On the auspicious eve of Holy Navratri we remember and worship Goddess NavDurga – whose name literally means “Nine forms of Maa Durga”. Each of the nine avatars of Goddess Durga bear a different name along with specific dhyana-mantras, used for meditation on each of the days of Navratri.
The first divine form is recognised as Shailputri who is a Shakti-roop. The first of all nine days of Navratri is dedicated to her with prayers and meditation. She is also known as Bhavani, Parvati or Hemvati. She signifies Mother Nature re-incarnate and is a consort of Lord Shiva. Shailputri is seen as a manifestation of planet earth, including water, air, soil, earth’s resources and earth’s atmosphere. To describe her appearance, her divine self adorns a half-moon on her forehead and is holding a Trishool (a Trident spear) in her right hand and lotus in her left hand while riding on a bull- Nandi. Her name “Shailputri” literally translates into “Putri” as in Daughter and “Shaila” as in rock or mountains, hence meaning “Daughter of the mountains”. Her color is cerise. It is believed that the Moon, the provider of all fortunes, is ruled by Goddess Shailputri and any bad effect of the Moon can be overcome by worshipping this form of Adi Shakti.
As per a myth, in her previous birth, she was born as a daughter to King Daksha who named her Sati. She married Lord Shiva, Once King Daksha organised a Maha-Yagna, but did not invite Lord Shiva due to his gypsy life-style, however Sati reached to attend the Maha-Yagna. Daksha insulted Lord Shiva which infuriated Sati. Sati unable to bear it jumped into the yagna fire and was consumed by it. In her next birth she was born to Parvat Raj Himalaya incarnated as Parvati and amongst all nine goddess she is known as Shailputri .
She is prime of all the goddess and is at the beginning of the energy chakras. She is at the root of all the chakras. Once the root chakra is awakened, the energy flows more positively making her journey ahead. Riding on the bull, she begins her journey beginning her travel from her father to her husband – in her search for or reaching out to Lord Shiva. This is seen as a starting point of her journey for next nine days of Navratra. Hence the very first day of Navratri, the Pandits concentrate on awakening this Muladhara chakra and manifest the supreme being of Shailputri chanting the holy mantra.
In yogic meditation activation of this Muladhara Chakra is seen as attainment of Siddhi and Anand as a culmination of disciples’ journey to achieve higher spiritual evolution. This is also important to Dhyana-yogis who look to align themselves with Divine Ma Durga initiating the process with meditation of Shakti Mantras on Navratri. Shailputri is a physical consciousness of Ma Durga and we pray to her to align ourselves to Ma Shakti to attain spiritual well-being and inner strength.