Durga is the ultimate feminine power. She is the embodiment of all Shaktis, the combined divine energies of the supreme Goddesses, Saraswati, the divinity of knowledge; Lakshmi, the one of wealth; and Parvati, the Goddess of might and valor. She is Adi Parashakti, the pre-eminent Goddess and is known in many other names such as Rajarajeswari, Kali, Mahishasura Mardhini, etc.
‘The Fort’ is the literal meaning of the word Durga, while the name as such denotes someone ‘who is invincible.’ She has neither a beginning nor an end and is also known as Durgatinasini, the Goddess who destroys afflictions and sorrow.
Durga remains a highly revered Goddess of our land. She is referred to with great respect in many of our ancient scriptures, and her worship dates back to many thousands of years, to the times of the holy Vedas.
Goddess Durga’s Depiction
The fact that she is an unparalleled mighty power comes out forcefully even in the way Goddess Durga is depicted.
She is a remarkable beauty and looks formidable with eight arms. She is usually seen on her mount, the lion, while at times, she is also seen riding a ferocious tiger. She looks resplendent clothed in red, which symbolizes the destruction of evil and protection from dangers and misery.
She is a warrior Goddess and holds weapons and other items in her hands befitting her stature. Her upper hands hold the discus and the conch that symbolize righteousness and the sacred Pranava mantra, Om, respectively. The lower set of hands hold the sword, and the bow and arrow, denoting uncluttered knowledge and strong character, respectively. There is a club in Durga’s 3rd right hand which indicates the trait of surrender, while the lotus flower in the corresponding left-hand stands for the spiritual awakening of the soul. Her bottom-most left-hand holds the trident, which indicates the three fundamental qualities, Rajas, Tamas and Satva and shows the Goddess as the banisher of miseries that belong to the physical, mental and spiritual planes. Moreover, with her last right hand, the divine mother is forgiving and also showering her blessings.
Goddess Durga Mantra
‘Om Dum Durgayei Namaha’
It is a humble prayer dedicated to Goddess Durga. This mantra addresses her as the one who is compassionate to the virtuous and fierce towards those who are not truthful.
Benefits of Chanting Durga Mantra
This is considered a mantra of divine protection. This is a powerful hymn, which can be chanted aloud and also meditated upon internally. It is believed that its faithful recitation with devotion, humility and total trust in the ultimate power of the divine mother can get for the devotees the immense blessings of Maa Durga. This can clear all sorts of obstacles and difficulties related to aspects like health, finance, fortune and success; and bestow devotees with intelligence, wisdom, well-being, beauty, and prosperity.
Goddess Durga Worship
This Goddess is worshipped in as many as nine forms, and these Durga Avatars are together known as Nava Durga. They are Shailputri, Brahmcharini, Chandraghanta, Katyaini, Kushmanda, Skandmata, Kaalratri, Mahagauri and Siddhatri. Durga worship is done with great fervor and immense enthusiasm during the festival of Navaratri when each of these nine forms is worshipped on one of the nine days of the festivities.