Day 2 – Dwitiya – Brahmacharini
The meaning of the word “Brahma” is tapasya (austerities). In this form, Mother holds a japa mala in Her right hand and a kamandalu (water pot) in Her left hand. To obtain Lord Shiva, Goddess Brahmacharini did tapasya following the advice of Narada Muni. Divine Mother is Maha Shakti (Divine Energy). To obtain liberation, a seeker worships Divine Mother (Shakti) in the form of Brahmacharini, and She grants him Brahma Gyaan (knowledge of Brahman). Therefore, Her name is Brahmacharini and Her work is to give knowledge of the Supreme to devotees. Brahmacharini is the Goddess of Sacred Study.
She wears a white saree with an orange border and rudraksha as her ornaments. She performs ‘tapa’ or deep penance to reach the ultimate truth and she is the one who practises devout austerity.
According to different versions of her myths, maiden Parvati resolves to marry Shiva. Her parents learn of her desire, discourage her, but she pursues what she wants. She approaches god Kamadeva – the Hindu god of desire, erotic love, attraction and affection and asks him to help her. Kama reaches Shiva and shoots an arrow of desire. Shiva opens his third eye in his forehead and burns the cupid Kama to ashes. Parvati does not lose her hope or her resolve to win over Shiva. She begins to live in mountains like Shiva, engage in the same activities as Shiva, one of asceticism, yogin and tapas – it is this aspect of Parvati that is deemed to be that of goddess Brahmacharini. Her ascetic pursuit draws the attention of Shiva and awakens his interest. He meets her in disguised form, tries to discourage her, telling her Shiva’s weaknesses and personality problems. Parvati refuses to listen and insists in her resolve. Shiva finally accepts her and they get married.
According to religious beliefs, those who have faith in her and begin the rituals of day two during Navratri, are always shielded from problems.
On the banks of Durga Ghat in Varanasi, is one of the oldest temples of Goddess Brahmacharini. Devi Bramhacharini commands that her devotees be decked up in green, as it is the colour of nature. Following mantra is chanted on the second day of Navratri. By chanting this mantra, qualities such as penance and good conduct, that help an individual to prosper in life can be imbibed.
या देवी सर्वभूतेषु माँ ब्रह्मचारिणी रूपेण संस्थिता।
नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमो नम:।।
दधाना कर पद्माभ्याम अक्षमाला कमण्डलू।
देवी प्रसीदतु मई ब्रह्मचारिण्यनुत्तमा।।
Yā dēvī sarvabhūtēṣu mām̐ brahmacāriṇī rūpēṇa sansthitā |
Namastasyai namastasyai namastasyai namō nama: ||
Dadhānā kara padmābhyāma akṣamālā kamaṇḍalū |
Dēvī prasīdatu ma’ī brahmacāriṇyanuttamā ||
Day 2 – Dwitiya – Brahmacharini – Navratri – Nine Forms of Durga