The Gayatri Mantra is one of the most revered and perhaps one of the most practiced mantra in Hinduism. The mantra has several variations based on the God or Goddess that the devotee wishes to address or worship.
The Durga Gayatri is a variation of the Gayatri mantra designed to address Goddess Durga, particularly during the period of Durga Navaratri or Durga Puja. The Durga Gayatri adapts the 24-syllable metre of the original Gayatri to invoke the Goddess.
Durga Gayatri – Invocation as female power
kanyaakumaarii cha dhImahi
tanno.n durge prachodayaat.h
The three sandhyas (transition periods) of dawn, noon and dusk are appropriate times to chant the Durga Gayatri. According to tradition, 108 repetitions are recommended during each period of chanting. However, if one is constrained by time, this number may be reduced to any multiple of 9 (9, 18, etc.).
Meaning and Interpretation of Durga Gayatri
AUM = the universal pranava mantra kaatyaa-naaya = She who was born in the hermitage of Sage Kathyayana vid-dhamahe = the omnipresent one kanya-kumari = the one who is the "princess" among "girls" dheemahi = give us the strength to meditate tanno = we bow before you durge = Goddess Durga, the inaccessible one pracho-dayaat = give us blessings and inspiration
Durga Gayatri – Invocation with Lord Shiva
tanno.n durgaa prachodayaat.h
This is a form of the Durga Gayatri where Goddess Durga is praised as the one who is especially favored by Lord Shiva, the Lord of the mountains.