Goddess Mahagauri is worshipped on the eighth day of Navratri. In 2018, the eighth day of the Navratri will be celebrated on 24th-25th March. In Mahagauri means one clean and bright ray of lightning that lightens the universe. She has the power to fulfill all the desires. Mahagauri has four arms. Her right arm is in the pose of allaying fear and right lower hand holds a trident in it. She holds a tambourine in her left upper arm and the lower one is in the form of a blessing
Ya devi Sarvabhuteshu Ma Gauri Rupena Sasthita |
Namasteseya Namastaseya Namastaseya Namoh Namah ||
Mahagauri is the goddess who was worshipped by Shumbh Nishumbh at the bank of river Ganga. Sage Kaushik was born by the traces of goddess Mahagauri to liberate the gods from the wrath of Shumb Nishumb. Goddess Gauri is the wife of Lord Shiva and is also worshipped by the name of Shambhavi.
Asn per the legends, Goddess Mahagauri observed a hard penance as goddess Parvati to get Lord Shiva in the form of her husband. During the course of the penance her body becomes black and dull as her body got covered with soil and turned black in colour. Lord Shiva got pleased with her penance and accepted her as his wife. Then, he cleaned goddess Parvati with Ganga water and saw her skin shining like gold and thus he named her Mahagauri.
One should feed unmarried girls on all the days of the Navratra, but Ashtami has its own significance to do so. On this day the females offer a red coloured stole and perform puja with the same rituals as performed till saptami. Kanya Pujan is performed on Ashtami and Navami days of the Navratra. On the ninth day unmarried girls between the age of 2-10 years are invited to have food. Girls who are older than 10 years of age are not considered for this Pooja. The number of the girls should be 9 in total equivalent to nine forms of the goddess or there should be at least 2 girls present while performing the Kanya Pujan.
First of all, the feet of the girls are washed with water and are made to sit in a row on a pedestal. Then, Kumkum is applied on the forehead of all the girls followed by tying kaleva on their hands. Halwa, Puri and black grams are served to them. Once the girls finish eating the prasad the devotee touch their feet to get the blessings. Then give them some kind of dakshina before departing them. Goddess Durga gets pleased when the devotee performs Kanya Pujan with proper rituals and gives him freedom from all the troubles in his life.