Being the deity of the cosmic fort (Durg) she called goddess Durga. Mother Durga is the embodiment of the divine energy and the creative power. According to the ancient scriptures Mother Durga has nine forms or dimensions as under;
SHAILPUTRI (The Daughter of Stone)
The first day of Navratra (The nine holy nights) is dedicated to the worship of Shailputri. Goddess Durga’s first form in the Nava-Durga series of divine forms, amongst the nine, is Shailaputri. She was nomenclatured as Shailaputri after being born in the house of the king of the mountains, Himalaya. In this mold the mother is seen holding a trident in her right hand and a lotus in her left and she is mounted on an ox. In the past life she was the daughter of Daksha, the son of Lord Brahma. She was known as Sati then. As the daughter of Daksha she was married to the God of Gods, Mahadeva. amongst all the nine forms of Devi Durga, Shailaputri is the most powerful and glorified of all. According to the Upanishads this form of Durga broke the pride of the Gods by assuming the mold of Haimabati.
BRAHMACHARINI (Penance Doer)
This form of Durga is worshiped in the second day of the Durga puja. Durga’s second appearance is in the form of Brahmacharini. Here "Brahma" means meditation. That is, the Goddess is the meditator or a practitioner of penance. She is seen here holding a string of rosary beads in her right hand and a Kamandalu (an urn containing holy water) in her left hand. In her previous life, when she was reborn as the daughter of Himalaya, she performed severe penance to have Mahadeva as her husband. The sage God Narada advised her to take up meditation to win Shiva. For undergoing strict meditation she was known as Brahmacharini or Tapasyacharini. This form of Durga gives the devotees everlasting success. Worship of this appearance enriches the faculties of sacrifice, honesty and self-discipline. In times of utter distress the worship of this form gives success and the willpower to come out victorious.
Mother Durga’s third form is known as Chandraghanta. This name finds its justification in the half moon seen on the temple of the Goddess that resembles a bell. The deity has ten arms. The ten hands of the Goddess brandish ten different weapons. Mounted on a lion this form of the mother is worshiped on the third day of the Navratri celebration. It is believed that a devotee who manages to earn the devi’s blessings can set himself free from his sins and hazards that he has committed or may face in his life. The devotee gains the power to sense the supernatural, to see it and even smell the eternal fragrance. He is also able to distinguish the otherwise inaudible celestial sounds.
KUSHMANDA (Cosmic Egg Layer)
The fourth appearance of the devi is in the form of Kushmanda. The mother gets the name as she created the universe with a smile. When there was darkness everywhere and there was no existence of the universe she created the universe with a smile. She is believed to be the source of eternal power. The Goddess has eight arms and that is why she is also known as "Ashtabhuja". She is worshiped on the fourth day of the Navratri celebration abiding by the rituals that are described in the Shastra and the Purans. Worship of this form of the Devi exterminates sorrow and diseases and augments life, fame and strength. Mother Goddess is appeased with the slightest of devotion and if any one whole-heartedly worships the deity he will certainly gain her favour.
SKANDAMATA (The Mother of Skanda)
The fifth dimension of Mother Durga is known as Skandmata because of her being the mother of Skanda alias Kartikeya, the son of Lord Shiva. This form of the deity has four arms. The mother is seen holding her son Skanda with the top right hand and she is holding a lotus in her lower hand. The top left hand is positioned in a blessing gesture and the other hand holds a lotus. The goddess is fair and sits on a lotus. That is why the devi is also known as "Padmasana". Here she is seen mounted on a lion. If anyone worships her whole-heartedly, she fulfills the wish of the devotee.
KATYAYANI DEVI (The Daughter of Katyayana)
Katyaayani is the sixth dimension form of Mother Durga. Sage Katyayana was the son of the great sage Kat. Sage Kattayan was born in the "Katya" clan. He was engaged in rigorous penance and worship of "Bhagavati Paramba". His prayer was all about requesting the mother to appear in his house-hold as his daughter. Mother Bhagavati obliged him. After some time, when, the world was terrorized of Mahishasura, Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva with their divine powers gave form to a Goddess to combat asura and destroy him. Katyayana was the first to worship her and that is why she is known as "Devi Katyayani". It is mentioned in the Shastra that Katyaayani was born as the daughter of the sage Katyayana. Taking birth on the fourteenth day of the new moon in "Aashwin" (September-October), she accepted the worship of the sage Kattayan on Saptami, Astami and Navami and ultimately slew Mahishasura on Dashami. The Goddess is mounted on a lion and she is worshiped on the sixth day of the Durga puja. If one worships the deity with a pure soul he attains success in religion, wealth, passion and salvation. Disease, sorrow and fear are eliminated. Worship of this deity helps one to emancipate himself from the sin he may have committed over the cycle of his births and rebirths.
KALRATRI (Deadly Night)
Mother Durga's seventh dimension is known as "Kalratri". Mother Kalratri is terror striking in appearance. But she is very benevolent. Hence, she is also called Subhankari (Benefector). She always delivers favorable results and her devotees need not fear her manifestations. She is worshiped on the seventh day of the Durga puja. Devi Kalratri destroys the evil. If anyone whole-heartedly pleads of saving him from any impending danger, she protects him.
MAHAGAURI (The White Force)
The eight dimension of Mother Durga is known as MahaGauri. Her complexion is totally white. Her garments are also white. To have Shiva as her husband she went through a rigorous penance in the form of "Parvati". As a result of this arduous meditation her complexion turned dark. Lord Shiva, pleased with the devotion of Parvati, bathed her in the holy water of the Ganges. As she bathed in the holy water she turned fair. From then onwards she became known as "Mahagouri". She is worshiped on the eighth day of the Durga puja. The devotee is benefited on all fronts as he worships the deity. Due to the Goddess's grace the devotee attains supernatural salvation, he is relieved from all his pains and fatigue and can set himself free from his previous sins. The power of her blessing is sure shot and instant.
SIDDHIDATRI (Boon Giver)
The ninth dimension of Mother Durga is Siddhidatri, the boon giver.She can bless one with para-powers. According to Devi Purana Lord Shiva prayed to her and was blessed with his eight para-powers. And because of her Lord Shiva in the form of Ardh Narishwara (Half man-half woman) was glorified. According to "Markendey Puran" there are eight types of success, such as "Anima", "Laghima", "Prapti", "Prakashya", "Mahima", "Ishhattya", "Bashittya", "Sarvakaam bashayita" and "Sarvagyata". Mother Siddhidatri is capable of rendering all these forms of successes to her devotees. She is worshipped on the ninth day of the Durga puja. She is the ultimate form of the Goddess among the Navadurga. After having performed the worship of the other forms of the Goddess according to the rituals mentioned in the Sashtra, the devotee can then start the worship of this deity. Those who worship the Goddess with full devotion are bestowed with all the success