The ninth and final manifestation of supreme goddess Durga is Mother ‘Siddhidatri’. Siddhidatri means the provider of Siddhis(super natural powers). Mother Durga is presumed to be formless and infinite and so she appears in the form of Siddhidatri.
Legend: The legend of mother Siddhidatri starts prior to the creation of Universe. When the supreme goddess thought of creating the universe, she created Lord Shiva first of all. Lord Shiva prayed to the formless infinite epitome of divinity, Mother Durga to endow him with all kinds of perfections. The formless mother Durga then appeared as Siddhidatri and bestowed Lord with 18 different kinds of Siddhis mentioned in Brahmavaivart, named Anima, Laghima, Praapti, Prakamya, Mahima, Ishitva or Vashishtva, Sarvakaamvasayita, Sarvagyatva, Durshravana, Parkaayapraveshan, Vaakasiddhi, Kalpavrushatva, Shrishti, Samharkaransaamarthya, Amaratva, Sarvanyayakatva, Bhavana and Siddhi and blessing him with perfection in every way. Having developed a divine splendour, Lord Shiva, perfect and virtuous, created Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu then, in turn, created Lord Brahma to carry out the task of creating the universe. Lord Vishnu entrusted in the task of protecting and nurturing the world where as Lord Shiva with the destruction of it.
Lord Brahma faced a great difficulty in the task of creating the universe with the absence of man and woman. He prayed to the Goddess Siddhidatri who then appeared in front of him and converted half of Lord Shiva into a woman. Lord Shiva became half man and half woman and came to be known as ‘Ardhnarishwaara’. This solved the problem faced by Lord Brahma and then the task of creating the universe went on smoothly.
Depiction: The Goddess Siddhidatri is depicted to be a four armed Goddess holding a mace, a divine discus, a conch-shell and a lotus. She rides a lion or is seated on a lotus.
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