During the Celebrations of Nava Ratri, Goddess Durga is worshiped in one manifestation on each day. these are collectively called as Nava Durgas. There various regional changes to these names or incarnations. But the mot widely accepted list can be found from Durga Mahatmya. The Goddess is decorated and worshiped as each of these incarnations on each of the Nine days.
These incarnations are as below.
Day 1 – Sailaputri (Shaila Putri)
This incarnation is the goddess Paarvathi (Daughter of Paravata). Also called as Hemavathi. Since she is the daughter of Mountain King Himavanta, she is called as Shalia Putri. On th first day of the Navaratri, maa Shailaputri is worshiped. She is soft, and has the power of devotion. She gives the power of devotion for the next nine days.
Day – 2 Brahmacharini
In this form the Mother Godess is two armed, in complete whites, holds Rudraksha Mala in one hand and Kamandalam in the other hand. She is worshiped as maa parvathi during her meditation and penance to have god Shiva as her spouse. The worship of Maa Brahmchaarini is conducive to penance, renunciation, virtue and nobility. Her devotees are endowed with peace and prosperity.
Day – 3 Chandraghanta or Chandra-khanda
The Motehr godess is in different form from the previous two incarnations. In this form she is the most terrible and violent against the sins and other forms of such things. She is having 10 arms, all with different types of weapons, Riding on a Roaring Tiger. She wears Cresent on her fore head and hence the name of Chandraghanta. Maa Chandraghantaa should be adores and worshiped with great purity in mind and heart observing all the rites properly. Having acquired her grace, we get rid of all worldly turmoil and enjoy Supreme bliss.
Day -4 Kushmanda
She is the creator goddess. She brings the cosmic power to the world. Also called as Adi- Shakthi, she creates the universe from a small egg. Mother Kushmaandaa is the bestower of all pleasures. Her adoration and worship delivers a person from all kinds of ailments and leads him on to the path of prosperity and pleasures. She is haveing a small pot in her lap, dressed in Whites. She is he mother.
Day – 5 Skanda Mata
In this form Durga is four-armed and rides on a lion. She carries a lotus, a kamandalu and a bell. Her one hand is in blessing posture. Her son Karttikeya is also called Skanda. So, she is called Skandamaataa or the Mother of Skanda.Thus the devotee happens to enjoy the grace of Skandamaataa along with the grace of Lord Skanda. Her worship is ultimately conducive to salvation
Day – 6 Katyayani
In this form Durga is four-armed and she carries a sword, shield and lotus. One hand is depicted as giving blessing. She rides a lion. She came to be known as ‘Kaatyaayani’ as she was the daughter of Sage Kaatyaayana. As soon as born, she takes a massive shape and kills the Demon Mahishasura. Her worship is conducive to Dharma, wealth, pleasures and salvation.
Day 7 – Kalaratri
In this form Durga is four-armed and rides a donkey. She carries sword, trident and noose. With one hand she blesses. In this form she is dark and repulsive in appearance. She is cruel and excited. This is the violent and dark side of Durga. although teh outward appearance of Maa Kalaratri is violent, she gives blessings only to her devotees. Mother Kaalaraatri is the destroyer of demons, ghosts, goblins and evil-minded persons. All planetary hurdles are removed if a devotee chants her name with devotion. She confers the state of fearlessness on her devotees.
Day – 8 Mahagauri or Maha Gowri
Purity is depicted in this form of Durga. In this Manifestation, goddess purifies herself in the Holy Ganga, after years of her penance. her External Appearance is that culmination of purity and presenting herself to the Lord shiva. Maa Mahagauri’s meditation, her adoration, her worship, and her devotion are conducive to the welfare of devotees. He who concentrates his mind on her will enjoy her blessings. He who enjoys her grace achieves perfection in every walk of life. Mother Mahagauri fulfils all the desires.
Day – 9 Siddhidayini or Siddhidatri
In this form Durga is seated on a lotus and is four armed. She holds a lotus, mace, discus and book. In this form Durga removes ignorance and she provides the knowledge to realize the paramatma. She fulfills all the mundane and divine aspirations.
She is worshipped on the ninth day as she is the giver of all the sidhi for the previos days of deeksha.