Durga, The invinsible Goddess, mounted on a lion, residing in the cool folds of the Himalayas and the warmth of the love of her husband Lord Shiva, is worshipped as their daughter in every Bengali household. She comes to her fathers house once a year, riding amongst the autumn clouds and walking through the carpeted horizons of “Shiyuli Phul”. The story of Durga dates back to centuries, when the world was being tormented by the evil Demon “Mahishasura” – “Mahish”-buffalo “asura”- demon. He was a pious demon who had contented Lord Brahma with his penances for years and thus he receivbed boons from him. Mahishshasura had wanted the boon of being invincible, but being a demon, he was not granted this, instead he was given the boon that he will be able to change his form to any animal or human he wanted to and secondly, he will be invincible by any man. Getting these 2 boons the Demon King started tormenting the Universe.
Being invinsible he stopped all the Yagnas, through which the Devatas (Gods residing in Heaven) received their food through the hands of the sages. Doing this made the Devatas weak and loosing all their strength. Mahishasura used to also participate in these missdoings along wih the other demons from Hell. During one of these missdoings, he went to a sage who was doing an Yagna and offering food to the Gods. While the sage was praying with closed eyes, Mahishasura took the form of a beautiful celestial lady came and drank up the milk offered to the Gods. The sage opened his eyes and cursed Mahishasura saying that he will be killed at the feets of lady, because he had tricked in the form of a lady. Mahishasura laughed at his words. Not receiving any food, the devatas had grown weak and this was the oppurtunity that Mahishasura took and conquered the heavens and the imprisoned the celestial ladies and threw out the Male Devatas.

They all took shelter at the Ashram of a Sage and prayed to the 3 Lords of the Universe to come to their Rescue, Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva. Answering to their prayers they incarnated and listened to their problems. Hearing this the 3 Lords became enraged and from their 3rd eye came out immense energy and the 3 powerful energies combined at a certain point. The other Gods also showered through whatever energy they had and this energy combined. From this combination formed the celestial and extremely beautiful form of a lady. She had ten hands and immense power that blinded the Universe. Seeing her the Devatas lay down at her feet, while the 3 Lords gave their weapons one by one. Lord Brahma gave his knowledge, the Kamandal and the Shankha, Vishnu gave his Gada and Chakra and Lord Shiva gave his snake and the Trishul. The other Gods joined and each gave their weapons to the Goddess. Holding all the weapons in her ten hands she resonated a message that spread across the Universe and reached the ears of Mahishasura, bringing him up from his sleep. Not knowing the source, he let out his 2 ministers to look for the source of this immense resonance. The 2 ministers traveled accross and came to the Himalayas, where they found this beautiful lady sitting beside the river. They both fell for her beauty and asked her if she was ready to marry their Lord Mahishasura. She said no and told them that if their lord could win over a battle with her, she will marry him. They were enraged and attacked her but she took her form and fought back leading them to flea back. On getting back they told Mahishasura about this celestial lady who had summoned him to a battle. Hearing this his ministers got enraged and promised Mahishasura that they are going to battle with this lady and bring her back to him. Hearing this Mahishasura ordered them to go. Reaching the Himalayas they found the celestial lady sitting beside the river with her immense beauty. They summoned her to battle.

She said she was ready and she took her real form and conquered them. The ministers fled to mahishasura after their defeat and Mahishasura this time decided to go himself. He went with the rest of the ministers and demon army and came to the river side. Spell bound by her beauty Mahishasura said, plz marry me and i will be happy to make you the queen of the Universe. Hearing this she laughed at him and summoned him to a battle. The Battle continued for three days and during this Mahishasura took many forms, like a buffalo, then an elephant, a lion, but each time he was teared out of his form by the Goddess. Finaly he again took the form of a buffalo and was about to pounce on the goddess, she took the Trishul and embeded it on his chest. Tearing out of his form Mahishasura emerged out and saw the Goddess standing on the lion and another feet on his chest, with ten hands covering the light of the setting Sun, he undrstood this was no ordinary celestial lady. He screamed out for forgiveness and prayed to her as the Holy Mother to give her shelter at her feet. Seeing Mahishasura at her feet, calling her mother she said, I will have to kill you because that is written in your destiny, but i promise that whenever i will be worshipped you will also be worshipped at my feet. You will have a place in heaven, just like the other devatas, you will be a part of my existance. This is how the worshipping of the ten armed goddess is still done today.

But across time the Goddess has been worshipped in different forms and the 4 day battle between her and the demon has been referred now as the 4 day home-coming of a married daughter. Whatever way you take it, either the Invincible Goddess Durga or the daughter of the house Parvati, her coming to every Bengalis life is like a celebration of hearts, cultures and festivities. She is idolised to come to her home with her 2 daughters Devi Laxmi(goddess of wealth), Devi Saraswati(goddess of Knowledge and Music), and her 2 sons Lord Ganesha(Lord of Prosperity) and Lord Kartikeya(Commander of the Army or the Senapati of the Devatas). She is worshipped throughout the world in different forms, but in this diversity she is the one Shakti or the Power of the Universe. She is the light in the darkness, she is the Holy Mother. NaboPatrika and the forms of Devi Durga – nothing new for Hindu Civilisation which has a eternal flavour of worshipping women power – Mother Goddesses. In our life, we can see women in different forms. Sometimes she is a naughty daughter, sometime a caring mother, a inspiring lover – a few also witnesses her enormous power to save her beloveds from all the evils. Thus, with all these dimensions, she becomes indispensable part of our life. Most likely, the devotees considers the eternal Mother Goddess in different forms relating to the situations of life.

Somewhere Mother goddess is the source of power, sometime she gives and looks after the wealth. For the knowledge, devotees think of another form. And all these sums up to Nine forms of Mother Goddess according to the authentic documentation for worshipping – Brihonnondikeshwar Puran, Devi Puran & Kalika Puran.

The NaboPatrika symbolizes these nine forms of Devi Durga and worshipped along with, from MahaSaptami. Colloquially, the NaboPatrika is termed as KalaBou. It is composed of nine different saplings and bound with the creeper of Shet Aparajita, red string and Alta (a red colored liquid used to decorate feet). Finally, it is covered with a red bordered white saree and placed on the same platform where the idol of Devi Durga is worshipped. Each of the nine saplings symbolizes one form of Devi Durga :

1). Ramva symbolizes Devi Bromhanee.
2). Kalo Kochu is for the form of Devi Kalika.
3). Haridra represents Devi Durga.
4). Jayanti symbolizes Devi Kartikee according to Kalika Puran and Brihonnondikeshwar Puran. As per Devi Puran, it is the form of Devi Koumaree.
5). Billo represents Devi Shiva.
6). Darrim is for the form of Devi Raktodontika.
7). Ashok represents Devi Shokrohita.
8). Maan Kochu is for Devi Chaamunda.
9). Dhanno symbolizes Devi Laxmi. Apart from these, there are Sixty Four names of Mother Goddess

Those names are collectively termed as Choushotti Jogini.. Following are a few of 64 names according to Devi Puran. : 1. Bromhanee
2. Chandaa 3. Roudree 4. Gouree 5. Indranee 6. Koumaree 7. Bhoirobee 8. Durga 9. Shailaputree 10. Chandika 11. ChandaGhanta.
12. Kushmanda 13. SkandaMata 14. Katyaaonee 15. Kaalraatri 16. Mahagouree…….

Etc. Ref. PUROHIT DAPAN by Pandit Surendra Mohan Bhattacharya, 38 th Edition Acknowledgement : Shree Ranjit Kr. Bose