Durga is an important Hindu Goddess with many names and personas to her name.
Goddess Durga is also believed to have been created by Lord Vishnu as a warrior goddess to protect the good people (devas) from Mahishasur. Her divine shakti contains the combined energies of all the gods.
In all her forms, Durga represents salvation and sacrifice.
Goddess Durga is Mahishasuramardini or Shakti, the destroyer of evil who triumphs over Mahishasura.
Sati is the beloved daughter of King Daksha and Queen Menaka.
Kali, black as night and raging powerfully with skulls on her garland.
Parvati, serene consort of Lord Shiva on snowy Kailash mountain peaks.
Bhawani is a symbol of life.
Basanti means heralding springtime.
Amba, Jagadhatri, Tara, Ambika, and Annapurna. As for each persona, she encompasses power and strength.
She is the mother of bounty, wealth, beauty and knowledge since her daughters are Lakshmi and Saraswati.
The highest form of truth in any being or Jiva is referred to Aatman or supreme consciousness. She embodies purity, knowledge, truth, and self-realization. This supreme consciousness, known as the absolute soul, is infinite, birthless, deathless, beyond time, space, and the law of causation. The dynamic energy of Goddess Durga manifests itself as this supreme consciousness.
Goddess Durga embodies the power of the Supreme Being, maintaining justice and harmony in the universe. She is an incarnation of divine energy, and Shiva serves as her silent witness. Without Durga, Shiva would be without expression, and without Shiva, Durga would cease to exist. Nonetheless, Shiva stands apart from the tangible world of action. He is changeless and unaffected by even the cosmic play. He channels shakti through his emanation – the goddess – who acts on his behalf. Together, Shiva and Durga represent Brahman – the primeval substance.
Durga, also known as Divine Mother, protects mankind from evil and misery by destroying evil forces such as selfishness, jealousy, prejudice, hatred, and anger.
In the tales surrounding goddess Durga, it is evident that the strong and fierce side of womanhood is being projected. Several mythological tales suggest that Durga is the skin of Parvati that slips off and fights the demon brothers - Shumbha and Nishumbha. In some versions of Durga, Kali is credited with helping her fight, while in others she is believed to have created Saptamatrikas, the Seven Mothers, who were originally Yaksha gods.
Durga's fierce battles with male demons were free of male influence or assistance. The most interesting facet of the tales of her origin is that she is presented not as Shakti - the divine power - but rather, as she assumes the powers of the male gods to save the universe.
Hindu mythology recounts a thrilling story of the battle between Durga and Mahishasura. After long and arduous penance, the demon was blessed by Lord Shiva with an indestructible boon. With this newfound power, Mahishasura started wreaking havoc all over the Universe, wiping out lives mercilessly. He even mounted an assault on Indra's abode, triggering a hundred-year war between gods and demons. The latter emerged victorious, with Mahishasura leading them to triumph and becoming the leader of the gods himself.
Utterly defeated, the Gods sought refuge under Lord Brahma, who brought them to Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva. Witnessing a fiery crest of energy emanating from each of them, the Gods saw this matchless power surge out in all directions and become concentrated in one spot, crystallizing into the form of the Goddess Durga. Her face was illuminated by Shiva's light, her ten arms were bestowed by Vishnu and her feet were formed by Brahma. Yama (God of Death) created her tresses whilst Somanath (Moon God) endowed her with two breasts. Indra (the King of Gods) made her waist and Varun (the God of Oceans) formed her legs and thighs. Bhoodev (Earth) gave shape to her hips, Surya (Sun God) crafted her toes while Vasus (Children of Ganga River) modeled her fingers. Kuber's (Keeper of Wealth for the Gods) light manifested as a nose, Prajapati's (Lord of Creatures) glow-fashioned teeth. Agni's (Fire God's) brilliance made up three eyes Sandhyas (sunrise and sunset) empowered eyebrows Vayu's.
The gods presented Durga with powerful and mystical objects to aid her in her combat against Mahishasura. Lord Shiva offered her a trident, Lord Vishnu - a disc, Varuna - a conch and noose, Agni - a spear, and Vayu - arrows. Indra bestowed upon her a thunderbolt as well as his ivory white elephant Airavata which was equipped with a bell. Yama gave her an armored shield, sword, and visor while Vishwakarma contributed an axe and armor. Furthermore, Himavat the god of mountains furnished her with jewels and a lion to journey on. Apart from these gifts, the goddess was also given beautiful garments, together with an immortal garland of lotuses for her head and bosom.
Gleaming in jewels and golden armor, the majestic Durga was armed with the formidable powers of the gods. Her ferocious lion's roars shook the three worlds, as oceans boiled and seas spread overland. Continents were thrown into disorder and new mountains emerged, while already-established ranges crumbled and collapsed in a cascade of landslides. Mahishasura and his demon cohorts focussed their gaze from the heavens to Earth, feeling a wave of awe wash over them as the sheer power and energy of Durga radiated towards Heaven. Despite their assumed superiority in Heaven, they could not help but feel overwhelmed by her might.
Durga Pooja is a Hindu festival to celebrate the victory of Goddess Durga over the demon Mahishasura. Durga Pooja represents the power of females as Shakti in the Universe and celebration of good over evil.
In addition to being a Hindu festival, it is also a celebration of cultural values and customs and a reunion of family and friends.
Fasting is observed for ten days, but the last four days of the festival, Saptami, Ashtami, Navami, and Vijaya-Dashami, are celebrated with much sparkle and magnificence in India, especially in Bengal.
According to place, customs, and beliefs, Durga Pooja celebrations differ from place to place. In some places, the festival lasts five days, while in others it lasts seven or ten.
As the daughter of Himalaya and Menka, Durga later became Sati and married Lord Shiva. Durga pooja is believed to have begun when Lord Rama worshiped her to get the power to kill Ravana.
In Bengal, some communities celebrate the festival by decorating a pandal in the nearby areas. Some people even make arrangements to worship the Goddess at home. On the last day of the festival, they also immerse the goddess statue in the Ganges, which is regarded as a holy river.
There is another story behind Durga Pooja that says that the Goddess Durga defeated the demon Mahisasura on this day to celebrate good over evil or light over darkness. She was called upon by all three Lords - Shiva, Brahma, and Vishnu to eradicate the demon and save the world from his cruelty. The battle lasted for ten days, and Goddess Durga finally defeated the demon on the tenth day, which is celebrated as Dussehra or Vijayadashmi.
The festivities begin at the time of Mahalaya, in which the devotees request Goddess Durga to come to earth. On this day, they make their eyes on the statue of the Goddess during a ceremony known as Chokkhu Daan. On Saptami, the idol of Goddess Durga is placed in place after rituals are performed to elevate her blessed presence into the idols.
In Pran Pratisthan, the Goddess' holy energy is carried by a banana plant known as Kola Bou (banana bride), which is bathed in a nearby river or lake, dressed in a sari, and taken for baths in the nearby river or lake.
Several different forms of worship were offered to the Goddess during the festival. To gratify the Goddess, the religious folk dance is performed in front of her after the evening aarti ritual is performed on the eighth day. As the dance is performed, a clay pot filled with burning coconuts and camphor is held while the rhythms of drums are played.
Symbolizing the completion of the rituals and prayers, a Maha Aarti is performed on the ninth day of worship. On the last day of the festival, Goddess Durga returns to her husband's residence, and her statue is immersed in the river. The red vermillion powder is offered to the Goddess by married women, who mark themselves with it.
Irrespective of caste or financial status, all people come together to celebrate and enjoy the festival. From cultural performances to traditional food, Durga Pooja is an exuberant and communal event. Throughout Kolkata, food stalls and shops can be seen filled with locals and foreigners alike indulging in delicious offerings such as sweets. In West Bengal, all places of work such as educational institutions, and business centers remain closed for the duration of the festival. The celebration provides a powerful reminder that doing what is right ultimately leads to victory over the forces of evil.
The Durga Puja, also known as Durgotsava or Sharadotsav, is an annual Hindu festival that celebrates Durga's victory over Mahishasur. It originated in the Indian subcontinent.
Durga Ashtami or Maha Ashtami is one of the most auspicious days of the five days long Durga Puja Festival, celebrated in the honor of mother goddess Durga.
You will be able to deal with enemies and defeat them by reciting Durga Chalisa daily. By reciting Durga Chalisa, you can prevent financial loss, distress, and different kinds of misery from happening to you and your family.
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