Mangaluru: On the third day of Navratri, worshippers venerate Maa Chandraghanta, the serene manifestation of Maa Parvati. It is believed that the sound resonating from the moon-shaped bell on her forehead has the power to dispel all kinds of malevolent spirits from her devotees. According to ancient tales, the bell’s sound, during her battle with demons, banished thousands of wicked entities to the God of Death’s realm.
Maa Chandraghanta, the wedded form of Maa Parvati, began adorning her forehead with a half Moon or Chandra after her union with Lord Shiva, hence earning the name Goddess Chandraghanta. She rides a tigress, and possesses ten hands, holding a lotus flower, arrow, Dhanush (bow), and Japa Mala (prayer beads) in her four right hands. Her fifth right hand is in Abhaya Mudra (gesture of fearlessness), and her fifth left hand is in Varada Mudra (gesture of granting wishes).
The color associated with the third day of Shardiya Navratri is Red. To conduct the Navratri Day 3 puja, devotees wake up early, don new clothes, and place the Goddess’s idol on a chowki or puja sthaan. They bathe the idol with Kesar, Ganga Jal (holy water from the Ganges), and Kewra. Subsequently, the Goddess is adorned in gold-colored garments, and devotees offer yellow flowers, Jasmine, panchamrit (a mixture of milk, curd, ghee, honey, and sugar), and mishri (rock sugar). A special bhog (offering) of kheer (rice pudding) is prepared and presented to Maa Chandraghanta. Lastly, kheer is distributed as prasad (blessed food) to conclude the puja.