Mahagauri – The Eighth Durga
This form of Parvati is related to the period when Mahadevi was still a Virgin (Kumari) engaged in hard penance for obtaining Shiva as her husband. The effect of hard penance was visible on her body as it had turned black due to accumulated dust and dried sweat. After the consent of Shiva arrived for marriage, and Parvati took a bath in Ganga. After the removal of all dust and dirt, her skin began glowing like a conch shell. Her dress was also bright white and the bullock on which she is depicted mounting is also white. Hence, the name Mahagauri was given for this form of Mahadevi who presides over the eighth day of Navaratri.
There are different narratives in the scriptures. All of them relate to the Virgin state of the deity. Demon Kings Shumbh and Nishumbha who were terrorizing everyone were under the protection of a boon granted to them that they could be killed only by a Virgin. This message was communicated to Mahadevi who accomplished this task through her incarnation Chandi.
The significance of the day is magnified many times because the tradition of Kumari Puja on Maha Ashtami during the period of Navaratri is practised almost all over India. Mahagauri is described as only eight years old Virgin in some scriptures.
She is depicted with four arms. The upper right hand is in Abhaymudra. The lower right-hand holds a trident. The left upper hand is in Varad mudra and the lower left hand holds a Damaru. Her ornaments are also bright white.
She is worshipped for her blessings for all-round success in life. She resides in the Sahasrara chakra along with Kaalratri. Both Kaalratri and Mahagauri work as a team.
ॐ देवी महागौर्यै नमः॥
Om Devi Mahagauryai Namah॥
श्वेते वृषेसमारूढा श्वेताम्बरधरा शुचिः।
महागौरी शुभं दद्यान्महादेव प्रमोददा॥
Shwete Vrishesamarudha Shwetambaradhara Shuchih।
Mahagauri Shubham Dadyanmahadeva Pramodada॥
The one with a white complexion, riding on a bull, wearing white coloured garments, the pure one. Goddess Mahagauri, please bestow me the auspiciousness by your blessings, the one who delights the Mahadeva -God Shiva (I bow to you).
I am a Vedic astrologer by profession. I have done Jyotish Acharya from Bhartiya Vidya Bhawan. I am devoted to my Sadguru Shri Sai Nath of Shirdi. I am also interested in spirituality. I love to guide people.