candrahāsojjvalakarā śārdūlavaravāhanā |
kātyāyanī śubhaṁ dadyādevī dānavaghātinī ||
On Shashti tithi in Devi paksha, sixth night of Navaratri, Goddess comes to us in the form of Katyayani – the one, who incarnated on earth as daughter of sage Katyayan and showed us the power of personal effort and devotion by Her own example. Usually sixth day of Navaratri would coincide with Moon in Anuradha, the star of bhakti or devotion. Shashti tithi itself, governed by Venus, can bless us with huge power of devotion and self-sacrifice. Interestingly, the gopis venerated Goddess Katyayani in this exact form to have Sri Krishna as their husband. This is why, as my Gurudev said, Goddess in this form reminds us that each soul is a gopi yearning for its Cosmic Beloved. The entire creation is feminine, while the only true Purusha is the Supreme Lord. In this form, Divine Mother awakens in us the power of devotion.
As Katyayani, Goddess Shakti holds in Her hand a lotus flower, reminding us to maintain the purity of our soul, regardless of the external circumstances. Lotuses grow in the mud, but with their will power they pierce through the dirty surface to blossom as the most beautiful of all flowers. This is why lotus flower is also a symbol of devotion and Anuradha nakshatra itself. However, the Mother in this form is also holding a sword, reminding us, that bhakti is not just about sweetness, but it also requires self-sacrifice and cutting away all those things, that still impede our spiritual growth. She is also mounted on a lion, representing Her inner power. In this way, Mother Katyayani reminds us that bhakti is not just about this sweet aspect, as we usually perceive it, represented by lotus flower in Her hand. Bhakti is a fierce force, which transforms all, if we just surrender to it, let go of everything from the past and decide to walk with courage on the path of Love and devotion to the Supreme.