Goddess Durga is Adi-Parashakti; she has been declared to be the most supreme and most powerful Goddess in the Shakti tradition, occupying a place similar to Lord Krishna in Vaishnavism. So in this article, let’s get to know more about her!
1. Durga has 8 to 10 arms. These represent the 8 directions in Hinduism. This suggests she protects her devotees from all directions.
2. Durga is called ‘Shakti’ or the female principle of divine energy, who in collaboration with the male deities has saved the day multiple times.
3. She is often depicted riding a lion which represents unlimited power and fearlessness and she uses these to destroy evil and restore virtue.
4. Her Trishul or trident is symbolic of the three human qualities– Satwa (inactivity or the ideal state of mind characterized by awareness and purity of thought), Rajas (activity or energy associated with desires, wishes and ambitions) and Tamas (lethargy and stress). In order to be happy, one needs to strike a balance between these three elements.
5. Durga is the other half of Shiva (in the form of Parvati); they complete each other. While Shiva is the form, Shakti is the expression. She is considered to be the mother of the universe while he functions as the father.
6. Durga possesses three eyes giving her the name Triyambake. These eyes represent Agni, surya and Chandra.
7. The soil in front of a brothel is considered to be extremely pure because a man is thought to leave all his purity outside before entering the establishment, thereby making the soil highly virtuous and sacred. To make Goddess Durga’s idol this pure soil is begged from a brothel and is used in carving her idol.
8. Multiple kinds of pratima or idol are available in the market during Durga Puja. The oldest and most conservative form is known as ‘Daaker Saaj’. Imported beaten silver or rangta’ from Germany was used for decorating the idol. Considering it was delivered by the postal service or ‘Daak so it uses the name Daaker Saaj.
9. Goddess Durga was bestowed with features from each and every god. Her face from Shiva, her ten arms from lord Vishnu, her feet from Lord Brahma. They also showered her with weapons such as trident, conch, thunderbolt, sword, and spear and decked her up in warrior armour and jewels. The God of the mighty mountains gave her the lion to ride with a thunderous roar.
10. During the first nine days of Navratri, nine aspects of Durga known as Navadurga are meditated upon by devout Shakti worshippers. Durga Puja also includes the worship of Shiva, who is Durga’s consort, in addition to Lakshmi, Saraswati, Ganesha and Kartikeya, who are considered to be Durga’s children.
11. Durga Puja commemorates Prince Rama’s offering to Maa Durga before going to war with the demon king Ravana.
The word Durga literally means “impassable”, “inaccessible”, “invincible, “unassailable”. It is related to the word Durg which means “fortress, something difficult to access, attain or pass”.