Do you know what the Ashta Siddhis, or the eight kinds of supernatural powers are? Read an excerpt to find out more about Nalini Ramachandran’s Nava Durga and the extraordinary powers that Goddess Durga can bestow on other gods!
The goddess, in each of her forms, grants different kinds of blessings to her devotees. But Siddhidatri, the goddess worshipped on the ninth day of Navaratri, is special. In Sanskrit, ‘siddhi’ means ‘supernatural power’ and datri means ‘giver’. So, Siddhidatri is ‘the giver of supernatural powers’.
After Adi Shakti, in the form of Kushmanda, had created the universe and the new gods and goddesses, Shiva prayed to her, ‘O Supreme Goddess, grant me all the siddhis to make me a perfect god.’
He meditated for thousands of years so that Adi Shakti would listen to him. Impressed by Shiva’s devotion, the goddess appeared in the avatar of Siddhidatri from Kushmanda’s japa mala, which the smiling goddess used to bless people with the ashta siddhis and the nava niddhis. Almost immediately, Siddhidatri also emerged from the left side of Shiva’s body. So the right half of Shiva’s body was his own, and the left half was in the form of Siddhidatri. This half-man, half-woman form of Shiva is known as Ardhanarishwara, ‘the lord who is half woman’.
Just as she lives within humans, she began living within Shiva too as his shakti. And in this unique way, she bestowed supernatural powers on him and made him a perfect god.
…Those who truly worship Siddhidatri can get some or all of these abilities (but it’s easier said than done!):
To make your body huge in size
(It can help when you suddenly come face to face with a mighty asura.)
To make your body as tiny as an atom
(It can help when you play hide-and-seek with friends.)
To become very, very heavy
(You can face a storm like a mountain.)
To be nearly weightless
(You can levitate or even float in the air.)
To travel to or be present in any place you wish
(You can time-travel, whenever and wherever you want.)
To get or be able to give whatever one desires
(You can gift your mother the very thing she has been secretly wishing for!)
To be in control of nature, like a god
(You can make the sun listen to you in summer and make the rain obey you in monsoon.)
To be able to control other beings.
(You can turn bullies into friends.)
Nalini Ramachandran’s Nava Durga tells us about the rich mythology of Durga Puja and what makes each day special!