On Tritiya of the Sharadiya Navaratri, we invoke and Devi Chandrghanta. Her fortitude by divine blessing reflects through India’s daughter Kalpana Chawla. A notable astronaut and engineer of many accomplishments.
By Sreejit Datta, Assistant Professor, Director of Civilisational Studies Practice & Resident Mentor at Rashtram.
On Tritiya, i.e. the third day of the Sharadiya Navaratri, we invoke and worship Devi Chandrghanta – the goddess with the half-moon shaped like a bell adorning her head, who emanates a formidable strength and determination of the spirit. Worshipped on the third day of Navaratri, the Devi blesses the world with the courage and grace necessary to walk on the path of dharma.
This fortitude by divine blessing reflects through India’s daughter Kalpana Chawla. A notable astronaut and engineer of many accomplishments, Kalpana was the first woman of Indian origin to go into space. Like Devi Chandraghanta wearing the moon on her crest, Kalpana was adorned by the infinite space.
She became the first women of Indian origin to go to space when she flew on Shuttle Columbia in 1997 as a mission specialist and primary robotic arm operator.
On her quest for the knowledge of the celestial, she didn’t tremble to risk her mortal life. An unforeseen death took Kalpana Chawla in the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster in the year 2003.
Kalpana was posthumously awarded the Congressional Space Medal of Honor. She is an inspiration for young girls in India.