ॐ देवी ब्रह्मचारिण्यै नमः॥
On the second day of the nine auspicious days of Navratri is devoted to Goddess Ma Brahamcharini. Ma Brahmacharini is the epitome of sacrifice, tapasya and severe penance and the same gets reflected in her swaroopa.
Here the word “Brahma” means “penance” and “tapa” Brahmacharini means one who performs tapasya. She is also known as tapasyacharini. Ma Brahmacharini is depicted as beautiful maiden, she holds rosary in right hand and Kamandalu in her left hand. Rudraksha is her most adorned ornament.This comic form of Divine Goddess is illuminated, magnificent and tranquil.
The story of Ma Brahmacharini, shows us how Ma Parvati did a hard penance to gain love of Lord Shiva. In her last birth, Ma Brahmacharini was born as Sati, daughter of Daksha Prajapati and Prasuti. When Sati grew up, she had a natural fondness and love for Lord Shiva. Although Daksha was not very happy but still got Sati and Lord Shiva married. Daksha had felt a deep insult when Lord Shiva, did not touch feet of Daksha on an occasion. To get revenge, Daksha arranged a very big Yagna, in which he invited all gods and godesses but did not invite Lord Shiva and Sati. When Sati came to know about the Yagna, she made up her mind to go to the Yagna, against the wish of Lord Shiva. She said that she had all the right to go to her own house and did not need any invitation. When Sati reached the palace of Daksha, she was shocked and deeply hurt by continuous insult that Daksha inflicted for her and Lord Shiva. Sati was angered and burnt herself by her own yogagni. Sati was then born as Parvati to Himalaya and Maina.
Further, Parvati was guided by Devrishi Narad to do penance to get Lord Shiva as her husband. Parvati born as princess, renounced all the comforts of the palace and moved into dense forests to do her penance to beget Lord Shiva as her husband. For one thousand years, she survived eating only roots, for three thousand years survived only on branches. For thousands of years she slept under open sky even in heavy rains and scorching sun. Then, for three thousand years she ate only belpatra leaves that had fallen on ground. then, she finally gave up eating and drinking water completely. As she had also left eating leaves, she was also known as “Aparna”
This hard penance took toll on her body, and her body was reduced to just a skeleton. Seeing this hard penance there was outcry in all the three lokas. All munis, rishis, siddhas and devtas appreciated her and asked Brahma to give her a boon. Lord Brahma then did Akashawani (celestial announcement) “No one has ever done such hard penance like you. Only you are capable of doing it. This divine supernatural penance of yours is appreciated in every direction and loka. Your desire will come true. Chandramauli Lord Shiva will become your husband. Now you can stop your penance and move back to your palace” We see Ma Brahmacharini not as weak and frail but a young, unmarried woman who is ever in bliss because of Lord shiva residing in her heart.
Ma Brahmacharini rupa (swaroopa) is said to fulfill all desires of sadhaks and devoted disciples. A person gains immense willpower and strength to overcome any problem in life. A Sadhak/sadhika gains detachment, patience and ability to sacrifice. A Sadhak does not get disheartend by challenges coming in his/her Sadhana. Planet Mangal is governed by Ma Brahmacharini, so praying to her and offering her red things bring lots of fortune.
Ma Brahmacharini is Swadhisthana Shakti. Swadhisthana (Navel) Chakra is also the abode of Jala Tattva (Water Element). So on the second day of Navratri, Tattva Shakti Sadhak and Sadhika should first make Sankalpam and Guru Vandana and proceed to Jal Tattva Sadhana. Doing Jal Tattva Sadhana helps a Sadhak to get freedom from unwanted emotional bondage that block the path of spiritual growth and help a Sadhak flow smoothly in his/her Sadhana. Contemplating on Ma Brahmacharini while doing Jal Tattva Sadhana (especially and only during 4 navaratris) helps the Sadhak in renouncing unnecessary desires and attachments. Ma Brahacharini also helps Sadhaks in their fasting and protects them from having any ill effects on their physical health due to fasting in these nine days.
या देवी सर्वभूतेषु माँ ब्रह्मचारिणी रूपेण संस्थिता। नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमो नमः॥
I bow down at the lotus feet of my Guru and Goddess and pray. “May you receive all the divine grace from Goddess in this New Year.”
– Ma Shakti Devpriya Anand Nath