सेव्यमाना सदा भूयात् सिद्धिदा सिद्धिदायिनी॥
Sevyamana Sada Bhuyat Siddhida Siddhidayini॥
On the concluding day of Navratras, Goddess Durga is worshipped as Siddhidhatri - a summation of all the other eight aspects of the Mother worshipped during Navratras. She assimilates an innocent child (Mahagauri), an austere virgin (Brahamacharini), an ardent Mother (Skandmata), a content wife (Shailputri), a warrior (Katyayani) and a dread-evoking terrible figure (Kalratri), all within her.
A generous granter of boons, She is venerated as a repository of powers (Siddhis); She owns each and every Siddhi in the book (including the ones enlisted in Markandaye Purana and Brhamveyvat Purana). In fact, according to Devi Bhagvata Purana and Shiv Purana, it is only through her agency that Lord Shiva was vested co-equal ownership of the Siddhis, which in turn facilitated his unique incarnation as Ardhnareshwar. This manifestation of Shiva is considered as an ideal symbolization of a Hindu marriage, as it indicates delicate but fair balance between man and woman powers.
Coming to iconography of Goddess ‘Siddhidhatri’, She wears rich Red saree; her expressions exude poise, serenity, completeness and optimism. She has four arms, each holding diverse items including a mace, a conch, a chakra and a lotus. Though her ride is a lion, She is often depicted seated on a lotus, surrounded by supplicants including representatives from gods, humans, ascetics, tantric and demons.
In the end, Goddess Durga is the embodiment of all the nine forms. The worship of Goddess Durga means the worship of her nine forms. Her forms highlight compassion, love for mankind, bravery, fierceness in war, motherly nature and a calming spirit. Each form of the goddess denotes a special nature of divine power and the ‘Navratras’ are a festive occasion to worship Goddess Durga and thank her that these powers are used for the good of humanity.
|| Sharanaagata-deenaarta, Paritraana-paraayaney |
Sarvasyaarti-harey Devi, Naaraayani namohstutey ||
[English translation) O’ Mother! You are disposed to save the distressed and downtrodden who seek your protection. Oh Devi! You eliminate the sufferings of everyone. Many obeisances to you, O’ Naaraayani (the universal energy of Lord Naaraayana)!