Katyayani – The Sixth Durga

Categories : Spirituality

During the entire period of nine nights and one day of Navaratri, it is Parvati who reigns Supreme as the epitome of female power. She must wage wars against almost invincible Asur warriors basking under boons from various Gods with names like Durgamasur, Mahisasur, Shumbh, Nisumbh, Chand, Mund, Raktabija etc. She kept transforming herself into various forms like Mahakali, Mahadurga, Chamunda, Chandika, Kalratri, Mahagauri, etc. as per the exigencies of the battle.

Her warrior phase begins from Katyayani as per the narratives available from Markandeya Puran, Devi Bhagwat Puran, Baman Puran etc. She is the presiding deity of the sixth day of Navaratra.

The Katyayani form of the Mahadevi Parvati crystallized for killing the demon King Mahishasur who was brutally terrorizing the gods under the protection of a boon that no male would be able to kill him. However, he did not enjoy such immunity from females. This shortcoming in the boon proved advantageous for gods and thus, Katyayani was created.

The energy rays emitted by the different gods including Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva synthesized in the hermitage of Rishi Katyayana from which emerged the powerful form of Parvati known as Katyayani. It was Rishi Katyayan who got the opportunity to worship her first. Thus, she came to be known as Katyayani. She was gifted various weapons by gods. Her image is depicted with many hands (from 10 to 18) holding weapons gifted by gods including the gift of a trident from Shiva. Parbatraj Himalaya gave a lion. Her battle with Mahishasur extended for about nine days and the demon King was killed on the tenth day which proved to be a background for celebrating Dashahara. The full account of incarnation and arming by Gods is available in Baman Purana. This day is also celebrated as the day of annihilation of Ravan, Kumbhakarna and Meghnath. The Mahadevi became Mahishasur Mardini on the same day. However, she acquired the name of Durga after killing Durgamasur who attacked Kailash where Parvati resided. She is worshipped for protection from evil powers.

Amidst the Chakras she resides in Agya Chakra.


ॐ देवी कात्यायन्यै नम:

Oṃ Devī Kātyāyanyai Namaḥ


चंद्रहासोज्जवलकरा शार्दूलवरवाहना।

कात्यायनी शुभं दध्यादेवी दानवघातिनि॥:

Chandrahasojjvalakara Shardulavaravahana |

Katyayani Shubham Dadyad Devi Danavaghatini ||


Holding the shining Chandrahasa sword in her hands, the one who rides on a Lion as her vahana. O Goddess Katyayani, Devi, please bring the auspiciousness, the slayer of Danavas.

Dhyan Mantra:

स्वर्णाआज्ञा चक्र स्थितां षष्टम दुर्गा त्रिनेत्राम्।

वराभीत करां षगपदधरां कात्यायनसुतां भजामि॥

Swarnagya chakra sthitam shashtam Durga Trinetram |

Varabhit Karam shadgpadmdharam katyayansutam Bhajami ||