Goddess Mahagauri is the eighth affiliation of Adi Parashakti, the mother goddess. Her complexion is pure white, and hence, she is known by the name of Mahagauri. Maha meaning great and Gauri means white complexion. The goddess is worshiped during Navratri or Durga Pooja.
It is one of the most widely celebrated festivals in India. This pooja continues for nine days, and it is considered as a complex pooja in Hindu Ceremony. In all these nine days, different forms of Maa Durga are worshiped namely Brahmcharini, Shailputri, Chandraghanta, Skandamata, Kushmanda, Kalratri, Mahagauri, Katyayani, and Siddhidatri.
On Ashtami, which is the eighth day of the Navratri Pooja, Goddess Mahagauri is worshiped with complete pooja vidhi or rituals. It is said that Mahagauri was responsible for eradicating the evil forces from the universe. One who worships the Goddess with complete devotion is set free from all kinds of fear and worries.
The Goddess is very generous towards her devotees and blesses them with a peaceful life. The devotees are set free from all the distress, thus attaining inner peace, which, in turn, helps them to focus on the higher consciousness of life.
The Goddess Mahagauri is also popular by the name of Chaturbhuji. It is a Sanskrit word, which is used to describe the one, who has four hands. Vrisharudha and Shwetambardhara are the other names of the Goddess. Vrisharudha means the one, who rides the bull and Shwetambardhara is the one, who wears white clothes.
Depiction of the Goddess Mahagauri
The eight manifestation of Goddess Durga is a four-armed goddess with three eyes. The Goddess holds a Trishul or Trident in her lower right hand and a tambourine or damru in her lower left hand. The other two hands are in Abhaya and Varada Mudra. The complexion of the Goddess is white like that of a moon.
Her appearance is serene and calm. The goddess is depicted sitting on a Vrishaba or bull. The Goddess is also idolized as an eight-year-old girl. The attire and ornaments are also of white colour.
How to worship Goddess Maha Gauri / Mata Maha Gauri pooja vidhi
Mantra for Maha Gauri pooja
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 above mantra means that the moon-like White Goddess Mahagauri rides on Vrishaba. She is adorned with white coloured ornaments. Draped in a white saree, the Goddess is a symbol of purity and peace
या देवी सर्वभूतेषु माँ महागौरी रूपेण संस्थिता। नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमो नमः॥
Ya Devi Sarvabhuteshu Maa Mahagauri Rupena Samsthita।
Namastasyai Namastasyai Namastasyai Namo Namah॥
वन्दे वाञ्छित कामार्थे चन्द्रार्धकृतशेखराम्।
सिंहारूढा चतुर्भुजा महागौरी यशस्विनीम्॥
पूर्णन्दु निभाम् गौरी सोमचक्रस्थिताम् अष्टमम् महागौरी त्रिनेत्राम्।
वराभीतिकरां त्रिशूल डमरूधरां महागौरी भजेम्॥
पटाम्बर परिधानां मृदुहास्या नानालङ्कार भूषिताम्।
मञ्जीर, हार, केयूर, किङ्किणि, रत्नकुण्डल मण्डिताम्॥
प्रफुल्ल वन्दना पल्लवाधरां कान्त कपोलाम् त्रैलोक्य मोहनम्।
कमनीयां लावण्यां मृणालां चन्दन गन्धलिप्ताम्॥
Vande Vanchhita Kamarthe Chandrardhakritashekharam।
Simharudha Chaturbhuja Mahagauri Yashasvinim॥
Purnandu Nibham Gauri Somachakrasthitam Ashtamam Mahagauri Trinetram।
Varabhitikaram Trishula Damarudharam Mahagauri Bhajem॥
Patambara Paridhanam Mriduhasya Nanalankara Bhushitam।
Manjira, Hara, Keyura, Kinkini, Ratnakundala Manditam॥
Praphulla Vandana Pallavadharam Kanta Kapolam Trailokya Mohanam।
Kamaniyam Lavanyam Mrinalam Chandana Gandhaliptam॥
सर्वसङ्कट हन्त्री त्वंहि धन ऐश्वर्य प्रदायनीम्।
ज्ञानदा चतुर्वेदमयी महागौरी प्रणमाम्यहम्॥
सुख शान्तिदात्री धन धान्य प्रदायनीम्।
डमरूवाद्य प्रिया अद्या महागौरी प्रणमाम्यहम्॥
त्रैलोक्यमङ्गल त्वंहि तापत्रय हारिणीम्।
वददम् चैतन्यमयी महागौरी प्रणमाम्यहम्॥
Sarvasankata Hantri Tvamhi Dhana Aishwarya Pradayanim।
Jnanada Chaturvedamayi Mahagauri Pranamamyaham॥
Sukha Shantidatri Dhana Dhanya Pradayanim।
Damaruvadya Priya Adya Mahagauri Pranamamyaham॥
Trailokyamangala Tvamhi Tapatraya Harinim।
Vadadam Chaitanyamayi Mahagauri Pranamamyaham॥
ॐकारः पातु शीर्षो माँ, हीं बीजम् माँ, हृदयो।
क्लीं बीजम् सदापातु नभो गृहो च पादयो॥
ललाटम् कर्णो हुं बीजम् पातु महागौरी माँ नेत्रम् घ्राणो।
कपोत चिबुको फट् पातु स्वाहा माँ सर्ववदनो॥
Omkarah Patu Shirsho Maa, Him Bijam Maa, Hridayo।
Klim Bijam Sadapatu Nabho Griho Cha Padayo॥
Lalatam Karno Hum Bijam Patu Mahagauri Maa Netram Ghrano।
Kapota Chibuko Phat Patu Swaha Maa Sarvavadano॥
Kanya poojan is one the most famous rituals conducted as the part of Ashtami Pooja. Since Goddess Maha gauri is also a manifestation of the girl child, kanjak or kanya poojan is observed to honour the Goddess. Nine girls between the age group two to ten are invited to the house, and they are paid homage by the worshipers.
They are made to sit in a row. Worshipers wash off their feet, and tilak is applied on their forehead. The nine kanyas or girls are worshiped with a separate mantra. While worshiping Goddess Maha gauri, worshipers offer fresh milk, mewa sweets, black chana and halwa as an offering to the Goddess.
After the Goddess Maha gauri is worshiped, the nine kanyas are served with poori, halwa and black chana. At the end of the kanya poojan, all the girls are given money or presents.
Benefits of Mahagauri Pooja
Worshiping the eighth avatar of the Mother Goddess during Ashtami is immensely rewarding. Ashtami Pooja is considered as the most revered pooja of the Navratri festival and is performed according to the Hindu Calendar on Shukla Ashtami.
The pooja of Mahagauri accomplishes the worship of both Lord Shiva and Goddess Gauri. Worshiping the Goddess with full faith and devotion washes away the sins. Goddess Mahagauri influences the human conscience towards the path of purity and truth.
Adherence towards the grace of the goddess inculcates the good habits such as loyalty, honesty, etc. It is said that observance of fast on the eighth day of Navratri is immensely beneficial for both married and unmarried women. Married women get the bliss of harmonious and peaceful married life, and young unmarried girls get married to the person they desire.
Legends associated with Mahagauri
According to the legends, Mahagauri observed a tough penance to get Lord Shiva as her husband. While observing the penance, Parvati’s body turned black and lost its lustre because of the constant augmentation of the soil and dust over her body. Pleased with the penance of Parvati, Lord Shiva accepted him as his wife.
He cleaned the goddess in the water of Ganga. The dust and soil accumulated over the body of Parvati washed away and her skin shined like gold. Mahadev or Lord Shiva named Parvati as Mahagauri.
Another legend says that, as per the advice of Brahma, Lord Shiva turned her skin complexion black in colour. Goddess Paravati was agitated by this act of Shiva. In order to get back her white complexion, she started to observe a severe penance of creator God, Brahma.
Brahma was so impressed by the Parvati’s penance that he advised her to take a bath in Himalaya’s Mansarovar River. As the great bath of Parvati progressed, Parvati’s black skin started separating from her. The separated black skin took the form of a female. She was named Kaushiki.
Kaushiki, basically, means the one, who is born from the cell. After separating the black skin from her own self, Parvati got her fair complexion back. But the task of killing the demons was still pending. So, she gave her fair complexion back to Kaushiki and in exchange turned into Kali.
Goddess Lakshmi and Saraswati adorned Kali with their powers and Kali transformed into Chandika. Further, Chandika killed Dhumralochana. From Chandika’s third eye appeared Goddess Chamunda. She killed the two demons, Chanda and Munda. Goddess Chandika further transformed herself into Kalaratri. Kalaratri further killed Raktabeeja.
Legends believe that worshiping Mahagauri liberates the devotees from the clutches of the physical world. The penance performed by the Goddess Mahagauri to get Lord Shiva as her husband is a fine example that she is the epitome of austerity. She is also a symbol of purity and dedication as she emerged herself into the act of severe penance.