The air is festive and we all are busy in celebrating the October month that is full of festivals. The longest and most vibrant celebration we have during these months is that of Durga Puja. It is also known as Durgotsava and NavDurga as it is celebrated for nine consecutive days all across the country especially in the northeastern states.
We all celebrate Durga Puja because our forefather’s celebrated it too but how many of us know about Goddess Durga and significance of this festival!
Today let us learn and incorporate the true essence of Durga and her importance in our lives. Goddess Durga symbolizes the divine forces (positive energy) known as divine shakti (feminine energy/ power) that is used against the negative forces of evil and wickedness. It is believed that Goddess Durga is the combined form of powers of Goddesses Lakshmi, Kali and Saraswati. The Sanskrit word Durga means fort or a place that is protected and thus difficult to reach. Durga, also called Divine Shakti, protects mankind by destroying evil forces, negative
It is believed that Goddess Durga is the combined form of powers of Goddesses Lakshmi, Kali and Saraswati. The Sanskrit word Durga means fort or a place that is protected and thus difficult to reach. Durga, also called Divine Shakti, protects mankind by destroying evil forces, negative energy, and vices that lie within us as well as in the outside environment.
The most popular story says that Goddess Parvati, when harassed by a powerful demon named Mahishasura, takes the incarnation of Goddess Durga and puts an end to the life of evil Mahishasura. Since then Goddess Durga was also known as Mahishasura Mardani. Another story says that Goddess Durga came to visit her ardent follower Pandit Sridhar in the disguise of a small girl in a small village near Katra and requested to host a feast.
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Another story says that Goddess Durga came to visit her ardent follower Pandit Sridhar in the disguise of a small girl in a small village near Katra and requested to host a feast. An evil-intentioned man named Bhairavnath wanted to catch her. The girl tries to save herself but when all the patience and limits get crossed she collects all her strength and kills Bhairavnath.
These stories that epitomize the victory of Good over Evil hold more significance in the today’s time because of the rising crime against women. Time has come when each female of the society has to recognize her inner strength and rise against all odds. Even if no one is there to support, you have to be a lone warrior in the battle of life. In
In fact, there are nine forms of Goddess Durga that are worshipped on each day of NavDurga and each has a practical relevance in our life due to the complete reflection of different stages of a woman’s life:
- Śailaputrī This form reflects the birth of a daughter as great as the Himalayas.
- Brahmachāriṇī This form depicts the strength of character during Girlhood.
- Chandraghaṇṭā It reflects her purity as a moon until marriage.
- Kūṣmāṇḍa She is the creator of the universe in the form of a child bearer.
- Skanda-Mātā The mother of a child born out of her powers (Mental & Physical).
- Kātyāyanī This form reflects the character that bears utmost patience and practice.
- Kālarātrī She is the bearer of supreme willpower to destroy any evil.
- Mahāgaurī The form reflects the stage when she becomes the provider of happiness and wealth to her family (world) before leaving this mortal world.
- Siddhidātrī This form depicts her as the Provider of health and happiness before leaving this mortal world.
Not only this, the eight hands (Ashtabhuja) of Goddess Durga depicted as a warrior woman with the power of all the deities also holds different and unique lessons for us.
- Her hand that holds Chakra symbolizes ongoing dharma (duty/righteousness). We must perform our duties/responsibilities continuously in the circle/wheel of life.
- Her hand that holds Conch symbolizes happiness. We must perform our duty happily and cheerfully and not with resentment.
- Her hand that holds Sword symbolizes eradication of vices. We must learn to cut down or eliminate our evil qualities.
- Her hand that holds Bow and arrow symbolizes character which tells that we must not lose our aim and values in life when we faced with difficulties.
- Her hand that holds Lotus Flower symbolizes detachment. We must live in the world without getting influenced by external environment. Just like the lotus flower stays in the dirty water yet smiles and gives its beauty to others.
- Her hand that holds Club (the symbol of Hanuman) symbolizes devotion and surrender. Whatever we do in our life must be out of our will and capacity but free from any expectations.
- Her hand that holds Trident/Trishul symbolizes courage. The courage to eliminate our evil qualities and face the challenges in our life.
- Her outward facing palm symbolizes forgiveness and her blessings. We must always be ready to forgive others for mistakes.
Even Goddess Durga riding a tiger/lion indicates that unlimited power must also be used to protect virtue and destroy evil as well as must be free from uncontrolled animalistic tendencies such as anger, arrogance, selfishness, greed, jealousy, desire to harm others etc.
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It is so amazing and wonderful that even the mythology teaches us the most practical and valuable lessons of our life. However, most of us are ignorant enough to understand. Today on this NavDurga, let us all vow together to become a better human being from the life’s lessons that Maa Durga teaches us. Jai Durga Maa.
Watch the following video to learn the teachings of Lord Shiva –
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