Hindu Gods and Goddess
sect name of the goddess Durga is depicted as wife to Shiva. Her idol is black, smeared with blood, has huge teeth and a protruding tongue that drips with blood. She wears a garland of skulls, earrings of corpses and is girdled with serpents. She usually has four arms, symbolizing absolute power over all finite things. One hand holds a sword, the second holds a severed human head, the third is believed by her devotees to be removing fright and the fourth is often interpreted as granting ecstasy. Kali, all-powerful, absolute and all-pervasive, is beyond fear and finite existence and is therefore believed to be able to protect her devotees against fear and grant them limitless harmony and peace.
Finally, as total night, devouring all that exists, she is sometimes depicted as standing on Lord Shiva, which, like the necklace of skulls, symbolizes the remains of finite existence. Kali’s devotees reportedly pleased her in the past with human sacrifices. Below are few other Hindu Gods and Goddesses:
Highest creator of all that has been created. Variously described as the mother, wife and/or daughter of Vishnu; ma of the gods and all heavenly bodies.
a personification of Parvati in Hindu mythology. An amazingly beautiful woman who lured devils to their deaths. She announced that she would not submit to anyone who had not defeated her in battle and when they approached to fight her she killed their retinue with a supersonic hum, then transformed herself into the fearsome Kali and slew them.
The post-Vedic form of Prajapati; the originator and creator
A twelve-armed warrior goddess, created by Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva to slay Mahishasura, the buffalo-demon, who menaced the universe.
One of the forms of the goddess Shakti, She was born fully grown. Durga is famous as the man-armed many-weaponed goddess who slays the buffalo-demon Mahish.
The god of wisdom and prosperity. He is depicted with a chubby human body, four arms, and an elephant’s head. He is the son of Lord Shiva and Parvati.
God of desire and love. Son of Vishnu and Lakshmi and husband of Rati
He is believed and worshipped as an incarnation of Vishnu by his devotees.
A companion of Vishnu and mother of Kama. She is the goddess of beauty, wealth and enjoyment.
Once a year, in the autumnal month of Ashwin, Goddess Durga comes home to her parents, together with her four children, Ganesh, Laxmi, Karttik and Saraswati, and enjoys all the love and attention lavished on her. Unfortunately, this visit lasts only three days, and on the fourth day, she starts on her journey back to her husband’s abode in the mountain kingdom of Kailash. Durga – Goddess of deliverance – comes to earth on the seventh day after the autumn new moon. She is depicted by the ‘kumors’ or potters as a resplendent golden figure standing on a lion’s back, each of her ten arms bearing a particular weapon, as she triumphs over the demon Mahisasura.
In Sanskrit, Durga means ” She who is incomprehensible or difficult to reach .” Goddess Durga is a form of Shakti worshipped for her gracious as well as terrifying aspect. Mother of the Universe, she represents the infinite power of the universe and is a symbol of a female dynamism.
Durga, a beautiful warrior seated upon a tiger, was the first appearance of the great goddess. Also called by many other names, such as Parvati, Ambika, and Kali. Destroyer of demons, she is worshipped during Durga Puja, most popular among Bengalis.
Durga is worshipped in various other forms also. She is
Gauri, “yellow or brilliant”;
Parvati, “the mountaineer”;
Durga “the inaccessible”;
Kali, “the black”;
Chandi, “the fierce”;
Bhairavi, “the terrible.”
Durga Ji Image
Maa Durga Image Navratri
Durga Puja Quotes
Forms of Durga
Goddess Durga has been glorified by 10 different aspects of the manifestation her “Shakti” or ‘Power’, called “Dasha-Mahavidya”. The nine-day period from the new moon day to the ninth day of Ashvina is considered the most auspicious time of the Hindu calendar and is hence the most celebrated time of the year as Durga Puja. The nine different forms of Devi are worshiped over the nine days. The most popular forms of Durga, under which she is worshipped, are:
Durga Shailputri (Daughter of Mountain)
Goddess Durga’s first form in the Nava-Durga, daughter of Himalaya. In previous birth, she was the daughter of Daksha, the son of Lord Brahma. Her name was Sati – Bhavani. i.e. the wife of Lord Shiva. In this mold, the mother is seen holding a trident in her right hand and a lotus in her left and she is mounted on an ox.
Daksha once arranged for a ceremony of the holy fire (Yagna) and chose not to invite his daughter and son-in-law. But Sati being obstinate, reached there. Ongoing uninvited to the ceremony, Daksha insulted Shiva. Sati could not tolerate the insult of husband and burnt herself in the fire of Yagna. Shiva, on hearing this incident was enraged and ordered his followers to immediately demolish the Daksha Yagna. Sati was reborn as the daughter of the king of the mountains, Himalaya in the name of Parvati – Hemvati and got married to Shiva. She is the most powerful and glorified of all. She is worshiped on the first day of the Navratri celebrations.
The second Durga Shakti is Brahamcharini. Here “Brahma” means meditation. That is, the Goddess is the mediator or a practitioner of penance. She is seen here holding a string of rosary beads in her right hand and a Kamandalu (an urn containing holy water) in her left hand.
In her previous life, when she was reborn as the daughter of Himalaya, she performed severe penance to have Mahadeva as her husband. The sage God Narada advised her to take up meditation to win Shiva. For undergoing strict meditation she was known as Brahmacharini or Tapasyacharini. From that time her name Uma became familiar.
This form of Durga gives the devotees everlasting success. Worship of this appearance enriches the faculties of sacrifice, honesty, and self-discipline. In times of utter distress, the worship of this form gives success and the willpower to come out victorious. This form of Durga is worshiped in the second day of the Durga Puja.
Goddess Durga’s third form is known as Chandraghanta. This name finds its explanation in a half-circular moon on the temple of the Goddess that resembles a bell. She has three eyes and ten hands. The ten hands of the Goddess wield ten different weapons. She is seated on Lion and is worshipped on the third day of the Navratri celebration.
She is Golden color and her appearance always spreads a calm and eternal peace all around. Worship of the deity helps one eliminate the sorrow, hazards, and dangers in one’s life.
The fourth appearance of the Goddess is in the form of Kushmanda. She gets the name as she created the universe with a smile. She shines brightly in all the ten directions like Sun. She has eight hands and is also known as “Ashtabhuja. The Goddess seven hands hold the holy urn (Kamandul), a bow, an arrow, a lotus, a pot containing wine, a disc and a club. The eighth hand holds a string of rosary beads that is believed to provide success and prudence. She seems brilliant riding on Lion.
She is worshiped on the fourth day of the Navratri. Worship of this form of the Devi exterminates sorrow and diseases and augments life, fame, and strength.
The fifth form of Durga is “Skanda Mata”. Kumar Kartik’s other name is Skanda. As Goddess Durga is the mother of Kartik, she is referred to as “Skandamata”. Skanda Mata is a deity of fire. The Goddess is seen holding her son Skanda with the top right hand and lotus in her lower hand. The top left hand is positioned in a blessing gesture and the other hand holds a lotus. The goddess is fair and seated on a lotus. That is why the Goddess is also known as “Padmasana”.
Katyayani is the sixth form of Goddess Durga. Sage Katyaayan was the son of the great sage Kat. Katyayan had observed rigorous penance and worship of “Bhagavati Paramba with a desire to get paramba as his daughter. The wish was granted and she took birth as a daughter of Katyayan and therefore named as “Katyayani”. She has four hands. The top right hand is positioned in a gesture of providing courage and the other hand is positioned in a gesture of rendering a boon. The top left hand is holding a sword and the other holding a lotus. The Goddess is mounted on a lion and she is worshiped on the sixth day of the Durga Puja. If one worships the deity with a pure soul he attains success in religion, wealth, passion and salvation. Disease, sorrow, and fear are eliminated.
108 Durga Names
Goddess Durga is one of the most powerful of Hindu Goddess. Known as Durga, Devi, Mata and many others. There are different forms of this powerful Goddess. Each name of Goddess Durga has a significance of its own with some or the other legend following it.Here are the 108 names of Goddess Durga with the meaning of each one of them. Goddess Durga comes in different forms and each name makes the Goddess appear in a different form. As the occasion of Durga Puja comes along, let’s offer our prayers to this powerful and magnificient Goddess.
|Durga||The Inaccessible||Devi||The Diety|
|Tribhuvaneshwari||Goddess of The Three Worlds||Yashodagarba Sambhoota||Emerging From Yashoda’s Womb|
|Narayanavarapriya||Fond of Narayana’s Boons||Nandagopakulajata||Daughter Of The Nandagopa Race|
|Mangalya||Auspicious||Kulavardhini||Developer Of The Race|
|Kamsavidravanakari||Threatened Kamsa||Asurakshayamkari||Reducer Of The Number Of Demons|
|Shilathata Vinikshibda||At Birth,Slammed By Kamsa||Akashagamini||Flew In The Sky|
|Vasudevabhagini||Sister Of Vasudeva||Divamalya Vibhooshita||Adorned With Beautiful Garlands|
|Divyambaradhara||Beautifully Robed||Khadgaketaka Dharini||Holder Of Sword And Shield|
|Shiva||Auspicious||Papadharini||Bearer Of Others’ Sins|
|Varada||Granter Of Boons||Krishna||Sister Of Krishna|
|Kumari||Young Girl||Brahmacharini||Seeker Of Brahman|
|Balarkasadrushakara||Like The Rising Sun||Purnachandra Nibhanana||Beautiful Like The Full Moon|
|Peenashroni Payodhara||Large Bosomed||Mayoora Pichhavalaya||Wearer Of Peacock-Feathered Bangles|
|Keyurangadadharini||Bejeweled With Armlets And Bracelets||Krishnachhavisama||Like Krishna’s Radiance|
|Krishna||Dark-Complexioned||Sankarshanasamanana||Equal To Sankarshana|
|Indradhwaja Samabahudharini||With Shoulders Like Indra’s Flag||Patradharini||Vessel-Holder|
|Pankajadharini||Lotus-Holder||Kanttadhara||Holder of Shiva’s Neck|
|Pashadharini||Holder Of Rope||Dhanurdharini||Holder Of Bow|
|Mahachakradharini||Holder Of Chakra||Vividayudhadhara||Bearer Of Various Weapons|
|Kundalapurnakarna Vibhooshita||Wearer Of Earrings Covering The Ears||Chandravispardimukha||Beautiful Like The Moon|
|Mukutavirajita||Shining With Crown Adorned||Shikhipichhadwaja Virajita||Having Peacock-Feathered Flag|
|Kaumaravratadhara||Observer Of Fasts Like Young Girls Do||Tridivabhavayirtri||Goddess Of The Three Worlds|
|Tridashapujita||The Goddess Of The Celestials||Trailokyarakshini||Protector Of The Three Worlds|
|Mahishasuranashini||Destroyer Of Mahisha||Prasanna||Cheerful|
|Surashreshtta||Supreme Among The Celestials||Shiva||Shiva’s Half|
|Sangramajayaprada||Granter Of Victory In The War||Varada||Bestower|
|Vindhyavasini`||Resident Of The Vindhyas||Kali||Dark-Complexioned|
|Kali||Goddess Of Death||Mahakali||Wife Of Mahakala|
|Seedupriya||Fond Of Drinks||Mamsapriya||Fond Of Flesh|
|Pashupriya||Fond Of All Beings||Bhootanushruta||Well-Wisher Of Bhootaganas|
|Varada||Bestower||Kamacharini||Acting On One’s Own Accord|
|Papaharini||Destroyer Of Sins||Kirti||Famed|
|Siddhi||Successful||Hri||Holy Chant Of Hymns|
|Vidhya||Wisdom||Santati||Granter Of Issues|
|Nitya||Eternal||Jyotsana||Radiant Like Flames|
|Kantha||Radiant||Khama||Embodiment Of Forgiveness|
|Daya||Compassionate||Bandhananashini||Detacher Of Attachments|
|Mohanashini||Destroyer Of Desires||Putrapamrityunashini||Sustainer Of Son’s Untimely Death|
|Dhanakshayanashini||Controller Of Wealth Decrease||Vyadhinashini||Vanquisher Of Ailments|
|Mruthyunashini||Destroyer Of Death||Bhayanashini||Remover Of Fear|
|Padmapatrakshi||Eyes Like The Lotus Leaf||Durga||Remover Of Distress|
|Sharanya||Granter Of Refuge||Bhaktavatsala||Lover Of Devotees|
|Saukhyada||Bestower Of Well-Being||Arogyada||Granter Of Good Health|
|Rajyada||Bestower Of Kingdom||Ayurda||Granter Of Longevity|
|Vapurda||Granter Of Beautiful Appearance||Sutada||Granter Of Issues|
|Pravasarakshika||Protector Of Travellers||Nagararakshika||Protector Of Land|
|Sangramarakshika||Protector Of Wars||Shatrusankata Rakshika||Protector From Distress Caused By Foes|
|Ataviduhkhandhara Rakshika||Protector From Ignorance And Distress||Sagaragirirakshika||Protector Of Seas And Hills|
|Sarvakaryasiddhi Pradayika||Granter Of Success In All Attempts||Durga||Deity Durga|
The Story behind Durga Puja
According to Hindu mythology, a demon named Mahisashura had threatened Gods out of heaven and established his evil dominion there and this devil was a constant threat to the existence of the universe. Mahisashura could not be defeated by any of god or man due to a boon he received after intense prayers to Brahma.Neither Indra, king of gods, nor Kumara, commander of the celestial armies could stop him. In despair, the gods called on Vishnu for help. Vishnu confronted the demon Mahisashura first as Narasimha the man lion and then as Varaha, the boar, but each time he failed to subdue the demon.
Shiva, the supreme ascetic, disturbed by the violence opened his third eye unleashing the fire of doom. Even the power of Shiva’s third eye capable of destroying the three worlds could not arrest Mahisashura’s march.
At that very moment, a stream of lightning dazzled forth from the mouths of Brahma, in the form of the goddess Brahmi. She rode a swan and held books of wisdom in her hands.
Simultaneously, the shaktis of the other gods emerged taking female forms. From Indra, rose Indrani bearing a thunderbolt, riding an elephant, from Kumara rose Kaumari holding a lance and riding a peacock, from Vishnu rose Vaishanavi on an eagle with a discus whirling on her finger, from Varaha came the sharp tusk sow Varahi, from Shiva came Shiavani riding a bull bearing a trident.
They rose to the sky and merged with each other in a blinding light. The sounds of the conchs, drums, and bells filled the air. With bated breath, the gods watched the light. From the heavenly light arose a beautiful goddess Durga ‘the inaccessible one’.
Then all the gods furnished her with their special weapons. Shiva gave his trident, Vishnu his discus and mace, Indra his thunderbolt, Kurmara his lance, Brahma his bow. Then mounting a lion, Durga prepared for battle.
A great battle commenced. Mountains shook, oceans trembled, clouds scattered across the sky, as the buffalo demon attacked Durga. He rushed towards her, sometimes as a buffalo, sometimes as a lion, sometimes as an elephant. The goddess broke the buffalo’s horns with her mace, shared the lion’s mane with her lance, cut the elephant’s trunk with her sword.
Weapon after weapon, when hurled at the buffalo demon, but each time he managed to rise up undefeated.
Realizing that her weapons had no effect on Mahisashura, Durga threw them aside, dismounted from her lion and with her bare hands sprang upon Mahisashura’s back. With her tender feet, she kicked his head. The demon, immune to the weapons of all the gods, fell senseless at the touch of Durga’s feet.
Durga then raised her trident and plunged it into the buffalo demons heart conquering the unconquerable.