Day 1 : Shailaputri
Devi Shailaputri is considered to be the first manifestation of Goddess Durga. The first day of Navratri, dedicated to Devi Shailaputri, is called Pratipada. A form of Shakti, Devi Shailaputri is the consort of Lord Shiva and has two children, Lord Ganesha and Lord Kartikeya.
Form of Devi :
She carries the trishul (trident) in the right hand and the lotus flower in her left hand. Her vaahana (vehicle) is the bull, Nandi.
Story of Devi Shailaputri :
Devi Sati was a daughter of a great king, Daksha Prajapati. Daksha Prajapati was one of the sons of Lord Brahma. Daksha did not want his daughter Sati to marry Shiva. He considered Shiva to be a person not worthy to marry a girl from a noble family. Sati disobeyed her father and married Shiva. After marriage, she moved with her husband to Kailash Parvat, the abode of Lord Shiva.
Once, King Daksha organised a grand Yagna and called upon all Devas to attend the grand Yagna. Daksha did not like Shiva and thus did not invite Sati and Shiva for this Yagna. When Sati came to know of this grand Yagna being orhanised by her father, she longed to go home and attend it.
Shiva stopped her from going to Yagna. He explained Sati that since they had not been invited, it was obvious that King did not want them to be there. But Sati ignored her husband’s advice and went to the ceremony, all by herself. There she felt uninvited as none of the relatives were happy to see her, including her own father. Only her mother, Devi Prasuti was delighted to see her daughter and embraced her.
Sati felt a great sense of pain at being un-welcomed in her own house. Daksha even insulted Shiva in front of her in presence of all the guests. This was too much for Sati to bear. In Extreme grief, she jumped into the sacrificial fire at the place of holy Yagna and gave her life.
The news of Sati self-immolation reached Shiva. In his anger, he invoked Virbhadra, a fearful form and at once proceeded to destroy Daksha. He cut off the head of Daksha and annihilated the entire sacrificial canopy prepared for Holy Yagna.
Shiva carried the half burnt corpse of her wife as he could not part with her, even after death. As Shiva carried the body with him, the body parts fell at various places. These places later came to be known as Shakti Peethas. There are 52 Shakti Peethas in India. King Daksha was later forgiven by the intervention of Lord Vishnu and was given life by attaching Ram’s head to his body. He was able to complete his Yagna in the presence of all the Gods. In her next birth, Devi Sati was born as the daughter of Himalaya, the God of Mountains and thus was named as Shailaputri. Her other names in this incarnation were Parvati and Hemavati. In this birth again, she was married to Lord Shiva. She defeated all prominent Gods and is considered an embodiment of Shakti (Power).
Spiritual Significant of Devi Shailaputri by Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
“We usually think Shailaputri means that the Goddess is the daughter of Mount Kailash, but this is a very basic or lower level of understanding. On the path of yoga, this means the highest peak or the highest level of consciousness.
This is very interesting – when the energy is at its peak, only then can you notice and recognize it. Only then can you understand and experience the pure consciousness – Devi. Before it reaches its peak you cannot understand it, because it is born out of the peak.
Here the peak is the peak of any experience, or any intense feeling. If you are 100 percent angry, then just see how that anger consumes your whole body. Often we do not express our anger fully. Just see, when you are 100 percent in anger, when you become that anger so fully, you will also come out of it very soon. When you are 100 percent in anything that consumes your whole being that is when Goddess Durga is really born. When you are totally 100 percent consumed in anger, then you will experience such a surge of energy and at the same time you will instantly find yourself coming out of that anger also.
“Praying to Shailaputri brings strength like a stone; it brings commitment. When the mind is wavering, chanting the name of Devi helps the mind to be centred and committed. It gives us strength, courage, and composure.”
Have you seen how children behave? Whatever they do, they do it 100 percent. If they are angry, they are angry 100 percent in that moment and then immediately they drop that anger also after just a few minutes. They do not get tired even if they get angry. But as an adult if you get angry, it tires you. Why is it so? It is because you do not express your anger 100 percent. Now, this does not mean that you go around being angry all the time. Then you will also have to face the trouble that anger brings along. When you reach the peak of any experience or feeling, you experience the emergence of the Divine consciousness because it always surges from that peak. This is the hidden meaning behind Shailaputri.”
Shailaputri Mantra :
वन्दे वांच्छित लाभाय चंद्रार्धकृतशेखराम् ।
वृषारूढ़ां शूलधरां शैलपुत्रीं यशस्विनीम् ॥
Meaning: “I worship Goddess Shailaputri to fulfil my wishes, who is adorned with half-moon on her head, rides on a bull, carry a trident and is illustrious.”
Colour of the Day : Orange / Kesari