This Tanjore-style painting depicts Goddess Durga seated like royalty on her mount, the tiger. This is evidence that she is capable of conquering even the strongest of animals and evil forces. She has eight arms (ashtabhuja), wherein ashta refers to eight, and bhuja refers to upper limbs/arms. Her eight arms are carrying various paraphernalia meant for war. Here, it is war against an evil asura (demon), Mahishasura, and others like him. Her left arms hold a conch shell, a trident, a bow with arrows, and a lotus. Three of her right arms hold a discus, a sword, and a mace. A right hand is raised in blessing, indicating that humankind need have no fear. She has come to destroy the bad, and usher in the good.
An incarnation of Goddess Parvathi, Durga is shakti/power personified. People await her arrival on Durgashtami day, during the festival of Dussehra, every year. Her attire is red-coloured, uggesting extreme courage and fearlessness. The large, multi-coloured flower garland is an extra adornment, in addition to the jewelry matching her attire. The crown on the head indicates a queenly personality. Her face is serene and smiling, with the eyes sparkling with confidence in the ability to conquer all.
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