In the second day of Navratri, devotees worship the second enactment of Lord Durga, Maa Brahmacharini. The name Brahma implies ‘penance’ and Charini means female follower. Devi Brahmacharini thus means one who performed ‘Tapasya’. Devi Parvati, after being born to Himavan, the King of Himalayas, went for hard Tapasya in order to attain Lord Shiva as her partner. Her quintessence love towards Lord Shiva was stubborn, which paved to a severe penance for over thousands of years. Parvati later attained her desire in one of strongest deeds performed by women.
It was Rishi Narad who advised Parvati to perform penance. In the course, she suffered many hazards from nature. She gave up water, food and survived by consuming leaves. For this reason, she is also known as Aparna. Later Lord Shiva accepted Parvati as his wife and named her Brahmacharini.
The goddess Brahmacharini is believed to govern the planet or Lord Mangal which brings good fortune. By worshipping Maa Brahmacharini, devotees believe to be rewarded with peace, virtue, prosperity, happiness and emancipation, which serve us an inspiration to move forward in life. The iconography of Maa Brahmacharini will portray a rosary in her right hand and a water utensil on the left hand. She is also depicted as walking bare footed. She is also known as Tapascharini and Uma.
The devotees will offer sugar to Maa Brahmacharini, which is later fed to Brahmin. Garlands made of hibiscus and lotus flowers are also considered ideal to worship goddess Brahmacharini.
Divine mantra to chant:
Ya devi sarvabhuteṣu mam brahmacariṇi rupeṇa sansthita |
Namastasyai namastasyai namastasyai namo nama: ||
Dadhana kara padmabhyama akṣamala kamaṇḍalu |
Devi prasidatu ma’i brahmacariṇyanuttama ||