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Shantadurga is an aspect of Shakthi, the universal feminine power. She is also an incarnation of Durga, the mighty Goddess. ‘Shanti’ or ‘Shanta’ is ‘peace’ or ‘tranquility’, and ‘Durga’ is ‘the divine warrior’ entity. Thus ‘Shantadurga’ is a benign contradiction. Durga is normally considered an aggressive aspect of the Goddess , a fierce warrior and a ruthless annihilator of evil. But she can adapt herself to different circumstances, as per the demands of the situation. And here, as Shantadurga, the Goddess has not taken on the normal role of an annihilator, but instead, has come as a peace maker. The divine mother is here, essentially to ensure peace and progress of the people.
Shantadurga is normally seen as a four armed Goddess, in a standing position and adorned with a crown. She holds in her hands, all or any of the items like, trident, sword, shield, hand kettle and lotus. Shantadurga is also worshipped as a patron Goddess of the fishermen and hence, her crown has an image of a fish in it. The Goddess is also depicted in some forms, as holding two serpents in her two hands, where the snakes actually symbolize the Lord Shiva and Vishnu. The snakes are also said to denote the demonic qualities in us. The mother is here to have control over them and also to remove from our nature.
There is a mythological story told about the advent of Shantadurga. Once there arose a tiff between Lord Shiva, the God of destruction and Lord Vishnu , the God of protection, due to the inherent contradiction in their roles. There was a possibility of the misunderstanding between these two powerful Gods, escalating into a full-fledged clash. Other Gods feared that this may result in a big catastrophe, affecting heaven and earth, and leading to the very destruction of the universe. But Lord Brahma , the God of creation intervened and invoked the universal mother Shakthi for restoring peace.
It was then that the divine mother appeared as Shantadurga, the symbol of peace, to bring in reconciliation between the supreme Gods. She is said to have simply taken each one of them in one of her hands and through her presence and counsel, made them forget their ill- will. Thus Goddess Shantadurga brought in bonhomie between the supreme Gods and saved the universe, by establishing ‘shanthi’, that is, peace and tranquility.
Shantadurga is also considered as an important aspect of Goddess Parvati, the consort of Lord Shiva. Hence, she is worshipped along with Lord Shiva in many of the temples dedicated to the Lord.
Goddess Shantadurga is worshipped with great devotion in the state of Goa, where, there are many temples dedicated to her. Her temple at Kavela is said to be the most important one. She is also worshipped with immense faith in the coastal Konkan region spread across the states of Maharashtra, Goa and Karnataka, where she also remains as the Kuladevatha, the family deity of many devotees.
The sacred scriptures prescribe fire ceremony, Abishekam (hydration ceremony), Pooja/Archana (Light and Sound ceremony), Yantra and Mantra (special sounds) as the ways to offer your prayer to the divine. Out of these, fire ceremony is the most evolved spiritual technology on earth to connect with the divine beings. Participate in the remedial services to clear your karma and receive the blessings.