The Epithet of Beauty and Benevolence
Prof (Dr) Shalini Verma ‘Lifoholic’
13th of October, 2021: On the 8th day of Navaratri, we celebrate beauty and benevolence in form of Maa Mahagauri, one of nine forms of Adi Shakti Maa Durga.
Maa Mahagauri is invoked on the eighth day of the Navaratri. In this form, she embodies unique combination of beauty and benevolence. She is also the Goddess who denotes peace and endurance.
Maa Mahagauri – a form of Maa Parvati (also known as ‘Gauri’ because of her fair complexion) – is named so because of her mystifying beauty and motherly benevolence – that Maa Parvati herself embodies.
As name suggests, Maa Mahagauri is extremely fair. Due to her fair complexion, she is compared with the conch, the moon and the white flower of Kunda (कुंद). She adorns white clothes. Hence, she is also known as Shwetambardhara (श्वेताम्बरधरा).
Maa Mahagauri has four arms. She carries Trident (Trishul) in one right hand and keeps the second right hand in Abhaya Mudra. She adorns tambourine (Damaru) in the one left hand and keeps the second left hand in Varada Mudra.
Like Maa Shailputri, Maa Mahagauri also rides a white bull. Hence, she is also known as Vrisharudha. She is a symbol of kindness and morality.
या देवी सर्वभूतेषु माँ महागौरी रूपेण संस्थिता।
नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमो नमः॥
Ya Devi Sarvabhuteshu Maa Mahagauri Rupena Samsthita।
Namastasyai Namastasyai Namastasyai Namo Namah॥
As per the legend, after giving relief to the Gods by killing the demons like Mahisasur, Chand, Mund, and Raktbeej, in different forms such as Katyayani, Kaalratri, Chamunda, and Kali, Maa Adi Shakti dipped herself in the magical waters of Mansarovar river in the Himalayas. As she took a bath, her dark skin got separated from her and took the form of another female body. She was called Kaushiki because she was born from the skin of Parvati.
Kaushiki’s incarnation was for a very important purpose – to kill the two terrible demons Shumbha and Nishumbha who had got a boon from Lord Bhrama that they could not be killed by any man, God, demon or deity. Hence, Kaushiki who was none of these, was formed to kill Shumbha and Nishumbha.
On the other hand, as a result of the separation of her black skin, Parvati got her white fair complexion back so she gained the epithet “Mahagauri” – the most beautiful forms of Nava Durga.
It is believed that the ‘Rahu’ is governed by Goddess Mahagauri. She is known as the forgiving goddess who forgives the sinners and purifies them.
श्वेते वृषेसमारूढा श्वेताम्बरधरा शुचिः।
महागौरी शुभं दद्यान्महादेव प्रमोददा॥
Shwete Vrishesamarudha Shwetambaradhara Shuchih।
Mahagauri Shubham Dadyanmahadeva Pramodada॥