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Goddess Durga

Goddess Durga is the embodiment of the extremely esoteric concept of Shakti. She manifested herself when all the gods coalesced their powers into one entity – the goddess Durga. In this primordial manifestation she had numerous arms, signifying her innumerable powers. Her militant inclination is also made evident by her choice of mount – a lion. Her name too gives an insight into her nature, the word ‘Durga’ meaning ‘One who is difficult to conquer’.

The most popular representation of goddess Durga is however the one showing her engaged in the killing of a demon with a buffalo’s head. He is aptly named ‘Mahishasur’- mahisha meaning buffalo and asur meaning demon. Such images of this great goddess are known as ‘Mahishasur-Mardini’, the slayer of the buffalo demon. It is this icon of the goddess that is most commonly worshipped, especially during the nine nights dedicated to her, known as the festival of Navaratri.

The significance of the worship of goddess Durga can be gauged from the fact that it is to her that Rama turned to before he went on to kill Ravana. The day the latter was killed is celebrated as Dussehra, meaning the ‘tenth day’ after the nine nights of Navaratri. It is only by inculcating the Shakti of goddess Durga that Shri Rama achieved this heroic feat.

Many ancient texts describe Durga in considerable detail. The most prominent of course is the Devi Bhagavata Purana, which is virtually an encyclopaedia on the concept of Shakti. The most popular scripture used in the worship of goddess Durga is however the Devi Mahatmya, also known as Chandi Patha or Durga-Saptashati; the last word signifying that it contains seven (sapta) hundred (shati) verses in total.

 


 

Durga - Narrative Art of Warrior GoddessDurga - Narrative Art of a Warrior Goddess

Durga's name literally means "Beyond Reach". This is an echo of the woman warrior's fierce, virginal autonomy. In fact many of the figures associated with her are officially virgin. This is not meant in the limiting sense understood by the patriarchal order, but rather in Esther Harding's sense: she is "one-in-herself", or as Nor Hall puts it, "Belonging-to-no-man". As Harding further observed of 'The Virgin Goddess': 'Her divine power does not depend on her relation to a husband-god, and thus her actions are not dependent on the need to conciliate such a one or to accord with his qualities and attitudes. For she bears her identity through her own right.'
 
The disappearance of Durga from the battlefield after the victory over aggression expressed one of the deepest truths of the episode, for the feminine action in the cosmic drama is without retentive, ego-seeking ambition. Read more...
 
 

 

Durga: The Adi-ShaktiDurga: The Adi-Shakti

The term 'Durga' brings to mind a multi-armed lion-riding divinity that on one hand is possessed of rare feminine beauty and imperishable youth, and on the other, carries in her hands various instruments of war and on her face the determination to avenge her devotee's tormenter and punish a wrong-doer, and all combined with a unique quiescence and confidence as if triumph is the foregone conclusion of all her battles against evil. The Puranic tradition inclines to venerate Durga as just one of the names of Devi, the cosmic Divine Female who created, sustained and destroyed. Despite such preference of the Puranas for the term 'Devi' for defining the overall vision of the cosmic Divine Female even initially Durga acquires among Devi's other manifestations a distinction denotative of a class which is not the same as epithets like Jagad-mata, Jagadamba, Vishveshwari, or whatever. The term Durga brings to mind a specific image which these epithets do not, perhaps because they are used with some kind of commonness for Devi's all forms. Read more...

 


 

Every Woman a Goddess - The Ideals of Indian ArtEvery Woman a Goddess - The Ideals of Indian Art

In India a woman with a fiery temperament is often nicknamed Durga in recognition of the divine spark within her. She is the fervent autonomous goddess who knows how to stand for herself.
 
The living traditions of India have always identified the female of the species with all that is sacred in nature. But it is not always the warrior woman who is identified with the goddess, but also woman as playful, lovable, and of course as the Mother. Read more...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Goddess Durga for your Home

 
Ashta-Bhuja-Dhari Durga Navadurga Goddess Durga Prayer Shawl Goddess Durga Cord Necklace

Ashta-Bhuja-Dhari Durga

Brass Statue

Navadurga

Water Color Painting On Cotton

Prayer Shawl of Goddess Durga

PolyCotton

Goddess Durga Cord Necklace

Sterling Silver

 


 

Durga PujaDurga Puja

Durga is worshipped in multiple aspects. Here her sublime form riding a lion represents her Shakti-roop. In scriptures She has been alluded to as having variedly four, eight, ten and twenty arms. Here, she has been represented as ashta-bhuja-dhari, in Her eight armed form. As has the scriptural tradition, She was created with attributes and weapons of various gods. Hence, in visual traditions She has been depicted alike with attributes of multiple gods. In this beautiful painting She has the lotus, mace, wheel and conch of Lord Vishnu, sword and bow of Vishnu's various incarnations, the trident of Shiva and Her own abhaya, the assurance of benevolence to all. Read more...

 


The Marble Image of Eight-Armed Durga

The Marble Image of Eight-Armed Durga

The eight-armed goddess has been conceived as carrying in right hands disc, sword and bow and arrow, the fourth, her normal right, is held in ‘abhaya’; in her left, she is carrying conch, mace and lotus; the fourth is placed on her thigh in ‘lalita-mudra’. A goddess in Shaivite line, she carries Vaishnava attributes, disc, conch, mace and lotus. The other two, sword and bow also are not linked to Shiva. This reflects the synthesis of two sectarian lines, the Vaishnava and Shaivite. The artist has taken special care in modeling her mount, its anatomy, body posture and expression of contentment on the face. Her lion symbolised her valorous aspect and her might, and the attributes of war that she carries, her ability to protect and, if needed, to destroy; however, she is not conceived as always engaged in action as is Kali or even Durga in her Mahishasura-Mardini like manifestation. With her greater breadth the lion-riding, and usually the eight-armed, Durga emerges in the devotional tradition as the most widely worshipped form of the Devi. Instead of representing just one aspect, this form of the goddess is multi-contextual. Read more...

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