On the third day of Chaitra Navratri, Maa Chandraghanta is worshipped by her devotees. According to scriptures, she is a ferocious 10-armed goddess. She rides a tiger and is armed with many different weapons. Chandraghanta carries trishul, gada, sword and kamandal in her four left hands. The Goddess wears a crescent moon on her forehead, which gives her the name Chandraghanta. 'Chandra' in Sanskrit means moon. Goddess Chandraghanta signifies the alternate side of the calm and docile Goddess Mahagauri. Legends state that during one of the great battles between gods and the demons, the sound vibrations produced by her 'ghanta' or bell took the lives of many demons.
People worship Maa Chandraghanta to keep all evil energies away from their lives. She is said to rid the world of all sins, physical sufferings, and evil powers. It is believed that she rewards people with her grace, bravery, courage and end their sufferings and distresses. Devotees offer milk or kheer to the Goddess as part of bhog. Milk is said to be a particular favourite of the Goddess. You can also offer her sweets made of milk or kheer.
This is the puja mantra for Maa Chandraghanta:
Puja Mantra: Om Devi Chandraghantayai Namah॥
Prarthna: Pindaja Pravararudha Chandakopastrakairyuta।
Prasadam Tanute Mahyam Chandraghanteti Vishruta॥ (Source: Drikpanchang)One of the most important festivals of the Hindu calendar, the pious Chaitra Navratri began on April 6. The nine-day festival marks the beginning of the new year according to several communities across India. Not just Goddess Durga but this Navratri will also celebrate Lord Ram’s birth. The markets are decorated with bright, colourful red ‘chunnis’, garlands and Goddess Durga’s beautiful posters. Out of the four Navratris, the Chaitra and the Sharadiya are the most popular.