Goddess Durga is the supreme manifestation of Brahman, who was incarnated to destroy the demon, Mahisasura. She manifested in nine different forms to slay the demon and all her nine manifestations are worshipped on each of the nine nights of Navaratri. The nine forms of Durga are called Navadurga. Each form of Durga is different and holds a special significance.
Navratri pooja begins with the worship to the Goddess Shailaputri. She is the first form of Durga, an embodiment of the power of Shiva, Vishnu, and Brahma. She is the daughter of the king of the Mountains, also known as Hemavati. She is seen with two hands, in the right she carries a trident and in the left, a lotus, and rides on a bull. On her forehead is seen a crescent moon. She is the Goddess of Nature and she looks after each and every organism of the earth with total compassion. Planet Moon is governed by this Goddess and any bad effect of the Moon can be overcome by worshipping this Goddess.
Goddess Brahmacharini is worshipped on the second day of Navratri. As she performed severe austerity and penance to secure Lord Shiva as her consort, she is called Brahmacharini.
She is seen holding a rosary and kamandal in her lotus hand. She is considered to be the holder of all knowledge and wisdom. It is believed Mars, the planet of all good fortunes is governed by this Goddess. She is worshiped by devotees for emotional strength, mental balance and confidence to deal with difficult periods in their life. To get rid of ego, laziness, greed, ability to stay without food, one needs to pray to her.
The third day of Navratri is dedicated to Goddess Chandragantha. As she has a half moon (Chandra) in the shape of a bell (gantha) on her forehead, she is named Chandragantha. She has a skin of golden color, with three eyes, ten hands and rides a tigress. The sound of the bell on her forehead drives away all negative energies of her devotees. By her blessings, all hindrances, miseries, sorrows in the devotee`s life gets removed. Planet Venus is believed to be governed by this Goddess.
Goddess Kushmanda is worshipped on the fourth day of Navratri. She created the whole universe as a cosmic egg with her divine smile. As she has eight hands, she is called Ashtabhuja. Her radiant body is of golden color and she is seen mounted on a lion. She provides the direction and energy to the Sun and she governs Planet Sun. Blessings of this Goddess help attract wealth, health, fame, prosperity and strength in one`s life. She loves the sacrifice of a pumpkin.
She is the fifth manifestation of Goddess Durga who is worshipped on the fifth day of Navratri. She is the mother of Skanda and one can see Skanda seated on her lap. She has four arms and three eyes. Worshipping her gives immense blessings of peace and direction in one`s life. All tensions get wiped away.
The sixth manifestation of Goddess Durga is Katyayani, who is worshipped on the sixth day of Navratri. She is the daughter born to Sage katyayan after his intense penance to Devi Bhagawati to have the Goddess as his daughter. Planet Brihaspati is governed by this Goddess. Praying to her will help one to come out of tyranny or ill treatment of tormentors. Also young girls observe fasts to seek her blessings to get a suitable groom.
She is worshipped on the seventh day of Navratri. She is black in color and rides on a donkey. Planet Saturn is governed by this fiercest and most ferocious form of Goddess Parvati. Behind her ferocious nature, her auspicious power is there to bless devotees with fearlessness and invincible protection. Due to her auspicious nature, she is called Goddess Shubhankari.
On the eighth day of Navratri, Goddess Mahagauri is worshipped. Due to her very fair complexion, she is called Mahagauri. As she adorns only white clothes, she is called Shwetambardhara. She is depicted with four hands and rides a bull. Planet Rahu is governed by this Goddess.
On the ninth day of Navratri, Goddess Siddhidatri is worshipped. Texts say that the supreme Goddess of power, Adi Parashakthi appeared in the form of Siddhidatri from the left half of Lord Shiva and Shiva got the name Ardhanarishwara. She bestows all types of siddhis or perfections to her devotees. All the wishes get fulfilled by her blessings and she fills one with a positive outlook and energy to carry out one`s goals. Planet Ketu is governed by this Goddess. She is worshipped by not only humans, but by Gods, gandharvas, demons, beasts and demi gods.