Brahmacharini | Navratri Day 2

Brahmacharini | Navratri Day 2

On the second day of Navratri another manifestation of Parvati, Goddess Brahmcharini is worshipped. She is also known as Tapashcharini, Uma, and Aparna and is the unmarried form of Goddess Durga. The name Brahmacharini is derived from “Brahma” here means tapa or penance and “Charini” means an ardent female follower. She is depicted wearing white clothes, holding Japa mala (rosary) in her right hand, and Kamandal (water holding pitcher) in her left hand. Brahmacharini ma devoted herself completely to the worship of Lord Shiva. Because of this Tapa, she was named as ‘Brahmacharini’, pleasing Lord Shiva to be her divine consort.

Story of Maa Brahmacharini in English

After Devi Sati self-immolated herself in the sacrificial fire of the Yagna, Durga took birth as the daughter of the King of Mountains, Himavan. She was named as Parvati (after the Hindi name for mountains – Parvat) or Hemavati.

When Parvati grew up, Sage Narada – son of Brahma, paid her a visit. He told her that she did have a chance to marry her husband from her previous birth, Lord Shiva if she followed a path of penance. Determined to marry Shiva in this birth as well, Parvati embarked upon an extremely difficult regime of Penance and devotion. For a thousand years, she ate only fruits and flowers. Thereafter, for a hundred years she ate only vegetables, followed by three thousand years of eating only fallen leaves. She slept on the floor of the forest under an open sky for years in order to successfully complete her tapa. This, she earned the name Tapascharini or Brahmacharini which means one who follows the path of Tapa.

Finally, she gave up eating leaves as well and continued her penance without food and water for many years. Due to this act of giving up eating leaves (parna, in Sanskrit), she also came to be known as Aparna. Due to thousands of years of Penance, her body became extremely weak and fragile. Her mother, Maina, was deeply pained seeing her daughter in such a state, and out of sorrow, she cried out “O! Ma!!”. Since then, Parvati also came to be known as Uma.

The news of such long penance reached everywhere. In the end, Lord Brahma appeared in front of Parvati and told her that nobody had observed tapa the way she had. He also told her that only she could have undertaken such hardships as her love for Shiva was true and pure. He also blessed her that she would have Lord Shiva as her husband at this birth. Following her penance, Parvati came to be known as Ma Brahmacharini. Later, Lord Shiva accepted Parvati as his wife.

Suggested Read: Different Forms of Durga

Brahmacharini Katha in Hindi

पौराणिक ग्रंथों में वर्णित है कि ब्रह्मचारिणी माता का जन्म हिमालय राज पर्वत के यहाँ हुआ था। जिनकी माता का नाम मैना था। एक दिन की बात है। ऋषिवर श्रीनारद जी महाराज हिमालय के यहा घूमते-घूमते जा पहुंचे नारद के आगमन से उनका बड़ा ही भव्य स्वागत सत्कार महाराज हिमालय के द्वारा किया गया। सभी हाल चाल को जानने के बाद हिमालय राज ने कन्या के भी भविष्य के बारे में जानने की उत्सुकता प्रकट की। नारद जी द्वारा कन्या का हाथ देखकर हिमालय राज से उनके भावी जीवन का सम्पूर्ण हाल बताया गया। किन्तु वैवाहिक जीवन में अवरोध की स्थिति सुनकर उनकी माता अकुलाने लगी और नारद जी के जाने के बाद अपने पति से पूछती है, कि इस कन्या को कैसा पति मिलेगा उसकी स्थिति क्या होगी? मुनि ने क्या कहा है? आदि। तब सारी स्थिति को वह उनसे बताते हैं। कि मुनि श्री नारद जी ने कन्या के वैवाहिक जीवन की सुगमता व अन्य समस्याओं के निवारण हेतु व्रत, तप करने के उपाय बताएं है।

अर्थात् नारद जी के कहे हुए बचनों के अनुसार कन्या व्रत व तपस्या में लीन हुई और हजारों वर्ष तक कठिन तप किया, माँ ने 1000 वर्ष तक जंगल में उपलब्ध फलो को खाकर तथा 3000 हजार वर्ष तक कठिन तपस्या किया। जिसे गोस्वामी तुलसी दास श्रीराम चरित्र मानस में इस प्रकार वर्णित करते हैं- कछु दिन भोजन वारि बतासा। कीन्ह कछुक दिन कठिन उपवासा।। अर्थात् इस प्रकार की कठिन तपस्या व व्रत से देव समुदाय सहित साक्षात ब्रह्मा जी को प्रसन्न होकर जाना पड़ा। जिसमें ब्रह्मा जी शिव को पति के रूप में प्राप्त करने का वरदान दिया जिससे इन्हें अन्नत अविनाशी भगवान शिव पति के रूप में प्राप्त हुए।

Brahmacharini Stuti

Ya Devi Sarvabhuteshu Maa Brahmacharini Rupena Samsthitaà
Namastasyai Namastasyai Namastasyai Namo Namahà

या देवी सर्वभूतेषु मां बह्मचारिणी रूपेण संस्थिता।
नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमो नम:।।

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Simmi Kamboj

Simmi Kamboj is the Founder and Administrator of Ritiriwaz, your one-stop guide to Indian Culture and Tradition. She had a passion for writing about India's lifestyle, culture, tradition, travel, and is trying to cover all Indian Cultural aspects of Daily Life.