On the second day of Navratri, Goddess Bramhacharini is worshipped. In this incarnation, she represents tapa (penance) and blesses her devotees with happiness and eternal wisdom.
History and Origin
During her previous birth, Goddess Durga sacrificed her life for King Daksha’s Maha Yagna. Eventually, she became the daughter of Himavan – the King of Mountains and was named Parvati. As Maa Parvati grew up, she resolved to marry Lord Shiva, her husband from her previous birth. When her parents learned about her desire, they strongly discouraged her and told her it was not possible.
Maa Parvati, however, was determined to marry Lord Shiva. She was visited by Sage Narada one day, the son of Lord Bramha. When he understood Maa Parvati’s wish, he told her that she could only marry Lord Shiva if she followed a path of penance and meditation.
Maa Parvati followed Sage Narada’s advice and began her journey of strong penance and devotion. Maa Parvati even stopped eating food and only consumed fruits and flowers. For more than 100 years, she refused to eat anything else.
She then lived on fallen leaves and slept on the ground for more than 3000 years. Later, she stopped eating leaves and stopped drinking water. She eventually became fragile and weak. Despite many years of penance, she did not give up. Her sacrifice and dedication spread throughout the world and even reached the Gods.
The Creator Lord Bramha appeared to Maa Parvati, when he heard about her penance. He praised her devotion and said that no one else could have endured such difficulties. Maa Parvati was blessed by Lord Bramha, who told her that her love for Lord Shiva was truly pure and special. Lord Bramha’s blessing helped Maa Parvati continue her penance with even greater diligence. Soon, Lord Shiva recognized her sacrifice and accepted her as his wife.
She earned the name Bramhacharini or Tapacharini (one who follows the path of Tapa) for her strong practice of penance and unwavering faith.