कात्यायनी शुभं दद्याद् देवी दानवघातिनी॥
Katyayani Shubham Dadyad Devi Danavaghatini॥
‘Katyayani’ is the sixth appellation of Mother Durga, venerated on the sixth day of Navaratras. She gets her name being the daughter of Saint Katyayan who belonged to the famous lineage of sage Kat and his son Katya. The great devotee of the Mother, Sage Katyayan sought Mother as daughter for a boon. Mother Durga probably appeared autogenously in his house thereupon and adopted the name ‘Katyayani’ to honor the sage. Her hidden agenda behind this manifestation was to slay demon Mahishasur, which she undertook upon the combined appeal of the trinity Gods (Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh or Shiv).
Goddess Katyayani portrays concentration of the wild and uncontrollable energy of Mother Durga, which essentially takes form and assumes newer guises to vanquish her foes. She is four-armed seated on a lion, holding a sword in one hand and a lotus in another. The rest of her hands are composed in mudras (poses) of fearlessness and blessing.
She claims Ajna (or Agya) Chakra as her own being the female aspect of energy. Also renowned as the third-eye chakra, it is symbolized by a lotus with two petals and signifies tremendous concentration of energy, notorious for unleashing horrible devastation during times of peril.
The most important temple for Maa Katyayani is located in Bakor village in the Mahisagar district of Gujarat. This is a magnificent temple complex built mainly of marbles, and people irrespective of their castes and religious beliefs come here for worshipping the mother Goddess.
There is also a special worship or Maa Katyayani Pooja for the Goddess, which Bhagavatha Purana speaks highly about. Known as Katyayani Vrata, this is a unique worship which was undertaken by the maiden of Braj Bhoomi, the land of Krishna in UP, during the Hindu winter month of Margashirsha Margazhi in Tamil, equivalent to Mid-December to Mid-January), for attaining Krishna himself as their husband. Observing strict austerities including full or partial fasting daily, throughout the month, they used to worship the earthen idols of the Katyayani Devi. Many young girls still observe this worship for getting good husbands.