śvete vṛṣe samārūḍhā śvetāmbaradharā śuciḥ |
mahāgaurī śubhaṁ dadyānmahādevapramodadā ||
On Ashtami tithi in Devi paksha, eighth night of Navaratri, Goddess comes to us in the form of Mahagauri. In contrast to previous Goddess Kalaratri, Mother Mahagauri has a very fair and bright complexion. We can also see Her represented with attributes of Lord Shiva himself: with Nandi as Her vahana and with damaru and trident in Her hands. Similarly, when we accept our dark side and offer it at the feet of the Lord, as well as purify it in the fire of tapasya and transformation, a sort of Divine light and calmness starts to emanate through us, and we start to resemble the qualities of Lord Shiva himself. Mother Mahagauri represents the state of consciousness, in which the soul starts to reflect the light of the Divine. With seven previous goddesses we went on a journey through seven chakras, ending with Goddess Kalaratri, who annihilated our sense of ego and false identity – and when this false identity drops, the true light of the soul starts to shine and we rediscover our Divine nature.

This is beautifully represented in a story, how Mother Parvati performed a severe tapasya to gain Lord Shiva as Her husband. It is said that Her tapasya was so severe, that Her body turned blackish. When Lord Shiva had seen the depth of Her sincerity and devotion, He decided to reward Her. This complete sincerity and dedication to our path is represented by Goddess Kalaratri.

And, indeed, when Lord Shiva approached Parvati and touched Her, the blackish color immediately dropped from Her, like a snake leaves its skin. From the black dust, which fallen from Her skin, Goddess Kali was born, while Parvati’s skin not only came back to its natural complexion, but it also started to emanate a sort of Divine glow. And so, Lord Shiva accepted Her as His Divine consort and addressed Her with the word “Uma” which means “light”, as well as “Gauri” which means “bright one”.

As Mother Kalaratri Divine Mother taught as the lesson of sincerity and self-acceptance. Similarly, Goddess in the form of Mahagauri reminds us, that no matter how much “darkness” we perceive on the surface of our consciousness, we should never forget that deep within there is the light of the soul hidden in each of us – the light of the soul, which is a particle of Lord Shiva himself. Interestingly, traditionally on Ashtami tithi the worship of Lord Shiva in the form of Ardhanarishwara is advised. In this form the Divine appears as half Shiva and half Shakti. Similarly the Goddess in the form of Mahagauri reminds us that we are created in the image of God and we should never forget about our Divine potential – but we should rather strive to preserve the inborn purity of our soul.