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Brahmacharini means a devoted female student who lives in an Ashrama with her Guru along with other students.[1] It is also the name of the second aspect of the goddess Durga (Parvati).[2] The goddess is worshipped on the second day of Navratri (the nine divine nights of Navadurga). She is also known as Tapascharini, Aparna and Uma.[3] The goddess Brahmacharini wears white clothes, holds a japa mala (rosary) in her right hand and Kamandal, a water utensil in her left hand.

Brahmacharini
Goddess who did severe penance
Brahmacharini.jpg
Brahmacharini
AffiliationNavadurga, Parvati
Mantraदधाना करपद्माभ्यामक्षमालाकमण्डलू। देवी प्रसीदतु मयि ब्रह्मचारिण्यनुत्तमा॥2
WeaponJapa mala, Kamandalu
TextsDevi-Bhagavata Purana, Devi Gita
ConsortShiva

Contents

EtymologyEdit

The word brahmacharini stems from two Sanskrit roots:

  1. Brahma(ब्रह्म, shortened from Brahman), means "the one self-existent Spirit, the Absolute Reality, Universal Self, Personal God, the sacred knowledge".[4][5]
  2. charini is the feminine version of one who is a charya(चर्य), which means "occupation with, engaging, proceeding, behaviour, conduct, to follow, moving within, going after".[6]

The word brahmacharini in Vedic texts means a female who pursues the sacred religious knowledge.[7]

LegendEdit

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 and did Tap for about 5000 years.[8] In mean time Gods approached god Kamadeva - the Hindu god of desire, erotic love, attraction and affection and asks him to generate desire in Shiva for Parvati. They did this because of an asura named Tarkasur who gained the boon of being killed by only Lord Shiva's child. Kama reaches Shiva and shoots an arrow of desire.[9] 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.[9] Parvati refuses to listen and insists in her resolve. Shiva finally accepts her and they get married.[8][9]

FestivalEdit

Goddess Brahmacharini is worshipped on the second day of Navratri.[10][11]

PrayersEdit

Mantra of Brahmacharini:

ॐ देवी ब्रह्मचारिण्यै नमः॥
Om Devi Brahmacharinyai Namah॥

Prarthana or Prayer of Brahmacharini

दधाना कर पद्माभ्यामक्षमाला कमण्डलू।
देवी प्रसीदतु मयि ब्रह्मचारिण्यनुत्तमा॥
Dadhana Kara Padmabhyamakshamala Kamandalu।
Devi Prasidatu Mayi Brahmacharinyanuttama॥

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ McDaniel, June (2004). Offering Flowers, Feeding Skulls : Popular Goddess Worship in West Bengal: Popular Goddess Worship in West Bengal. Oxford University Press. pp. 106–107. ISBN 978-0-19-534713-5.
  2. ^ Manohar Laxman Varadpande (2005), History of Indian Theatre: Classical theatre, Abhinav, ISBN 978-8170174301, page 54
  3. ^ "Goddess Brahmacharini Puja". Rgyan. Retrieved 29 March 2019.
  4. ^ brahma Monier Williams Sanskrit Dictionary, Cologne Digital Sanskrit Lexicon, Germany
  5. ^ Not to be confused with Brahmā or Brahmin
  6. ^ carya Monier Williams Sanskrit Dictionary, Cologne Digital Sanskrit Lexicon, Germany
  7. ^ brahmacArin Monier Williams Sanskrit Dictionary, Cologne Digital Sanskrit Lexicon, Germany
  8. ^ a b David Kinsley, Hindu Goddesses: Vision of the Divine Feminine in the Hindu Religious Traditions (ISBN 81-208-0379-5), p. 41-46
  9. ^ a b c James Lochtefeld (2005), "Parvati" in The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Vol. 2: N–Z, pp. 503-505, Rosen Publishing, ISBN 0-8239-2287-1
  10. ^ "Goddess Brahmacharini on drikpanchang". drikpanchang. Retrieved 21 Sep 2017.
  11. ^ "Navadurga: The Nine Forms of Goddess Durga". Retrieved 2015-10-14.