Goddess Mahagauri is the 8th manifestation of Navdurga Devi. She is ardently worshipped by Maa Durga devotees on Ashtami tithi i.e. eighth day of Navratri. She is believed to realize all the wishes and needs of all her devotees. The name 'Mahagauri' implies extremely white as Goddess Mahagauri is believed to be exceptionally beautiful and fair in complexion.
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As the legend has it, Goddess Parvati underwent harsh penance and firm devotion in order to get Lord Shiva as her husband. Due to the austerity and penance for such a long time, the body of Goddess Parvati turned black. Being pleased with the devotion, dedication, and penance of Goddess Parvati in the form of Goddess Shailputri, at the age of 16, Lord Shiva bestowed the Goddess with a fair complexion and hence she got the name of Mahagauri.
She adorns white clothes and white ornaments and is known to ride a white Vrishabha (bull). Due to her white complexion and white clothes, she is also known as Shwetambardhara. The eighth form of Maa Durga also governs the planet Rahu.
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Mahagauri is known to wash off all the sins of her devotees. She symbolizes purity, peace, and serenity. The physical form of Goddess Mahagauri has four arms; the right upper arm allaying fear while the left upper arm holds a tambourine, her right lower arm holds a trident while her left lower arm is in the form of a blessing.
Her ardent devotees observe a fast on Durga Ashtami or the eighth day of Navratri and worship her to seek her blessings. This day is regarded as highly significant by Durga Maa devotees as some people also end their Navratri fast on the said day.