Durga Consort of Shiva

Durga also is the consort of Shiva, Parvati being the other one. She is one of the most important female Gods of the Hindus. She normally has eight arms and may hold any of the following items in her hands: a trident, a sword, a snake, a bell, a drum, a shield, a cup, a bow, a wheel, a conch-shell, a mace, an arrow and a water pot. She is shown seated in a ‘sukhasana’ (yogic) posture on a double lotus throne or on a tiger/lion. She may wear a garland of skulls.

Durga’s relations with Shiva being sufficiently remote, she is worshipped in her own right. She is referred to as the ‘shakti’ of the Impersonal Absolute and as being worthy of worship for material gains in this world and spiritual advancement in the next.

Durga has nine popular forms called Nava-Durgas which are worshipped during the Dashain festival.

1. Shailaputri
2. Uma/Brahmacharini
3. Chandraghanta
4. Kushmanda
5. Skandamata
6. Katyayani
7. Kalaratri
8. Mahagauri
9. Siddhidhatri.

Festival: Durga Puja/Dussehra.

Symbolizing the triumph of good over evil, Durga Puja or Dussehra is one of the chief festivals of India celebrated in September-October. It is celebrated in various parts of India in different styles but the one basic aim of this celebration is to propitiate shakti, the Goddess in her aspect as Power.

This is the festival in which the motherhood of God is emphasized. It is a ten-day festival, with each of the nine nights dedicated to different aspects of goddess Durga. Basically the festival celebrates the victory of Durga over Mahihasura, the demon in the form of a buffalo. In many parts of India a buffalo is sacrificed to commemorate this event. The Devi temple in Tana (Chittorgarh) is famous for this festival.

In Northern India, on the tenth day, Dussehra is celebrated, signifying the victory of Rama over Ravana, whose effigies are burnt. Elaborate floats are also taken out.

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