Durga – The Warrior Goddess
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Goddess Durga is known for Her angry appearance and Her anger. She is also known for the multitude of weapons that She holds, since She incarnated to kill Mahishasur, the ferocious demon. It is believed that different Gods gifted Her different weapons, and that She was created out of the combination of Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva’s powers, thus making Her all powerful. Here is a look at the deeply embedded symbolism in Her appearance.
Goddess Durga and her three eyes:
It is not just Lord Shiva who has 3 eyes, but Goddess Durga has 3 eyes too. However, their interpretation is similar to Lord Shiva’s 3 eyes; the left eye symbolizes the moon, the right eye symbolizes the sun and the third eye on Her forehead symbolizes fire.
Goddess Durga and her Vahanas:
Goddess Durga is shown riding two ferocious animals, the lion and the tiger. It is believed that the Himalaya mountain gifted these animals to Her. These two animals add on to Her violent image and also shows that She has complete control over such power, thus making Her fearless.
Goddess Durga and her weapons:
As mentioned above, different Gods gifted different weapons to Goddess Durga, thus increasing Her power. Here is a list of the different weapons She holds and the different Gods who presented them to Her.
Lord Shiva: The holy trishul (trident) that Goddess Durga holds, was given to Her by Lord Shiva. The trident represents 3 habits, Sattva, Rajas and Tamas and also shows that She can destroy sorrow and fear.
Lord Varun: Lord Varun gifted the Goddess the conch that She holds, symbolizing the battle sound that is sounded before entering into any battle and also representing the sacred ‘Aum’, the sound of the Universe and of Brahman.
Lord Vayu and Lord Surya: These Lords gifted Her the bow and arrows that She holds, that are embodied with divine powers and potency from the Sun’s rays.
Lord Indra: Lord Indra gifted Her His thunderbolt, Vajra, with which she was able to stay completely focused and destroy Her enemy. A deeper meaning into this is that we should also not lose our focus when it comes to achieving our target.
Lord Vishnu: Lord Vishnu gifted Her His sudarshan chakra, thus representing tranquility in the cosmos and the destruction of evil when it rears its head.
Lord Agni: Lord Agni gifted Her a spear.
Lord Yama: Lord Yama gifted Her a noose.
Lord Kubera: Lord Kubera gifted Her a club.
Lord Brahma: Lord Brahma gifted Her a kamandalu.
Lord Kala: Lord Kala gifted Her a sword.
Lord Vishwakarma: Lord Vishwakarma gifted Her an axe and a metal armour.
Goddess Durga can also be seen holding a lotus flower, which is very significant in Hinduism (Read ‘The beautifully sacred lotus’ for its significance), a flag, snakes or rosary beads, all symbolizing this Goddess of War.
This all-powerful Goddess, in spite of Her fearful form, is very kind to those who pray to Her with full devotion and who upload the values of dharma.
For a huge listing of Durga temples, visit http://www.ishtadevata.com/durga
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