The sixth day of Navratri (Shashti) is dedicated to Maa Katyayani. Maa Katyayani rides a lion and has four hands. She carries lotus flower and sword in her left hands while keeping her right hands in Abhaya and Varada Mudras.
Considered the destroyer of evil, it is believed that the planet Brihaspati is governed by Goddess Katyayani. She symbolizes intelligence and peace. She is also known as Mahishasurmardini, as she killed the demon. The slaying of Mahishasura is celebrated as Durga Pooja in many parts of India.
According to the Vamana Purana, she was created from the combined energies of the gods Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva when their anger at the demon Mahishasura manifested itself in the form of energy rays. The rays crystallized in the hermitage of Katyayana Rishi, who gave it proper form. This is the reason she is also called Katyayani or daughter of Katyayana.