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Maa Durga - The Goddess Of Strength

Maa Durga – The Goddess Of Strength

Mahishasurmardini, destroyer of the demon Mahishasura is the symbol of bravery, courage, strength and protection. Maa Durga is known as the goddess of war due to her history and birth story. According to French historian Alain Danielou, Durga can be considered as beyond defeat. Her legend starts from the great war with the buffalo demon. Let us understand the story more and unfold the story of goddess Durga.

Legends say that Durga was created for the whole and sole purpose of defeating Mahishasura, the half buffalo demon. He served a deep penance to impress lord Brahma, the creator of this universe. Several years passed by and Brahma was pleased by the devotion of this demon. Brahma appeared before him and asked for immortality. Brahma simply refused his request and explained to him that everyone needs to die one day. He himself does not have the boon of mortality so how would it be possible for him to bless Mahishasura with that. Mahisasura, discouraged to hear this, thought deeply for a while and came up with an alternate wish. He wished for being killed only by a woman.

Lord Brahma granted him the boon but little did he know that it would be a start to eternal torture for innocent people. Mahisasura then went on to capture heaven and cause havoc in the universe. He considered women to be worthless, powerless, frail and delicate. Gods residing in heaven went to the Brahma, Vishnu & Mahesh (Trimurti) and requested them to find a solution on priority to stop this havoc. Using their collective energies, they created Durga who is a result of the divinities themselves and also a source of their true inner power. She began to be known as the warrior woman with eight/eighteen hands and the goddess of war.

Her vehicle is the lion which was gifted to her by Parvati’s father – Himavan. He was the king of the Himalayas. The gods gave her a copy of their personal weapons. She reached the demon on the lion and began the great war. Mahisasura took many forms and manifestations to attack the goddess and defeat her. Durga would destroy each and every form of his. Finally, the demon took the form of a buffalo and was slain by the goddess in that form.

Her legends are told in various parts of the world. Sharadiya Durga Puja is celebrated in Bangladesh and is one of the most important religious festivals in the country. Her mention is also seen in cultures like Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism etc.

Goddess Palden Lhamo of Buddhist culture shares many attributes with Durga and Sacciya Mata found in Jain temples seems to have some mirroring aspects of Durga too.

Excavations in Southeast Asian countries like Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia have discovered statues of the goddess Maa Durga.

In today’s world, Durga puja is celebrated to honour her and seek her blessings. Her fierce and brave self is celebrated and women hope to have such courage and bravery in themselves too. She is a beloved goddess often linked with stories for women to stand up for themselves and fight their own battles.

Click here to read about the stories of Navadurga.

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