Maa Brahmacharini, the second aspect of the Navadurga forms of Mahadevi is worshipped on the second day of Navratri. The word brahmacharini is formed by two Sanskrit roots: Brahma (shortened from Brahman) and charini – the feminine version of one who with good conduct, this in other words means one with sacred knowledge. The word brahmacharini in Vedic texts means a female who chases sacred knowledge. She is also known as ‘Tapascharini,’ ‘Aparna,’ and ‘Uma.’
Goddess Brahmacharini is the unmarried state of Mata Parvati. Goddess Brahmacharini who controls Lord Mangal is known as the fortune provider. She is also worshipped to remove bad omens in future.
Legend of Brahmacharini
According to folklore Devi Parvati wanted to marry Lord Shiva but her parents were against it so at the behest of Devarshi Narad, she went to the forest and did penance for 5000 thousand years. This is why she is also known as Tapashcharini i.e. Brahmacharini.
In the meantime, the Gods approached Kamadeva, the Hindu god of love and requested him to generate desire in Shiva for Parvati. Kamadeva shot the arrow of desire but Lord Shiva opened his third eye and reduced Kama Deva to ashes.
But Devi Parvati did not lose hope and went to live in the mountains like Shiva and engaged in the same activities such as asceticism, yog and tapas. Her ascetic pursuit drew the attention of Lord Shiva who met her in a disguised form and tried to dissuade her by citing Lord Shiva’s weaknesses and shortcomings but Devi Parvati refused to listen and remained firm in her resolve.
Meanwhile, a demon called Prakandasura and his army of millions of asuras attacked Parvati who was unable to defend herself. Seeing this Goddesses Lakshmi and Saraswati intervened but were outnumbered by the demons. After many days of fighting, kamandalu kept next to Devi Parvati fell down and all the demons were washed away by the resultant floods. Finally, Devi Parvati opened her eyes and emitted fire that burnt the demon.
Still, Lord Shiva wanted to test her further so he approached Paravati in the disguise of a Bhramachari and asked her to solve riddles, which she did and answered all questions correctly. Impressed by her beauty and brains the Brahmachari proposed to Devi Parvati who recognized Lord Shiva and accepted her proposal. Finally, Lord Shiva appeared in his true form and asked Parvati who was living on belpatra and river water to break her fast.
She signifies the unmarried state and her favourite colour white signifies purity.
Brahmacharini mata’s abode is in the Svadhishthana Chakra. There is an ancient temple devoted to Maa Brahmacharini Devi at Panchganga Ghat in Varanasi.
Navaratri Day 2: Significance
Navratri is a Hindu festival that is celebrated twice a year, in the months of Chaitra (March/April) and Ashwin (September/October) according to the Hindu lunar calendar. The festival lasts for nine days and is celebrated with great devotion and enthusiasm by Hindus all over the world. During Navratri, devotees worship Goddess Durga and her various forms and observe fasts and perform special rituals to seek her blessings.
The second day of Navratri is dedicated to Brahmacharini who is worshipped with great zeal in the form of Goddess Durga. According to popular belief the holy mother who stands for penance, and renunciation, brings good fortune to her devotees. On this day, Lord Shiva is also worshipped along with her.
Also Read: Why is Durga Puja a popular festival?
Yellow is the favourite colour of Goddess Brahmacharini who is invariably seen wearing white clothes. Although the favourite colour of Mata Rani is red, on this day, white things are offered to the goddess to bring fortune.
Yellow the colour of sunshine is associated with the festivities. It represents positivity and boosts confidence and curiosity. Wearing this colour keeps a person warm and cheerful on this day.
On this day, Lord Shiva is worshipped along with Goddess Brahmachairini.
The devotees are expected to follow some basic rules like waking up early and taking a bath. One should also wear clean and fresh clothes. Maa Brahmacharini’s idol is dipped in honey and milk and a teeka is applied to its forehead. Flowers, sandalwood, curd, milk and rice are offered to the Goddess during puja. Hibiscus and white lotus can be used on this day.
There are a few food items like jaggery, pumpkin, apple, and halwa that can be offered to the Goddess as bhog.
Milk, curd and honey are the favourite foods of Goddess Brahmachrini who does not demand much except good behaviour and good conduct.
Finally, Aarti is done and prasad is distributed.
According to the scriptures, Maa Brahmacharini is adorned with a rosary in her right hand and Kamandal in her left hand.
A devotee who worships Maa Brahmacharini can attain success in his endeavours
ॐ देवी ब्रह्मचारिण्यै नमः॥
Om Devi Brahmacharinyai Namah॥
Salutuaions to Devi Brahmacharini II
दधाना कर पद्माभ्यामक्षमाला कमण्डलू।
देवी प्रसीदतु मयि ब्रह्मचारिण्यनुत्तमा॥
Dadhana Kara Padmabhyamakshamala Kamandalu।
Devi Prasidatu Mayi Brahmacharinyanuttama॥
Holding a waterpot with lotuses in her hands.
May goddess excellent celibate be pleased with me
या देवी सर्वभूतेषु माँ ब्रह्मचारिणी रूपेण संस्थिता। नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमो नमः॥
Ya Devi Sarvabhuteshu Maa Brahmacharini Rupena Samsthita।
Namastasyai Namastasyai Namastasyai Namo Namah॥
The goddess is situated in the form of Mother Brahmacharini in all beings. “Obeisance to her, Obeisance to her, Obeisance to her!”
वन्दे वाञ्छितलाभाय चन्द्रार्धकृतशेखराम्।
जपमाला कमण्डलु धरा ब्रह्मचारिणी शुभाम्॥
गौरवर्णा स्वाधिष्ठानस्थिता द्वितीय दुर्गा त्रिनेत्राम्।
धवल परिधाना ब्रह्मरूपा पुष्पालङ्कार भूषिताम्॥
परम वन्दना पल्लवाधरां कान्त कपोला पीन।
पयोधराम् कमनीया लावणयं स्मेरमुखी निम्ननाभि नितम्बनीम्॥
Vande Vanchhitalabhaya Chandrardhakritashekharam।
Japamala Kamandalu Dhara Brahmacharini Shubham॥
Gauravarna Swadhishthanasthita Dwitiya Durga Trinetram।
Dhawala Paridhana Brahmarupa Pushpalankara Bhushitam॥
Parama Vandana Pallavaradharam Kanta Kapola Pina।
Payodharam Kamaniya Lavanayam Smeramukhi Nimnanabhi Nitambanim॥
I salute her whose peak is made of half a moon for the attainment of the desired object
She holds a garland of mantras and a waterpot and holds an auspicious brahmacharini.
The second Durga, white-coloured, seated in her own abode, has three eyes.
She was dressed in white and was in the form of Brahma and decorated with flowers and ornaments
Param Vandana Pallavadharam Kant Kapola Peen.
Her breasts were lovely and beautiful with a smiling face and low navel and hips
तपश्चारिणी त्वंहि तापत्रय निवारणीम्।
ब्रह्मरूपधरा ब्रह्मचारिणी प्रणमाम्यहम्॥
शङ्करप्रिया त्वंहि भुक्ति-मुक्ति दायिनी।
शान्तिदा ज्ञानदा ब्रह्मचारिणी प्रणमाम्यहम्॥
Tapashcharini Tvamhi Tapatraya Nivaranim।
Brahmarupadhara Brahmacharini Pranamamyaham॥
Shankarapriya Tvamhi Bhukti-Mukti Dayini।
Shantida Jnanada Brahmacharini Pranamamyaham॥
You are an ascetic who can prevent torment
I bow to her who assumes the form of Brahma and who practices Brahma.
For thou, dearest to Lord Shiva, art the giver of enjoyment and liberation.
I bow to her who bestows peace, bestows knowledge and observes celibacy.
त्रिपुरा में हृदयम् पातु ललाटे पातु शङ्करभामिनी।
अर्पण सदापातु नेत्रो, अर्धरी च कपोलो॥
पञ्चदशी कण्ठे पातु मध्यदेशे पातु महेश्वरी॥
षोडशी सदापातु नाभो गृहो च पादयो।
अङ्ग प्रत्यङ्ग सतत पातु ब्रह्मचारिणी।
Tripura Mein Hridayam Patu Lalate Patu Shankarabhamini।
Arpana Sadapatu Netro, Ardhari Cha Kapolo॥
Panchadashi Kanthe Patu Madhyadeshe Patu Maheshwari॥
Shodashi Sadapatu Nabho Griho Cha Padayo।
Anga Pratyanga Satata Patu Brahmacharini।
May Shankarabhamini protect my heart in Tripura and my forehead.
May the offering always protect the eye, and the half-head the forehead.
May Panchadashi protect me in the neck and Maheshwari in the middle region.
May the sixteenth always protect the navel, the house and the feet.
May Brahmacharini constantly protect me from every limb.
जय अम्बे ब्रह्मचारिणी माता। जय चतुरानन प्रिय सुख दाता॥
ब्रह्मा जी के मन भाती हो। ज्ञान सभी को सिखलाती हो॥
ब्रह्म मन्त्र है जाप तुम्हारा। जिसको जपे सरल संसारा॥
जय गायत्री वेद की माता। जो जन जिस दिन तुम्हें ध्याता॥
कमी कोई रहने ना पाए। उसकी विरति रहे ठिकाने॥
जो तेरी महिमा को जाने। रद्रक्षा की माला ले कर॥
जपे जो मन्त्र श्रद्धा दे कर। आलस छोड़ करे गुणगाना॥
माँ तुम उसको सुख पहुँचाना। ब्रह्मचारिणी तेरो नाम॥
पूर्ण करो सब मेरे काम। भक्त तेरे चरणों का पुजारी॥
रखना लाज मेरी महतारी।
Jai Ambe Brahmacharini Mata. Jai Chaturanana Priya Sukh Data॥
Brahma is pleased with you. You teach knowledge to all.
Brahma Mantra is your chanting. whom the simple world chants.
Jai Gayatri, the mother of the Vedas. whoever meditates on you every day.
There should be no shortage. His rest remained in place.
who knows your glory. with the garland of Radraksha.
The mantra which is chanted with faith. Leave idleness and sing praises.
Mother you bring him happiness. Your name is Brahmacharini.
Complete all my works. devotee, worshiper of Thy feet.
Keep the shame, my mother.