The eighth form of Goddess Durga is worshiped as Maha Gauri. Maha Gauri translates into extremely white and greatly beautiful. Supreme Goddess manifested into Maha Gauri after she performed her severe penance to propitiate Lord Shiva as her Husband.
Legend: Her legend goes when upon Sage Narada’s advice, Parvati made up her mind to perform an austere penance in order to be blessed with Lord Shiva as her husband. She shunned all the worldly pleasures and lavish lifestyle of the palace and started meditating on Lord Shiva in the forest. She survived through the seasons of burning summers and shivering winters, through the thunderous rains and storms. The dust and dirt, the leaves and twigs clung onto her body and her skin became as dark as earth.
Pleased with her devotion, Lord Shiva appeared in front of her and gave her his solemn word of marrying her. He then bathed her with the holy and vigorous waters of Ganga pouring out of his matted hair.
The sacred and pious waters of Ganga cleaned off all the dust and dirt clinging to Parvati and she became gloriously white in her complexion emanating divine rays of beauty. On change of her appearance as her skin shone like gold, Lord Shiva renamed her as ‘Maha Gauri’ which translates into the one who is extremely white.
Depiction: Maha Gauri is depicted to be a four armed Goddess riding on a Bullock. She has a very serene and pious expression on her face while her skins is as white as shining gold. She is draped in white clothes and her bull is also white in colour. Her right arm is in a gesture of allaying fear while in her other right hand, she holds a trident. In one of her left arms, she holds a tambourine while the other hand is in a boon-giving gesture.
Maha Gauri is worshipped on the eighth day, also known as Ashtami and she brings serenity and piousness in the lives of her devotees. She provides everything to her devotees and burns all their sins to ashes at the same time providing relief from all the troubles in their lives.