Navratri festival is going on and we are told about the nine forms of the Goddess also called Nava-Durga that are worshipped in these 9 days. However, I just recently came to know that some people also worship the Dash-Mahavidyas in these days. I want to know is there a connection between the two?
The Nava Durga, if you properly notice are forms of Parvati. As Wikipedia mentions:
The nine manifested forms of Goddess Durga (Gauri) or (Parvati) are: Shailaputri, Brahmacharini, Chandraghanta, Kushmanda, Skandamata, Katyayini, Kaalratri, Mahagauri and Siddhidhatri.
The Dash Mahavidyas are mentioned as forms of Sati (Parvati's previous incarnation) or sometimes as those of Parvati herself as mentioned in the various accounts given in the answers to this question I had asked earlier. These are the ten:
The Mahavidyas are considered Tantric in nature, and are usually identified as:
- Kali – The ultimate form of Brahman, "Devourer of Time" (Supreme Deity of Kalikula systems).
- Tara – The Goddess as Guide and Protector, or Who Saves. Who offers the ultimate knowledge which gives salvation. She is the goddess of all sources of energy. The energy of the sun is also a grant from her.
- Tripura Sundari (Shodashi) – The Goddess Who is "Beautiful in the Three Worlds" (Supreme Deity of Srikula systems); the "Tantric Parvati" or the "Moksha Mukta".
- Bhuvaneshvari – The Goddess as World Mother, or Whose Body is the Cosmos.
- Bhairavi – The Fierce Goddess.
- Chhinnamasta – The self-decapitated Goddess.
- Dhumavati – The Widow Goddess, or the Goddess of death.
- Bagalamukhi – The Goddess Who Paralyzes Enemies.
- Matangi – the Prime Minister of Lalita (in Srikula systems); the "Tantric Saraswati".
- Kamala – The Lotus Goddess; the "Tantric Lakshmi".
As you see while the Nava Durga are more benign in nature the Dash Mahavidyas are more fierce and war-like. However, both of them are forms of Goddess Shakti and both the lists include Ma Kali so that is the connection between them.
Nava Durga are Nine Niddhis that are forms of Devi
9 Nidhis (treasures) are(also corresponding to 9 planets and their 9 jewels): refer https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Navaratna (Ruby (maanikyam) for Surya (taraneh) (Sun), Pearl (muktaaphalam) for Chandra (Moon), Red Coral (vidrumam) for Mangala (maaheya) (Mars), Emerald (marakatam) for Budha (saumya) (Mercury), Yellow sapphire (pushparajam) for Bṛhaspati (devejya) (Jupiter), Diamond (vajram) for Shukra (asurachaarya) (Venus), Blue sapphire (niilam) for Shani (Saturn), Hessonite (gomeda) or Rahu) Cat's Eye (vaidooryam) for Ketu)
1) Mahapadma: Great lotus flower
2) Padma: Lotus/ a Himalayan lake with treasures
3) Shankha: Conch shell
4) Makara: Crocodile/ Antimony
5) Kachchhapa: Tortoise or turtle shell
6) Mukunda: Cinnabar/ Quick Silver
7) Kunda: Jasmine/ Arsenic
8) Nila: Sapphire/ Antimony
9) Kharva: Cups, vessels baked in fire
while her 8 arms or Ashtabhuja are 8 supreme manifestations
8 Siddhis (Supernatural powers) are:
1) Aṇimā: Ability to reduce one's size
2) Mahima: Ability to increase one's size
3) Garima: Ability to increase one's weight infinitely
4) Laghima: Ability to become lighter than the lightest
5) Prāpti: Ability to Obtain anything
6) Prākāmya: Ability to acquire anything desired
7) Iṣiṭva: Lordship over creation
8) Vaśitva: Having control over things
Devi is pure power. Puranas are just simple fun stories to explain complex thing like Devi and her's creation power.
Hanuman and Ganesha are the ones who mastered all 9 niddhi and 8 siddhis, from Hanuman Chalisa:
Ashta siddhi nava nidhi ke dātā, asa bara dīnha jānakī mātā
Dashmahavidya is part of Tantra which is part of Shakta and Shaivism as well, so Shaivism had impact on Shakta texts leading to number 10 which is confusing
Even Lord Krishna, the most powerful God had 8 main wives corresponding to 8 forms of Shakti. The rest 8 women were together called “Ashtabharya”.They were the principal wives of Lord Krishna namely,
And the number 1008 is also 1000+8 The highest Chakra that represents Purusha/Shiva is Sahasrara Chakra and has 1000 petals http://www.tantra-kundalini.com/sahasrara.htm
8 are main forms of Shakti as explained above Together 1008 represents the entire cosmos and is revered as a holy number for a Guru who has attained highest state of Paramhans