As the name suggests, Mahagauri signifies extremely fair complexion of the Goddess. As discussed in the article of Navratri day 8, Goddess Parvati emerged with a dark complexion to put a full stop on the torments of Shumbha and Nishumbha. Lord Shiva began teasing the Goddess as ‘Kali’, which added to the agitation of the Goddess. She, hence, began Her severe penance of Brahma, in order to get her fair complexion back. Happy with her devotion, Lord Brahma advised the Goddess to wash her body with the Holy water of River Mansarovar. This beautified her body and her dark skin took birth as Kashiki (another form of Parvati for the killing of those demons). This is how She possessed the name Mahagauri, which means blessed with a fair complexion. If an unmarried girl worships this roop of Maa Durga, she can be blessed with the desired husband and a happy married life.
Another story narrates that as advised by Sage Narad ji that She would marry Lord Shiva, Goddess Parvati gave up all her comforts and began her severe penance in the forest, that continued for many years. While her penance, She defied various natural calamities, that led to the development of blackish skin all over Her body. Impressed, Lord Shiva finally gave her a vow that He would marry Her and bathed Her in the sacred water of River Ganga, originating from the locks of His hair. The Holy water of River Ganga rinsed away all Her dirt and gave back Goddess Parvati her magnificence and white complexion.
WHICH COLOR IS DEDICATED TO MAA MAHA GAURI
Maa Mahagauri is known to adorn white saree, hence sometimes, She is also known as Shwetambardhara. She sits calmly on the white bull or Nandi (vaahana or vehicle of Lord Shiva). The devotees are advised to wear pink on this auspicious day.
HOW TO OFFER PUJA ON THE EIGHTH DAY OF NAVRATRI
- The eighth day is also known as Durga Ashtami.
- The devotees must take bath early in the morning.
- They must put tilak on the idol and should sit with their faces towards the northeast direction. They must chant the following mantra for 108 times.
या देवी सर्वभूतेषु माँ गौरी रूपेण संस्थिता। नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमो नम:।।
- If the devotees open their fast on this day of Ashtami, they are advised to perform puja for the urn (Ghatasthapana). They should pluck some of the grass from the ghat (urn) and should keep it in the place where they keep their valuables. Later, they should immerse the Ghatasthapana urn in the Holy water of sacred Rivers.
- Some devotees perform Kanya Pujan (Kanchika Pujan) on this day. They offer food in the form of halwa, poori and gifts to nine young girls and seek blessings from them. Kanchika Pujan marks the end of the ceremonies and fasts of Navratri.