Goddess Durga



Goddess Durga is the Mother Goddess in Hindu mythology. Hence, she is often called Maa Durga. Goddess Parvati is the consort of Lord Shiva , and Goddess Durga is Parvati in the incarnation of a warrior woman. Goddess Durga is also referred to as Amba and Divine Mother. She is the embodiment of feminine energy. She is depicted as strikingly beautiful, with eight arms holding weapons and adopting blessing poses, seated on a lion or tiger, with the demon Mahishasura at her feet.

The demon Mahishasura was born of the union of the King of demons, Rambha, and a water buffalo. He can therefore change forms between a human and buffalo.

The Battle with Mahishasura

Mahishasura prayed intensely to Brahma, as a result of which he was granted a boon: no man or God could ever defeat him. Mahishasura, thus, invaded the home of the gods. The gods sought help from the Hindu Trinity, but Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva were all defeated by the demon.

Since Mahishasura could only die by a woman, Parvati, the consort of Lord Shiva, was transformed into Goddess Durga. Shiva sculpted her face, Indra her torso.

Her breasts were created by Chandra, the moon, and her teeth by Brahma. Earth created the lower part of her body, her thighs and knees were created by Varuna, the wind, and her eyes by Agni, fire. Each god also gave her their most powerful weapon. Goddess Durga, hence, holds a trident given to her by Shiva, Vishnu's discus and mace, Indra's thunderbolt, Brahma's bow, Kurmara's lance.

The fight with Mahishasura begins. He is so struck by her beauty, that he sends his generals Chanda and Munda to ask her to marry him. She ignores them, and the generals threaten her. Thereupon, Goddess Durga cut off their heads. In the subsequent fight with the demon, Goddess Kali (link to topic: Hindu Goddess Kali) jumps out of Durga's forehead, and defeats Mahishasura.

Celebration of Victory

The day of Goddess Durga's victory over Mahishasura, is celebrated as Vijaya Dashami in South and East India, as Dussehra in North India, and as Dashain in Nepal. The nine days before this are the days Goddess Durga is worshipped. These are celebrated as Durga Puja. The tenth day is the day of her return to her husband, Lord Shiva. This is ritualized through the immersion of idols of Goddess Durga in water.
The Hindu Goddess Durga is the Mother Goddess. She destroys evil forces such as selfishness, jealousy, prejudice, hatred, anger and ego.

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