The sixth day of the Navratri festival is dedicated to the worship of Goddess Katyayani. After worshipping Goddess Skandamata on the fifth day of Navratri, the devotees observe and perform Katyayani Puja on the sixth day.
As per the Hindu beliefs, Goddess Katyayani symbolizes the sixth form of Goddess Durga. It is believed that to kill the demon, Mahishasura, Maa Parvati got into the form of Goddess Katyayani. This form of Goddess Parvati is said to be the most violent of all and she is also recognized as the Warrior Goddess in this form. Planet Brihaspati is believed to be governed by Maa Katyayani. On the sixth day of Navratri, devotees worship Goddess Katyayani and hear and read her story.
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‘Katyayani’ is the sixth avatar of Mother Durga who is worshipped by the devotees on the sixth day of Navratri. According to ancient legends and Hindu scriptures, she was born as the daughter to Katyayana Rishi. Katyayana rishi was born in the Katya lineage. This lineage got originated from Rishi Vishwamitra. She was thus named Katyayani meaning the “daughter of Katyayana".
Other legends say that it was Rishi Katyayana who first started worshipping her and hence she came to be known as Katyayani. She rides a lion and is four armed. In both her left arms she holds a lotus and a sword respectively. Both her right arms are in the gesture of blessings.
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As per the Hindu scriptures, it is believed that devotees worship Goddess Katyayani as she symbolizes courage, knowledge, and strength. It is believed that the devotees inherit inner strength by worshipping her.
According to the scriptures and Vedas, it is said that the marriageable girls usually follow the Katyayani Vratha for a period of one month to get bestowed a good husband. During the period of one month, Goddess Katyayani is worshipped regularly with flowers, prayers, incense sticks, and sandalwood.
As per the Hindu beliefs, Goddess Katyayani holds a special place for female devotees. Therefore, at the time of Pongal in the regions of Tamil Nadu, the young girls worship the Goddess for prosperity and good fortune. Worshipping Goddess Katyayani eliminates all kind of negativity from the lives of the devotees.
As per the Hindu Mythology and Shiva Maha Purana, there was a powerful demon named Mahishasura who possessed strong mental strength and immense physical strength. The aim of Mahishasura was to destroy the earth and its belongings including all the creators. Therefore, Goddess Parvati appeared in the form of Goddess Katyayani, another form of Goddess Durga to destroy Mahishasura with her strength and power to save the earth. Mahishasura possessed the ability to change in various forms. Once when he took the form of a buffalo, Goddess Katyayani sprang from her lion and killed the demon by striking her Trishul onto its throat. Therefore, she is known as the Warrior Goddess and savior of the earth.
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