Hindu Goddess Durga
Protectress of Law - Destroyer of Evil
Durga is one of the most important and
powerful goddesses of the Hindu pantheon. Originally worshipped as the
embodiment of natural forces which both grant life and also take it away, she
was later assigned the role of the shakti of the impersonal absolute, the female
counterpart of the great male deity. In this role she was also seen as the wife
of Shiva in addition to, or as part of Parvati.
In her friendly manifestation, Durga is the protectress who reveals her
destructive strength when the earth is threatened. She feeds people and animals,
and is known for her victory over the buffalo demon Mahishashura, which none of
the male gods could defeat.
Durga is worshipped as the Protectress of the Law, Destroyer of Evil and
Preserver of Dharma (the doctrine of divine law).
She usually has four to eight arms, and sometimes three eyes, and is often seen
seated on a lotus throne, or riding a tiger or lion. Her attributes are a
trident, sword, snake, bell, drum, skull bowl, bow and arrow, wheel, club, water
jug and conch shell.
Great Goddess Durga is said to be exquisitely beautiful. Her form is blindingly
bright (devi), with three lotus-like eyes, ten powerful hands, lush hair with
beautiful curls, a red-golden glow from her skin and a quarter moon on her
forehead. She wears a shiny oceanic blue attire emitting fierce rays. Her
ornaments were carved beautifully of gold, with ocean pearls and precious stones
embedded in it. Each god also gave her his own most powerful weapon: Rudra's
trident, Vishnu's discus, Indra's thunderbolt, Brahma's kamandal, Kuber's gada,
gifted her with a fierce whitish