। महागौरी शुभं दघान्महादेवप्रमोददा॥
Shwete Vrishesamarudha Shwetaambardhara Shuchih | Mahagari Shubham Dadyanmahadev Praodadaa ||
| Ninth Durga is "Siddhidatri".
There are eight Siddhis , they are- Anima, Mahima, Garima,
Laghima, Prapti, Prakamya, Iishitva & Vashitva.It is said in "Devipuran"
that the Supreme God Shiv got all these Siddhies by
worshipping Maha Shakti. With her gratitude the half body of
Shiv has became of Goddess and there fore his name "Ardhanarishvar"
has became famous.Usually shown ensconced a lotus with four
arms, She is the grantor of 26 different wishes to Her Bhaktas.
Mantra - सिद्धगन्धर्वयक्षाघैरसुरैरमरैरपि। सेव्यमाना सदा भूयात् सिद्धिदा सिद्धिदायिनी॥
Siddha Gandharva Yakshdyairasurairamarairapi | Sevyamaanaa Sadabhuyaat Siddhida Siddhidayini ||