Shoolini, the Protector:
Goddess Shoolini is the main form of Goddess Durga. Maa Shoolini has many names - Dhuruvi, Dhuru ki Devi, Shivrani, Shoolini Durga, Saloni Devi, Shulini Devi, etc. Yet another name is "Paharon ki Rani", or "Queen of the Mountains", the mountains being the Himalayas. She is the root of wisdom, knowledge, creation, preservation, and destruction. She is the power of Shiva and hence is called Shakti. Shoolini Durga, the Lion, is found behind Durga. It has a subtle meaning.
Those who pray to Her will be protected from all misfortunes. She has the power to remove Drishti dosha, remove hurdles and negative energies, delays, and bad luck. Evil spirits, evil spells, problems due to witchcraft and black magic can be kept at bay with her help. She can also help one overcome the adverse effects of the Navagrahas.
Legend of Goddess Shoolini:
According to mythology, Lord Vishnu incarnated as Narasimha to rescue his ardent devotee, Prahlad. Narasimha was the 4th avatar of Vishnu. He is half-man and half-lion. After he had killed Hiranyakashipu, the demon who was the evil father of Prahlad, the other gods and goddesses were unable to calm Narasimha. His fury kept growing, and he began to wreak large-scale destruction. Even Goddess Lakshmi, his consort, could not soothe his anger. When the gods or Devas approached Shiva for help, he decided to step in and solve the problem. He took the form of Sharabha, or Sarabeshwara, to calm Narasimha. This form was part- bird and part- lion and is also called Sharabeshwaramurti. This fierce form of Shiva had eight legs and was stronger than a lion or an elephant. But things did not end after this. Once Shiva (Sharbha) tamed Narasimha, Vishnu assumed the form of Gandaberunda, a ferocious bird-animal, to fight Sharabha.
One can find mention of this incident in the Linga Purana and Sharabha Upanishad. Gandaberuda had two heads, several rows of teeth, and was black in complexion with wide wings. Gandaberunda (Vishnu) engaged in a fierce battle with Sharbha (Lord Shiva), and the fight went on for eighteen days. Eventually, thanks to the powerful efforts of Goddess Soolini, both of them were becalmed and returned to their usual forms, much to everyone’s relief and delight. There was a reason why Shiva took the form of Sharabha. It was to make sure that Vishnu’s lion body was discarded so that he could assume his original divine form.
There is a magnificent temple for Soolini Devi and her elder sister, Goddess Durga, in Solan, Himachal Pradesh. Every year, a grand festival is held here in the month of June. There is also another temple for Goddess Shoolini Durga near Coimbatore.
When Shiva took the form of Sharabheshwarar, Goddess Pratyangira emerged from one of his wings, and Shoolini Durga emerged from the other wing. Shoolini Durga removes all kinds of danger. If there are some doshas in our horoscope, they can be resolved by worshipping this Goddess. Even if no doshas are present, she gives many benefits and blessings to the worshipper. Those who surrender to her will also receive her protection.
The Goddess was born as Daakshayani, and was the daughter of Daksha. She had a fight with him as he insulted her husband, Shiva, and immolated herself during his yagna. A grief-stricken Shiva took her corpse and roamed around the cosmos, in great sorrow. Vishnu then despatched his Sudarshan chakra to cut her body into many pieces. Wherever they fell, the place was called a Shakti Peetha. The hidden power inside each of these Shakti Peethas is Shoolini Durga. She was reborn as Parvati, the daughter of the Himalayas, and was reunited with Shiva.
In her 4 hands, she holds a mace, disc, seashell, and trident. Some devotees call her Vishnu Durga because she holds the same weapons that Vishnu holds. On her head is a crown that is studded with diamonds. Around her feet is a tandai with rubies and gold beads, representing the Sun. Her face is attractive and oozes grace.
Symbolism of Shoolini Devi:
The trident contains the 3 powers of mind, speech, and body, as well as people’s desire, action, and knowledge. People are born, and they die because of their power. The trident makes it possible for us to meet a good mentor. It also holds the power that makes us perform a justified action. The ability to earn good things in a righteous way and the happiness it gives us also stems from the trident.
This Durga is the epitome of calmness. She can destroy all adharma. All those who worship the Goddess with devotion may enjoy a long life and be blessed with health, happiness, victory, and the courage to fight injustice. It is beneficial to worship her on Tuesday, with a small or large trident. One can place a metal face of the Goddess on the trident’s middle portion. As she can remove all Graha Doshas, she can be worshipped with Hanuman, too, on Saturdays.