Updated: Oct 11, 2021
(6) Katyayani Devi
ॐ देवी कात्यायन्यै नमः॥ Om Devi Katyayanyai Namah॥
The sixth form of Durga represents the Mother who blesses Her children with ultimate purity, because She destroys our negativeness.
She is Katyayani Devi, and She is a pure reflection of the divine radiance of all of the Gods.
The story is told that when the Gods were troubled by the demons, they gathered together at the ashram of Maharishi Katyayana to enlist his help.
In their anger over the situation with the demons, the Gods, including Brahma, Vishnu, and Maheshwara, concentrated their light and energy into a united form of pure radiance. This radiance was so powerful that from it, an ever pure form of the Goddess Durga was manifest.
As Maharishi Katyayana was the first to worship Her, and She became manifest in the Katyayana Ashram, She was named Katyayani, the Goddess who is eternally pure.
Riding on the most excellent lion, Kātyāyaṇi holds a flaming scimitar (curved sword), destroying demons. We pray for her to bless us with fortune (śubhaṁ).
Mother Katyayani is depicted as having four hands with the following significance:
upper-right hand she bestows boons
lower-right hand She grants freedom from fear
upper-left hand she holds a lotus flower of peace
sword in her lower-left hand to cut negativities
lion of dharma is the vehicle
Kātyāyaṇī is one of the more famous forms of the Navadurga and is mentioned in many different texts and has many temples in India.
Maharishi Katyayana worshiped Her during the last three days of Ashwin (Fall Navaratri). On the tenth day, known as Vijayadashmi (the day of Victory), this captivating form of Durga vanquished the demon Mahishasura, who we know as the Great Ruler of Duality, otherwise called the Great Ego.
She is also associated with Kanya Kumāri as seen in her Gāyātrī mantra in the Taittirīya Āraṇyaka:
Kātyāyanāya vidmahe kanyakumāri dhīmahi |
tanno durgiḥ pracodayāt | 10.1.6
Kātyāyaṇi’s worship is mentioned in the Bhagavata Purāṇa. During the first month of hemanta season unmarried girls do a vow (vrata) to get a husband. They eat only unspiced kitcheri and worship the goddess Kātyāyaṇī (10.22.1).
They wake before sunrise to bathe in a sacred river and for one month they worship their handmade clay image of the goddess with sandalwood paste, flowers, decorations (jewelry, clothe, etc), the fresh tips of plants, fruit, flower garlands, lights (dīpa) and incense as they pray to the Goddess for the perfect husband.
Kātyāyaṇī is listed as a synonym for Parvati in the Amarkoṣa (an ancient Sanskrit Thesaurus). This name is also used interchangably with Durgā. The specific form of Kātyāyaṇī is known to reside in the sixth chakra, the Ajna or Third eye chakra, between the eye brows. Her blessings bring focus and intellect.
Seeing with the third eye allows us to experience clear thoughts, spiritual contemplation, self reflection, inner guidance and deeper truths.
Kātyāyaṇī’s grace helps us to experience the purity of our true nature by destroying all of our negative selfishness. Particularly, She helps us to overcome shame. This was seen by the gopis who had their clothing stolen by Kṛṣṇa, and then had to reveal themselves and overcome the shadow of shame.
Kātyāyaṇī removes the hindrances to the inner child, and allows us to find humour in our life so that we act young and playful no matter what our age.
Devotees who worship Mother Katyayani are blessed with child-like innocence, pure devotion, and their requirements for dharma (ideal of perfection), artha (necessary resources), kama (fulfillment of desires), and moksha (liberation) are granted.
On Navaratri, chant her mantra and focus on the third eye. Pray for Her to return you to your original innocent nature by removing all negative blockages. Surrender to Her and let Her take care of all of your worldly needs, as well as bestow greater clarity and deeper wisdom.