The Warrior Goddess
Prof (Dr) Shalini Verma ‘Lifoholic’
12th of October, 2021: On the 6th day of Navratri, in form of Maa Katyayani, we celebrate the determination and resolution to stand against the evil and the wrong doers. Maa Katyayani is one of nine forms of Adi Shakti Maa Durga. She is also referred to as the warrior Goddess.
Maa Katyayani is invoked on the sixth day of the Navaratri. In this form, she embodies unique combination of feminine beauty and masculine power of a warrior.
Maa Katyayani is named so because she, as one of the forms of Devi Parvati, was born to a saint called Katyayana. She is fierce with fiery energy. She rides on a magnificent lion and has four hands. She carries a lotus flower and sword in her left hands respectively and her right hands display Abhayamudra and Varadamudras.
या देवी सर्वभूतेषु माँ कात्यायनी रूपेण संस्थिता।
नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमो नमः॥
Ya Devi Sarvabhuteshu Ma Katyayani Rupena Samsthita।
Namastasyai Namastasyai Namastasyai Namo Namah॥
As per the legend, once demon Mahisasura defeated all the gods from heaven. Inorder to get rid of Mahisasur, all the gods led by Lord Brahma went to Lord Vishnu to seek his help. There they saw Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva being seated together having some discussion. When the gods told Mahisasura’s evil and destructive deeds to them, both Vishnu and Shiva got infuriated. As a result of their anger a beam of light (Teja or Prakash Punj) came out from their mouths and got crystallised like ridge of the mountain in the ashrama of Maharshi Katyayana. The Rishi then processed that beam of light, which gave birth to goddess called Katyayani. So technically, Maharshi Katyayana did not gave birth to the goddess Katyayani, but he transformed the beam of light into a beautiful female form by using the powers of his tapasya. Hence, he is considered as father of Maa Katyayani. This female form was extremely radiant – as radiant as a thousand suns and she had 18 arms, she had fierce eyes.
Before Maa Katyayani went into a mighty battle with Mahisasura, all the gods blessed her with many gifts – Shiva gave her a mighty Trident, Vishnu gave her a Sudarshan Chakra, Brahma gave her a water-pot and a rosary, Varuna gave her a Conch / Shunk, Agni gave her a Dart, Surya gave her a Quiver, Vaayu gave her a Bow, Indra gave her a Thunderbolt, Kuber gave her a Mace, Kaal gave her a sword and a shield and Vishwa Karma gave her a Battle-Axe.
The battle between Katyayani and Mahisasura went on for days and finally, she killed him by removing his head from his torso. Katyayani is also known as Mahisasuramardani – the one who killed and defeated Maheshasura.
Worshipping this form of Goddess Parvati removes all the marriage related barriers and ensures harmony and peace in married life.
It is believed that the planet Jupiter (Brihaspati) is governed by Goddess Katyayani
कात्यायनी शुभं दद्याद् देवी दानवघातिनी॥
Katyayani Shubham Dadyad Devi Danavaghatini॥