Sharad Navaratri 2017 began on September 21 (Thursday) with most states except West Bengal doing Ghatasthapana Puja on Pratipada to invoke Maa Shakti. After revering Devi Shailaputri on the first day, the devotees gear up to worship the second form of Goddess Durga – Maa Brahmacharini. She is worshipped on the second day of Navratri festival. Brahmacharini stands for a devoted female student who only desired to marry Lord Shiva. This form is considered as the unmarried mediating form of Goddess Parvati. Her constant penance for a thousand years got her wish fulfilled to become Lord Shiva’s consort. Devi Brahmacharini is symbolic of love and immense strength. Navratri Colours 2017 With Dates: List of 9 Different Coloured Dresses to Wear During Navaratri Festival to Please Goddess Durga.
According to mythological texts, Goddess Brahmacharini is given the name because of harsh penance she did to get Lord Shiva as her husband. Brahmacharini is a combination of two Sanskrit roots – Brahma(shortened from Brahman), means “the one self-existent Spirit, the Absolute Reality, Universal Self, Personal God, the sacred knowledge” and charini is the feminine version of one who is a charya, which means “occupation with, engaging, proceeding, behaviour, conduct, to follow, going after”.
The story of Maa Brahmacharini is widely read and heard during the festival. After taking birth in Himalaya’s family, she realized her love for Lord Shiva. From an early age, she only wished to marry the Supreme God. She followed a path of austerity to fulfill her desire. At first, she lived on by eating Bilva leaves and later completely abstained from food and water to get fully engrossed in worshipping Lord Shiva. Seeing her dedicated Tapasya (penance) for years, a pleased Shiva granted her wish to become her husband.
This form of Navdurga is depicted as a yogini wearing a white sari with an orange border. She is shown walking on bare foots while holding kamandalu (water pot) in her left hand and rosary in her right hand. Worshipping Maa Brahmacharini will take away all sufferings of the devotee. Being the epitome of extreme tolerance and steely determination, she blesses her followers with unshakable grit and motivation. She also governs the Lord Mangal (planet Mars), the provider of all fortunes. The followers must offer fresh jasmine flowers to the Devi and also chant this mantra – ॐ देवी ब्रह्मचारिण्यै नमः॥ Om Devi Brahmacharinyai Namah.