The second day of Navaratri is observed on the Dwitya Tithi. On this day Goddess Brahmacharini is worshiped.
Who is Goddess Brahmacharini and what is the mythological story behind worshiping Brahmacharini Devi ?
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No, not an avatara. Brahmacharini is one of the 9 forms of Devi Durga.
Sailaputri-adi 9 forms of Goddess Durga is collectively known as the Navadurgas. They have been defined in the beginning verses of the Devi Kavacham which is found in the Devi Mahatyam, which in turn is a part of the Markandeya Purana.
Devi Kavacham is recited as a part of reciting the Durga Saptashati or the Chandi Patha. The viniyoga of this Kavacha is as follows:
Asya SriDevi Kavchasya Brahma Rishihi Anushtup Chandahas Chamunda Devata, Sri Deviprityartham Saptasatipanga Jape Viniyogaha.
For the Devi Kavacha Brahma is the Seer, Anushtup is the Meter,Chamunda is the Deity, & for the appeasement of Devi and as a part of Chandipatha its recited.
Rishi Markandeya asked Lord Brahma for a Kavacham(an armour like mantra) that is highly auspicious but very secret and which has not been hitherto told by anyone to someone too.
Lord Brahma then gave MahaMuni Markandeya this Kavacham:
Asti Guhyatamam Vipra Sarva Bhutopakarakam |
Devyashtu Kavacham Punyam Tath Srunush Mahamune ||
Lord Brahma said :
Hey Vipra, Devi's Kavacham is very secret and auspicious and is beneficial for all beings.Hey Mahamuni, listen:
Then Lord Brahma defined the 9 forms of Devi Durga as follows :
Prathamam Sailaputriti Dvitiyam Brahmacharini |
Tritiyam Chandra Ghanteti Kushmandeti Chaturthakam ||
Panchamam Skandamateti Sashtam Katyayani Tatha |
Saptamam Kalaratriti Mahagouriti Chashtamam ||
Navamam Siddhidatri Cha Navadurga Prakirtithah|
Uktan Yetani Namani Bramanaiva Mahatmana ||
These 9 names as told by Lord Brahma are known as the Navadurgas ; Sailaputri, Brahmacharini, Chandraghanta, Kushmanda, Skandamata. Katyayani, Kalaratri, Mahagauri and Siddhidatri (or Mokshada).
In this form Goddess Durga is having only two arms, she is wearing white clothes,having rudraksha rosary beads mala in her hand. She is also calm,extremely religious and in a meditative mood.
In the Brahmacharini form Goddess Durga resembles Goddess Parvati who was then doing a severe Tapasya (penance) for getting Lord Shiva as her consort.
Some useful info of Devi's Brahmacharini form is also obtained from this site:
Navratri Worship - Goddess Brahmacharini is worshipped on the second day of Navratri.
Governing Planet - It is believed that Lord Mangal, the provider of all fortunes, is governed by Goddess Brahmacharini.
Iconography - Goddess Brahmacharini is depicted as walking on the bare feet. She has two hands and She carries Jap Mala in the right hand and Kamandal in the left hand.
Details - Goddess Brahmacharini did severe penance to get Lord Shiva as her husband. She performed hard austerity and due to which She was called Brahmacharini.
It is stated that during her penance to get Lord Shiva as her husband She spent 1000 years on the diet of flowers and fruits and another 100 years on the diet on leafy vegetables while sleeping on the floor.
Devanagari Name - ब्रह्मचारिणी
Favourite Flower - Jasmine (चमेली)
दधाना कर पद्माभ्यामक्षमाला कमण्डलू। देवी प्रसीदतु मयि ब्रह्मचारिण्यनुत्तमा॥
Dadhana Kara Padmabhyamakshamala Kamandalu। Devi Prasidatu Mayi Brahmacharinyanuttama॥