October 8th has marked the beginning of the eighth Navratri of the nine-day long festival. This 8th day of Navratri is dedicated to Goddess Mahagauri. This day is also called Ashtami and also Mahapuja . Goddess Mahagauri is the wife of Lord Shiva. The name, Mahagauri  is derived from ‘Maha’  means ‘great’ and  ‘Gauri’ means ‘complexion.’ So, Goddess Mahagauri is extremely beautiful with white complexion,  and she shines like moon. Other names by which Goddess Mahagauri is also known are Vrisharudha, Chaturbhuji, Shambhavi, Shwetambardhara. These names also hold great importance and denote one or the other quality of the Goddess.  Shwetambardhara denotes the white attires which the Goddess wear, Vrisharudha denotes her vehicle that is bull and for Chaturbhuji it denotes that Goddess has four hands.

Maa Mahagauri

Tithi: Ashtami
Date: 8th- 9th October, 2016 (Saturday-Sunday)
Start Time (Muhurat): 9:24 PM on 8th October (Saturday)
End Time (Samapt): 10:31 PM on 9th October, 2016 (Sunday)
Colour for the Day: Pink
Goddess: Maa Mahagauri

Maa Mahagauri Story:
The story behind manifestation of Goddess Mahagauri is very famous and special. It is said that Goddess Parvati used to worship Lord Shiva since her childhood and had desire to marry him. And as the time passed her devotion towards Lord Shiva grew strong and used to observe fasts on various occasions for Lord Shiva. But, being a human being, it was difficult to obtain Lord Shiva as her husband and thus, she left entire comfort of the world and headed to the forest for austerity.

For many years she was completely lost in Lord Shiva’s chant and meditation. Her extent of austerity was quite high that she did not even realize her body had begun to turn blue. There was dust all over her body and she was completely covered with dried tree leaves. Completely drowned in Lord Shiva’s devotion, Goddess Parvati could see nothing else but Lord Shiva as her other half.

Seeing the devoted Parvati lost in austerity for such long years Lord Shiva could no longer control himself to appear in front of her and blessed her with her wish to get married with him.  He then showered Goddess Parvati with sacred Ganga water and removed all the dusts, soil, and leaves from her body. As he showered the holy Ganga her complexion turned to extremely white and hence, the name and form Mahagauri was derived.

Colour of the day:
The colour for the 8th day of Navaratri or the Durgashtami is pink. Pink denotes the beauty, tenderness and compassion. As beauty of Mahagauri is spell-binding, the colour is preferred on this day. Devotee and goddess, both wear Pink colour on day 8 of Navratri.

Navratri Food Fact:
One must be wondering why gains and wheat are excluded in foods prepared for Navratri fast. There are two reasons why these are not included during the fast – religious and the scientific one.

Religiously, leaving grains and wheat dishes, which fill the tummy completely, means sacrificing a type of comfort and get devoted to Goddess Durga. While scientifically, Durga Puja or Navratri occurs in the mid of change in season. So, avoiding the old grains, wheat, rice and other such products’ consumption help detoxifying the body and prepare it for the changing season adaptation.

Mantra –

ॐ देवी महागौर्यै नमः॥
Om Devi Mahagauryai Namah॥

Prarthana –
श्वेते वृषेसमारूढा श्वेताम्बरधरा शुचिः।
महागौरी शुभं दद्यान्महादेव प्रमोददा॥
Shwete Vrishesamarudha Shwetambaradhara Shuchih।
Mahagauri Shubham Dadyanmahadeva Pramodada॥

Stuti –

या देवी सर्वभू‍तेषु माँ महागौरी रूपेण संस्थिता।
नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमो नमः॥
Ya Devi Sarvabhuteshu Maa Mahagauri Rupena Samsthita।
Namastasyai Namastasyai Namastasyai Namo Namah॥