The Goddes Durga is known as the Divine Mother who is also a warrior goddess. She embodies the moral order, compassion, and righteousness. Her name in Sanskrit, Durga, means a fort or shelter that is difficult to penetrate, fitting for how devotees worship is as a Mother who protects from evil. In this painting, she is painted wearing opulent clothing, traditionally in red, but this depiction added flattering lines and bold blue color to add contrast and highlight the goddess against the predominantly red backdrop. The red color symbolizes an active color associated with the goddess combatting evil. She can be seen mounted on a tiger which is symbolic of power and the goddess riding it signals her unlimited power, too.
She is also drawn with eighteen arms, each carrying or engaged with significant poses. The eighteen hands are interpreted as the combined power of the incarnations (9) of Lord Vishnu in the past. This is Durga's way of embodying a unified Divine force against evil. Some of the objects she is holding are the conch, which resounds the sacred AUM or the sound of creation. Various weapons are seen on other hands namely the mace, disc (chakra), sword, arrow, and trident, among others represent weapons that can be used to combat different enemies. Legends say that these weapons were provisions from other gods. The painting also shows Durga’s prominent fight against Mahishasura, a buffalo demon.
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