Updated: Oct 13, 2021
(8) Mahagauri Devi
ॐ देवी महागौर्यै नमः॥
Om Devi Mahagauryai Namah॥
Mother Durga’s eighth form is Mahagauri, the Goddess of the Great Radiant Light.
On the Path to Perfect Attainment, recall that the seventh Goddess, Kalaratri Devi, slays our ego, opening up space for the Divine Light. Ushering in this Divine Light is the role of the most radiant Goddess, Mahagauri, who resides in the crown (sahasrara) chakra.
Therefore, Kalaratri Devi and Mahaguari Devi work as a team – they are “two sides of the same coin,” so to speak.
The root “Maha” means great, and the word “Gauri” means white or light. So, Mahagauri is the Goddess who is extremely white or the great radiant light.
The story is told that Mahadeva would call Parvati Devi “Kaalike” because She was dark in color. Once, after Parvati Devi did intense tapasya, Mahadeva was so pleased with Her that He showered Her with Ganga water. After that, She became a pure white color, totally illuminated.
Not only is Her complexion very fair, but also both Her clothing and her vehicle, the bull, are white.
Looking at the depiction of this great Goddess, Her purity and calm nature come to life.
white: brilliant, pure, and shinIng; it also absence of all colors, meaning no opinions but rather pure objectivity; white also refers to shuddha sattva, which is transcendent purity that is untainted by the qualities of material nature
right hand mudra: grants boons and blessings of fortune (śubhaṁ)
trident (trishul): represents the dissolution of past, present, and future karmas and sins
left hand mudra: bestows fearlessness
drum (damaru): infinity, the sounds from the damaru beats the rhythm of the cosmic vibrations and the energy is activated by the divine Mother or Shakti
In Her essence, Mahagauri is the pure, stainless shakti that vibrates the entire universe into manifestation. As a Mother, she takes care of Her children‘s karma and sins, fulfills their desires, and removes fear and sorrow, leading them to the path of virtue and self realization.
Shailaputri and Mahaguari
If you recall, Goddess Shailaputri, the first Goddess, was extremely beautiful and fair. Because of Her extreme fair complexion she became known as Mahagauri. She also adorns Herself in white clothes. The vehicle of Maa Mahagauri as well as Shailaputri is a bull. What is the connection?
In the human body, Shailaputri Devi resides in the first chakra, and offers inspiration while pointing her attention upwards (kundalini rising) toward Lord ShIva.
The Mahagauri Devi who resides in the Sahasrara crown chakra is the result of this Navadurga process (inspiration, learning, practice sadhana, clear out negativities, etc).
The crown is the target chakra of the most important energy channel in the human body – the Sushumna nadi. This is the nadi that the Kundalini energy, symbolized by a snake, ascends and causes the awakening of power and the realization of our full human potential.
So Shailaputri and Mahaguari (and all the Devis in between) are connected in the human body through the Sushumna Nadi. These Goddesses are just different expressions of the one Durga Maa.
Navaratri worship: the eighth day is a very important day to perform sadhana, for the energy has now lifted to the crown and results are quick.
Focus on Her attitude, which is calm and peaceful. Chant Her mantra. Sadhana today has the power to wash away all previous bad karmas. She takes care of the future too, and you will begin to feel fearless.
Ask Mother for something today, you will feel taken care of and satisfied. Not sure what to ask for? Ask for Her devotion, She will point you in the direction of Lord ShIva!
How to Approach Mother
The Supreme Power can be approached in different forms. The term Brahman, which indicates this source in the Vedic path, is a neuter word. It does not have a male or female connotation, nor does it have a fixed embodiment. It is beyond any dualism or empirical understanding of the human mind.
Yet, as human beings with minds, we utilize a form to direct our mind to the Supreme Being.
If we approach this Supreme Source as a father, we take a certain state of mind, which is very different than if we approach it as a mother.
Our approach/ conception/ imagining (bhāvana) creates a state of mind (bhāva) within us. The form does not change the Supreme, it changes us.
Those who did not have a father, or the father figure was not a positive influence in their life, will benefit from worshiping the Source of Being as a Father. It is a way to heal oneself of the missing energy that was not present.
Those who have had negative experiences with their mother growing up, can approach the Divine Mother for healing those aspects of their self, particularly where bonding did not happen securely. She can remove the karma that is passed from generation to generation and create a healthy way of relating (to one’s own emotions as well as those of others).
To worship the Supreme Source as Mother is to humble ourself. We enter the state of the child. Our thoughts become gentle and pure. In this state the healing and nurturing energies of the universe become available to us.
The most simple mantra for worship of the Divine Mother is Auṁ Mataye Namaḥ which means Auṁ praises to the Mother. One can also chant Auṁ namaḥ Śivāye, which is the feminine for of Śiva (Śivā) representing the goddess.
In whatever way one approaches the Divine Mother, be aware of the pure state of the child who comes to the mother for care.
A young child is pure and surrendered to their conditions, for they know nothing differently. They are innocent, and this innocence is what tugs at Mother‘s heart to love and protect them.
Approach Mother in the state of childlike innocence. Talk to Her and let Her know what you need. Mahagauri is the compassionate, loving Mother who will respond.