The last day of Navratri is also known as Navami, and today, people worship devi Siddhidatri. Sitting on a lotus, she is believed to be the goddess who possesses and bestows all type of siddhis (enlightenments).
Goddess Siddhidatri’s name literally translates to the one who grants or fulfils wishes–‘Siddhi’ refers to her power for enlightenment, and ‘Datri’ translates to the one blesses or bestows that upon you.
In most visualisations of this goddess, she can be sitting atop a huge, fully-bloomed lotus and riding a lion. Goddess Siddhidatri is usually shown with four arms, holding the gada (mace) and sudarshana chakra in her right hands, and a lotus and shankh (conch) in her left hands. The goddess is also shown surrounded by Siddhas, Gandharvas, Yakshas, Asura (demons) and Devata (gods) who are worshipping her.
According to religious texts, goddess Siddhidatri is the one who possesses all type of siddhis (Anima, Mahima, Garima, Laghima, Prapti, Prakamya, Ishitva and Vashitva), and thus bestows the same upon her devotees. It is believed that even lord Shiva got all his siddhis from goddess Siddhidatri.
Around the time when the universe was just a massive void completely full of darkness, there were no indications of the world anywhere. But then a ray of divine light, which is ever existing, spread everywhere, illuminating each and every nook of the void.
This sea of light was formless. Suddenly, it started taking a definite size, and finally looked like a Divine Lady, who was none other than Goddess Mahashakti herself. The Supreme Goddess came forth and gave birth to the Trinity of Gods, Brahma, Vishnu and Mahadev.
She advised the Trimurtu to contemplate to understand their roles of performing their duties for the world. Acting on the words of Goddess Mahashakti, Tridev sat by the bank of an ocean and performed penances for many years.
The pleased Goddess appeared before them in the form of Siddhidhatri. She bestowed upon them, their wives in the forms of Saraswati, Lakshmi and Parvati.
Goddess Siddhidhatri entrusted Brahma to take up the role as the creator of worlds, Vishnu with the role of preserving the creation and its creatures, and Mahadev with the role of destroying the worlds when it is time.
She tells them that their powers are in the forms of their respective wives, who will help them perform their tasks. The Goddess assured them that she will also provide to them, divine miraculous powers, which will also help them carry out their duties. Saying this, she bestowed to them eight supernatural powers, in which they were named Anima, Mahima, Garima, Laghima, Prapti, Prakambya, Ishitva and Vashitva.
Anima means reducing one’s body to the size of a crumb,
Mahima means expanding one’s body to an infinitely large size,
Garima means becoming infinitely heavy, Laghima means becoming weightless, Prapti means having omnipresence, Prakambya means achieving whatever one desires,
Ishitva means possessing absolute lordship, and
Vashitva means having the power to subjugate all.
Apart from the eight supreme siddhis that goddess Siddhidatri had granted Tridev, nine treasures and ten other kinds of powers or potentialities.
On the behest of Lord Brahma, Goddess Siddhidhatri converted half of Shiva and Parvati’s bodies to become Ardhanarishwar, for the development of creation.
The two parts, man and woman, created Gods, demons, heavenly beings, ogres, trees, snakes, cows, Aruna and Garuda and many more species of the world were born and thus originated from them.
The creation of the entire world was now fully complete, full of innumerable stars, galaxies as well as constellations. The solar system was complete with the nine planets.
The 14 worlds were created and constructed altogether, giving the above-mentioned creatures places of residences to stay in.
This form of the goddess is the epitome of completeness and prosperity. She is the suppressor of all the demons and giver of desired fruits to her devotees. Goddess Durga had killed all the egoistic demons between the first and the ninth day of the Navratri by taking various forms. As a result, all the auspicious tasks of humans and devatas gets accomplished. Hence this form of the goddess is popularly known as Siddhi-Daatri in the world. For fulfillment of all the desires and efforts of both humans and celestial beings, goddess Siddhidatri had manifested on an auspicious day. She is the giver of liberation and is the most auspicious.
Dr Sindhu Prashanth