ॐ देवी कात्यायन्यै नमः॥
The sixth day of Navratri is dedicated to Ma Katyayani. There are many views about the origin of Katyayani Devi the one which is most accepted goes like this.. There was a famous sage Kat, and name of his son was Katya. In the lineage of Katya, a famous sage Katyayan was born. Sage Katyayan wanted Ambe Ma to be born as a daughter to him. She was born to sage Katyayan on Chaturdashi of Krishna Paksha of Ashvin Month. Sage Katyayan worshiped Ma on Saptami, Ashtami and Navmi of Shukla Paksha of Ashvin Month, and then Ma killed Mahishasura on Vijaydashami. She is known as Ma Katyayani as she was born as daughter to Sage Katyayan and also because sage Katyayana was the first one to worship her. So she is the daughter form of Ma Durga. She is epitome of love in the form of a daughter. This story conveys a very profound message that the Goddess fulfills every desire of a devotee even if he/she wishes that She be born to them. This is no deviation from what is said in Gita where Krishna says ‘You receive me in whatever form you desire’.
Ma Katyayani has four hands. Goddess Katyayani carries lotus flower and sword in her left hands and keeps her right hands in Abhaya and Varada Mudras. Her skin is golden in colour. Ma Katyayani rides a lion. Planet Brihaspati is governed by Goddess Katyayani.
Ma Katyayani shows us to reveal our inner strength and fight over all odds to emerge as a winner. She is an inspiration for women and is the symbol of strength and victory of good over evil. There are many scriptures in which we find mention of Ma Katyayani like Taittriya Aranyaka part of Krishna Yajur Veda, Devi Bhagvatam, Devi Mahamatyam and Markendya Purana. We find that many astrologers suggest to worship Ma Katyayani for early marriage of girls. This is Katyayani Vrat that is specially done by young unmarried females for early marriage. Katyayani Vrat is mentioned in Devi Bhagvatam. This vrat was done by young gopis of Vridavan as they wanted Lord Krishna as their husband. This vrat was done during the month of Margashirsha. Ma Kanya Kumari in South India is also a form of Ma Katyayani. She is also prayed by young girls for early marriage and for rain and prosperity. The best time for Katyanyani rituals is Godhooli Vela (dusk). A prayoga of Ma Katyayani is often suggested for avoiding ‘separation or divorce’ where clothes of Yellow and Red color are used and tied together after worship and rituals as guided by Guru. The most loving and best offering for Shakti Katyayani is ‘Honey’ offered in earthen pot or Silver pot.
Ma Katyayani is Agnya Shakti. Those who are initiated by any Guru should make their special offerings to Guru. The best offering towards the Guru is disciple’s devotion in the mantra, discipline in sadhana and obedience (matra moolam guru vaakyam). Tattva Shakti Sadhak and Sadhikas should do Panch Tattva Sadhana that they have learned by contemplating on the form and various aspects of the Goddess. Dwiteya koti Sadhaks are given a secret Sadhana that they should do during the Navratri period as the energies are very during this phase. The importance of Agya Chakra is very high in Yogsadhana. The Sadhak develops the ability to devote himself/herself completely to Shakti. Ma Katyayani gives darshan to the Sadhaks who surrender their ‘self’ completely and get rid of ego. She blesses the Sadhak with all the four Purushartha Dharma, Arth, Kama and Moksha. Although the Sadhak may remain engaged in worldly affairs, he/she is surrounded by a bright and divine light and his/her aura becomes magnetic. All the fears, illness and sadness of a Sadhak are destroyed. Ma Katyayani Sadhana destroys bad karma of previous lives too. Doing Panchtattva Sadhana while contemplating on Ma Katyayani removes negativity from the mind of a Sadhak and annihilates ego that is the source of all suffering.
या देवी सर्वभूतेषु माँ कात्यायनी 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