Maa Katyayani: The sixth epithet of NavDurga

Maa Katyayani: The sixth epithet of Navdurga

Maa Katyayani is worshipped on the sixth day of Durga Pooja. The sixth manifestation of Maa Durga took birth in the abode of sage Katyayana. The ancient Hindu scripture of Kalika Purana mentions that Rishi Katyayana was the first to worship her, and hence, she was named as Katyayani. In Sanskrit lexicon, Katyayani is the second name given to Maa Parvati. In Shaktism school of faith, Goddess Katyayani is considered as the warrior goddess. She is associated with the other ferocious forms of the Mother Goddess such as Chandika or Bhadrakali. In Patanjali’s Mahabhasya written around second century BCE, the goddess is associated with the red colour.

Krishna Yajurveda mentions Goddess Katyayani in its Taittiriya Aranyaka. According to Skanda Purana, the Goddess was created from the agony and anger of the goddess. This form of Goddess was named Katyayani. She slew Mahisasura for his sinful act of engaging in a battle with the gods. Yogic and tantric forms in Hindu traditions ascribe Ajna Chakra as the way of penance on the sixth day of the Navratri.

Also famous as the Goddess of Vrindavan, Katyayani is depicted as four-armed goddess. One left-hand holds a weapon and the other left-hand holds a lotus. The other two hands are in Abhaya and Varada Mudra. The Goddess rides on a lion. The colour of her skin emanates golden colour. The goddess is the protector of righteousness.

The Chattarpur Temple in New Delhi is dedicated to the Goddess. Built under the influences of the south as well as north Indian style of architecture, the temple is visited by thousands of devotees during the Navratri season.

Maa Katyayani

Mythological beliefs associated with Katyaynai

Ancient Hindu scriptures mention the glory of Goddess Katyayani in great detail. According to Vamana Purana, when the gods and demigods sought their refuge under Vishnu’s protection, an unavoidable fear of the wrath of demons or Asuras was constantly growing among them, the Tridev or the Protector Lord Vishnu, the Creator Brahma and the destroyer Lord Shiva along with other gods, emanated flames. Through these flames, an effulge like a mountain was formed, and from this mountain, emerged Goddess Katyayani. Her shine was like the shine of the thousand suns. The goddess had eighteen arms. The gods present there were startled to see this form of Goddess Durga. Each god adorned Goddess Katyayani with their weapons so that she could emerge victorious over Mahisasura. The different token of powers given by each god is mentioned below:

  • Sudarshana Chakra by Vishnu
  • Trident by Shiva
  • A conch shell by Varuna
  • Vayu gave the goddess a bow
  • Agni gave her a dart
  • Thunderbolt by Indra
  • A quiver of arrows by Surya
  • A rosary by Brahma
  • Mace by Kubera
  • Sword and a shield by kala
  • Battleaxe by Brahma

Adorned with weapons, Goddess Katyayani proceeded towards Vindhaya Hills to fight with Asuras. Chanda and Munda were so captivated by the seamless beauty of the goddess that they described her beautiful appearance to their king, Mahishasura. Mahishasura on seeing the goddess couldn’t control himself and wanted to acquire her by any means. He dared to ask for the hands of the goddess and she challenged him to a fight. The battle began and it was turning violent with the goddess and Mahishasura attacking each other relentlessly. To deceive the goddess, Mahishasura was taking different forms. The goddess became furious. When Mahishasura acquired the form of buffalo, the goddess got down from her vahana, the lion and sprang back upon Mahisha with her tender feet and slew his heart straight with the trident of Shiva. Hence, she is also popular by the name of Mahishasura Mardini.

Scriptural depiction of the goddess

The depiction of Goddess Katyayani is very prominent in the ancient Hindu scriptures. A symbol of Gyan or knowledge and Shakti or strength, the Goddess inspires the female worshipers to realize their inner strength and face the challenge of the outside world. The earliest references of the Goddess were found in Taittiriya Purana of Krishna Yajurveda.

The Katyayani Vrata has its own importance, which is mentioned in the twenty-second chapter of Bhagvata Purana. It said that the young gopis of marriageable age took a bath in Yamuna River and then worshiped goddess Katyayani. They observed a month-long fast to get Lord Krishna as their husband. Apart from these scriptures, the references of the Goddess are found in Devi Mahatmyam of Markandeya Purana, Devi Bhagavata Purana and Kalika Purana.

How to worship Maa Katyayani

Mantra –

ॐ देवी कात्यायन्यै नमः॥
Om Devi Katyayanyai Namah॥

Katyayani mahamaye mahayogin yadhiśvari |
Nanda gopasutam devipatiṁ me kuru te namaḥ ||

Prarthana –

चन्द्रहासोज्ज्वलकरा शार्दूलवरवाहना।
कात्यायनी शुभं दद्याद् देवी दानवघातिनी॥

Chandrahasojjvalakara Shardulavaravahana।
Katyayani Shubham Dadyad Devi Danavaghatini॥

Stuti –

या देवी सर्वभू‍तेषु माँ कात्यायनी रूपेण संस्थिता। नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमो नमः॥

Ya Devi Sarvabhuteshu Ma Katyayani Rupena Samsthita।
Namastasyai Namastasyai Namastasyai Namo Namah॥

Dhyanam –

वन्दे वाञ्छित मनोरथार्थ चन्द्रार्धकृतशेखराम्।
सिंहारूढा चतुर्भुजा कात्यायनी यशस्विनीम्॥
स्वर्णवर्णा आज्ञाचक्र स्थिताम् षष्ठम दुर्गा त्रिनेत्राम्।
वराभीत करां षगपदधरां कात्यायनसुतां भजामि॥
पटाम्बर परिधानां स्मेरमुखी नानालङ्कार भूषिताम्।
मञ्जीर, हार, केयूर, किङ्किणि, रत्नकुण्डल मण्डिताम्॥
प्रसन्नवदना पल्लवाधरां कान्त कपोलाम् तुगम् कुचाम्।
कमनीयां लावण्यां त्रिवलीविभूषित निम्न नाभिम्॥

Vande Vanchhita Manorathartha Chandrardhakritashekharam।
Simharudha Chaturbhuja Katyayani Yashasvinim॥
Swarnavarna Ajnachakra Sthitam Shashthama Durga Trinetram।
Varabhita Karam Shagapadadharam Katyayanasutam Bhajami॥
Patambara Paridhanam Smeramukhi Nanalankara Bhushitam।
Manjira, Hara, Keyura, Kinkini, Ratnakundala Manditam॥
Prasannavadana Pallavadharam Kanta Kapolam Tugam Kucham।
Kamaniyam Lavanyam Trivalivibhushita Nimna Nabhim॥

Stotra –

कञ्चनाभां वराभयं पद्मधरा मुकटोज्जवलां।
स्मेरमुखी शिवपत्नी कात्यायनेसुते नमोऽस्तुते॥
पटाम्बर परिधानां नानालङ्कार भूषिताम्।
सिंहस्थिताम् पद्महस्तां कात्यायनसुते नमोऽस्तुते॥
परमानन्दमयी देवी परब्रह्म परमात्मा।
परमशक्ति, परमभक्ति, कात्यायनसुते नमोऽस्तुते॥
विश्वकर्ती, विश्वभर्ती, विश्वहर्ती, विश्वप्रीता।
विश्वाचिन्ता, विश्वातीता कात्यायनसुते नमोऽस्तुते॥
कां बीजा, कां जपानन्दकां बीज जप तोषिते।
कां कां बीज जपदासक्ताकां कां सन्तुता॥
कांकारहर्षिणीकां धनदाधनमासना।
कां बीज जपकारिणीकां बीज तप मानसा॥
कां कारिणी कां मन्त्रपूजिताकां बीज धारिणी।
कां कीं कूंकै क: ठ: छ: स्वाहारूपिणी॥

Kanchanabha Varabhayam Padmadhara Mukatojjavalam।
Smeramukhi Shivapatni Katyayanesute Namoastute॥
Patambara Paridhanam Nanalankara Bhushitam।
Simhasthitam, Padmahastam Katyayanasute Namoastute॥
Paramanandamayi Devi Parabrahma Paramatma।
Paramashakti, Paramabhakti, Katyayanasute Namoastute॥
Vishwakarti, Vishwabharti, Vishwaharti, Vishwaprita।
Vishwachinta, Vishwatita Katyayanasute Namoastute॥
Kam Bija, Kam Japanandakam Bija Japa Toshite।
Kam Kam Bijam Japadasaktakam Kam Santuta॥
Kamkaraharshinikam Dhanadadhanamasana।
Kam Bija Japakarinikam Bija Tapa Manasa॥
Kam Karini Kam Mantrapujitakam Bija Dharini।
Kam Kim Kumkai Kah Thah Chah Swaharupini॥

Kavach –

कात्यायनौमुख पातु कां स्वाहास्वरूपिणी।
ललाटे विजया पातु मालिनी नित्य सुन्दरी॥
कल्याणी हृदयम् पातु जया भगमालिनी॥

Katyayanaumukha Patu Kam Swahaswarupini।
Lalate Vijaya Patu Malini Nitya Sundari॥
Kalyani Hridayam Patu Jaya Bhagamalini॥

Goddess is worshiped with the above-mentioned mantra. Worshiping the goddess with complete faith and devotion eliminates troubles and sufferings. The devotees progresses towards the path of attainment of Moksha.  The pooja of the goddess invokes a strong sense of enlightenment. Devi Katyayani is protective and grants blessings to her worshipers generously.  It is said that the yellow light, which emanates from her eyes, directly enlightens her devotees about the real and unreal facets of life. Worshiping the goddess radiates positive energies, which empower the worshipers to differentiate between the right and wrong.

Benefits of Katyayani Pooja

Katyayani is venerated on the sixth day of Navratri. It is considered as the most suitable form of worship for mitigating the negative planetary influences.  Worshiping Goddess Katyayani removes severity, false pride and ego. Devi Kanya Kumari is believed to the incarnation of the Goddess Katyayani. In southern India, people worship Goddess with pomp and grandeur. From the wet sand, the idol of Goddess is carved out and then worshiped with full faith and devotion. It is during Pongal (the harvest festival of Tamil Nadu); young girls worship the Goddess and pray for prosperity and rain during the month. The worship of the sixth manifestation of Devi Durga is believed to remove the obstacles in marriage life. Millions of devotees every year visit the temple shrine of Durga on the sixth day of Navratri to make offerings to Devi Katyayani.

Other Forms of Navdurga:

Maa Kalratri

Maa Chandraghanta

Maa Kushmanda

Goddess Mahagauri

Maa Brahmacharini

Maa Siddhidatri

Maa Shailaputri

Maa Skandamata

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