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April 27, 2015
For anyone who is interested in the stories of Indian Mythology, I open this thread. This is meant for learning and the cultural exchange between Indians and those of you who would like to know more about our mythology, customs, and culture. Many people enjoy the stories within Greek, Roman, and Norse Mythology. It is my hope that this may grow with time.
April 27, 2015
Who is Durga?
Durga is the sublime Hindu goddess who embodies the warrior essence of the feminine creative power. This powerful, divine feminine energy is known as shakti in Hinduism. Durga is usually depicted riding a tiger or lion as she carries a lotus flower, spear and trident in her various hands. She is often depicted in Indian art with ten to eighteen arms. Some of her hands display weapons such as the spear, and other hands are held in the form of sacred mudras bestowing fearlessness and strength to her devotees. She is as supremely radiant, deeply patient and compassionate. She is also fierce in battling both inner and outer demons. Sculptures and paintings of the Goddess Durga date all the way back to the 1st century B.C.E.
Durga is said to exist in a state of independence from any external source. This state is known as "svatantrya" in Sanskrit. She is also widely honored throughout Hindu and Yogic circles for her fiery and unflinching compassion. She is often adorned in a red sari of pure silk in honor of her status as a warrior goddess. She is said to embody the very essence of Brahman or supreme consciousness of which the universe is made. This supreme consciousness is formless, timeless and without cause. It is the energetic essence of all that is. Durga embodies all of these qualities, as well as an unerring sense of humor, even under the most dire of circumstances. She is also said to uphold the moral righteousness and order of the universe. As Mother Durga, she is able to redeem her devotees from the most difficult and upsetting situations.
The Goddess Durga is honored throughout the year by her devotees; she is most highly honored during the nine-day festival of the goddess known as Navaratri and the four day Durga Puja festival in Bengal and Nepal. During the Navaratri festival, the nine aspects of the goddess or Navadurga are honored and contemplated by her devotees. Female devotees will often adorn themselves as the living embodiment of the goddess energy during the festival. By doing so, the devotees honor their own inner awakened light that is imbued with the essence of the divine shakti energy. Many Hindu temples and Yoga shalas honor the nine aspects of Durga through chanting, meditation and puja celebrations. Navaratri is an auspicious and uplifting time for devotees of Durga to bath in the healing, nourishing and strengthening power of her divine grace.
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