The auspicious occasion of Durga Puja festival consists of worshiping all the nine forms of Goddess Durga in nine separate days. Each day is dedicated to respective forms of Goddess Durga. Maha Gauri is the eighth manifestation among the nine forms of Goddess Parvati. Maha means Great and Gauri means white in colour so Mahagauri means the one who is extremely fair. This eighth form of Goddess Parvati is worshipped in the form of an eight year old child. Goddess Mahagauri is the symbol of peace, calmness and innocence. She has the power to fulfil all the desires of her devotees and reliefs them from all the sufferings of life.
Goddess Maha Gauri is very peaceful, intelligent and washes away all the sins of past present and future of her dedicated devotees.
In Hindu mythology it is believed that once Goddess Parvati performed very tough and strong penance in order to get Lord Shiva as her husband. While undergoing hard penance her complexion became very dark. Being pleased with her penance Lord Shiva appeared before her and blessed with a boon that she will become his wife very soon. Then Lord Shiva washed her body by sprinkling water from Ganga. The sacred water of Ganga removed the darkness and cleaned her and brought her beauty back. Due to her pure white complexion Lord Shiva gave her the name Maha Gauri which means extremely white.
According to Hindu belief Goddess Mahagauri possesses four arms. Her right hand in the lower part carries a trident and her lower left hand is in the form of blessings. The right arm in the upper region is in the pose of allaying fear and upper left hand is holding a tambourine. Her complexion is as white as silver. Goddess Mahagauri wears white clothes only and is decorated with pure ornaments. She is seen to mount on a bull also known as white vrishabha. Her white complexion symbolizes purity, serenity, calmness and peace.
Ashtami Puja or the Puja of the eighth day is considered as Maha Puja during Navaratri. This auspicious occasion is vivaciously celebrated whole heartedly and with devotion inclined towards Maha Gauri. The Maha Gauri Puja is performed during Ashwin Shukla. This puja is accomplished with worshipping of Lord Shiva. By worshipping Maha Gauri, the devotees get blessed and it is believed that none of the devotees or worshippers returns empty handed. A variety of fruits and sweets are offered to this goddess during Puja. One interesting thing about this occasion is that on Ashtami Puja Kanya Puja i.e. providing food to little girls is done to please this goddess. Nine numbers of little girls are invited by the worshippers and feed a variety of sweet dishes.
By worshipping goddess Mahagauri from the core of the heart, previous sins and the influence of wrong deeds gets vanished. Devotees gain divine perfection of the universe. Observing fast on the eighth day is highly fruitful especially for the unmarried girls as well as married women. Unmarried girls, with her blessings gets desired husband and for married women, her blessings leads to peaceful and harmonious long married life.