Om Girijayai Vidmahe, Shiva Priyayai Dhimahi, Tanno Durga Prachodayat
♦ VIDEO : Durga Gayatri Mantra in English ♦
♦ VIDEO : Durga Gayatri Mantra in Sanskrit ♦
We are all familiar with the image of Maa Durga, who is the most powerful manifestation of Maa Shakti. She is the Mother Goddess who slays demons and liberates the earth and heaven when all other fail. She is the fiery energy of creation and life, and the power of Lord Shiva. The popular image of Durga has ten arms, each carrying a divine weapon. Each of the ten items that she holds in her hands have some special significance.
The Weapons Of Maa Durga
1. Trishul – The trident of Lord Shiva is the main weapon of Maa Duga which she uses to slay the demons. It symbolizes the three gunas – Sattva, Rajas and Tamas. It is considered to be one of the most powerful weapons in Hinduism.
2. Sudarshan Chakra – This is another important weapon that Durga holds in one of her hands. It signifies the power of the Goddess over the entire Universe. It was gifted to her by Lord Vishnu.
3. Conch shell or Shankha – This conch shell was gifted to Maa Durga by Lord Varuna. It is the symbol of the sacred sound of ‘Om’, which is the most primitive sound in the Universe. It resembles Maa Shakti's role as the energy behind creation.
4. Bow and Arrow- The bow and arrows held by the Goddess symbolize both potential (bow) and kinetic (arrow) energies. It points to the fact that Maa Durga is in control of all energies in the Universe.
5. Thunderbolt- The thunderbolt gifted by Lord Indra is another item Maa Durga holds in her hands. Thunder is a symbol of rage and anger and these qualities are a part of Maa Durga, who destroys evil ruthlessly.
6. Sword – Maa Durga also carries a sword in her hand. The sharp blade of this sword signifies divine knowledge that shines through all the darkness.
7. Half-bloomed lotus – The half-bloomed lotus is a sign of humility and success. Its underlying meaning is that, although success and prosperity are achievable goals, one shall not take them for granted.
दुर्गा ध्यान मंत्र (Durga Dhyan Mantra) - with Sanskrit lyrics
Durga (Hindustani pronunciation: [ˈd̪uːrɡaː];
Sanskrit: दुर्गा), meaning "the inaccessible"
or "the invincible", is the most popular incarnation of Devi and one of the main forms of
the Goddess Shakti in the Hindu pantheon.
Durga is the original manifested form of Mother Adi-Parashakti. The Devi Gita,
also known as Parvati Gita, declares her to be the greatest Goddess. Thus, she
is considered the supreme goddess and primary deity in Shaktism, occupying a
place similar to Lord Krishna in Vaishnavism. According to Skanda
Purana, the goddess Parvati accounted the name "Durga" after she killed the
demon Durgamaasura. Goddess Parvati is considered to be the complete incarnation
of Adi Parashakti or Goddess Durga, with all other goddesses being her
incarnations or manifestations. Adi Parashakti or Mahadevi, the supreme power,
is called Durga Shakti as per Devi-Mahatmya. Adi Parashakti or Devi Durga is a
Hindu concept of the Ultimate Shakti or Mahashakti, the ultimate power inherent
in all Creation. This is especially prevalent in the Shakta denomination within
Hinduism, which worships the Goddess Devi in all her manifestations.
Ramprasad Chanda writes the following about the development of Durga from
primitive goddess to her current form:
"...it is possible to distinguish two different strata – one primitive and
the other advanced. The primitive form of Durga is the result of syncretism
of a mountain-goddess worshiped by the dwellers of the Himalaya and
the Vindhyas, a goddess worshiped
by the nomadic Abhira shepherd, the vegetation spirit
conceived as a female, and a war-goddess. As her votaries advanced in
civilisation the primitive war-goddess was transformed into the
personification of the all-destroying time (Kali), the vegetation spirit into
the primordial energy (Adya Sakti) and the
saviouress from “samsara” (cycle of rebirths) ,
and gradually brought into line with the Brahmanic
mythology and philosophy."
The four-day-long (Saptami to Dashami) Durga Puja is the biggest
annual festival in Bengal, Assam, Odisha, Bihar, Jharkhand and Nepal, where it is known as
Dashain. It is celebrated likewise with much fervour in various parts of India,
especially the Himalayan region, but is
celebrated in various forms throughout the Hindu universe.
The day of Durga's victory is celebrated as Vijayadashami (Bihar, Bengali),
Dashain (Nepali) or Dussehra (Hindi) – these words
literally mean "the Victory Tenth" (day).
In Kashmir she is worshipped as shaarika (the main temple is in Hari
Parbat in Srinagar).
The actual period of the worship however may be on the preceding nine days
(Navaratri) followed by the
last day called Vijayadashami in North India or five days in Bengal (from
the sixth to tenth day of the waxing-moon fortnight).
Nine aspects of Durga known as Navadurga are meditated upon,
one by one during the nine-day festival by devout Shakti worshippers. Durga Puja
also includes the worship of Shiva, who is Durga's consort
(Durga is an aspect of Goddess Parvati), in addition to Lakshmi, Saraswati with
Ganesha and Kartikeya, who are considered
to be Durga's children.
Worship of mother nature is done,
through nine types of plant (called "Kala Bou"), including a plantain
(banana) tree, which represent nine divine forms of Goddess Durga.
In South India especially, Andhra Pradesh Dussera Navaratri is also celebrated
and the goddess is dressed each day as a different devi – Saraswati, Parvati,
Lakshmi etc. – for the nine days.
In North India, the tenth day, is celebrated as Dussehra, the day Rama emerged victorious
in his battle against the demon, Ravana – gigantic straw effigies
of Ravana are burnt in designated open spaces (e.g. Delhi's Ram Lila grounds), watched
by thousands of families and little children.
(which originated from Mahishasooru) in Karnataka, she is worshipped
as Chamundeshwari, the
patron goddess of the city during Dussehra (Dasara).
it is celebrated as the last day of Navaratri, during which the Garba
dance is performed to celebrate the victory of Mahishasura-mardini,
The Goddess Durga is worshipped in her peaceful form as Maha Gauri, The Fair
Lady, Shree Shantadurga also known as Santeri, is the patron Goddess
of Goa. She is worshipped by all Goan Hindus.
In Maharashtra, Tulja Bhavani and Ambabai are worshipped as
Mahishasur Mardini, who is the patron goddess of the land. Bhavani is known as
Tulaja, Amba, Renuka, Yamai Saptshrungi and Jogai in different places of
Maharashtra. She is the inspirational goddess of Raja Shivaji. As per legends, Bhavani
appeared after Shivaji prayed to her and blessed him to be able to make
Hindustan or the then India (ruled by the Mughals) independent – the kingdom he
established eventually became the Hindu Pad Padshahi (sometimes also called the
Maratha Empire), which
comprised all the land ruled by the Mughals and brought India back under Hindu
In Bangladesh also, the four-day
long Sharadiya Durga Puja
(Bengali: শারদীয়া দুর্গা পুজো, ‘autumnal Durga worship’) is the biggest
religious festivals for the Hindus and celebrated across the country with
Vijayadashami being a national holiday.
The prominence of Durga Puja increased gradually during the British
Raj in Bengal.
After the Hindu reformists identified Durga with India, she became an icon for
Navadurga, depicted surrounding Durga, worshipped
Navadurga (Devanagari:नवदुर्गा), which
literally means nine Goddess Durgas, constitute, according to Hindu mythology, the
manifestation of Durga in nine different forms.
These nine forms of manifestation are Śhailaputrī,
together worshipped during the Navratri (Nine Divine Nights)
celebration in Autumn each year.
May the illustrious Shailputri Durga whom I salute and whose head is
adorned by a halfmoon, who rides nandi, a bull and carries a
spear fulfill the desires of my heart. She is known as 1st phase of Durga when
she took birth as the daughter of Great Himalayas.
May the supreme Brahmachari Durga, who holds rosary and kamandalu in her lotus hands
and whose nature is to attain Sachchidanandamaya Brahmaswarupa the Existence-Knowledge-Bliss
absolute, be propitious on me.
May that Durga Devi, who rides on Tiger, who is endowed with intense
anger and violence and is renowned by the name of Maa Chandraghanta,
bestow her grace on me. Chandraghanta Maa is known and named Chandraghanta or
Chandra-Khanda as Maa Durga wears the semi-circular moon (Chandra) which appears
like a bell (Ghanta) on her forehead.
May Kushmanda Ma Durga who holds two pitchers full of blood in her
lotus hands and the universe is created, sustained and drawn within Devi's
ownself in a wink be propitious for me. In this form Mother Durga creates solar
system by liberating her power to Lord Sun.
May the renowned Durga Devi Skandamata who is eternally seated on a
throne and whose hands are adorned with lotuses, be ever propitious to me. As
Mother of Skanda or Kartikeya, Maa Parvati or Maa Durga is known as
May she Bhayankari Maa Durga who is with long lips, riding an ass,
shining in various hues looks formidable because of the halo of Devi's lustre
and is adorned with multi coloured ornaments remove my darkness of
May the Mahagauri Ma Durga who rides a white Vrishaba the bull and who
wears spotless white clothes and remains ever pure and also provides ever
lasting bliss to Mahadeva Lord Shiva bestow all
May the ever victorious Siddhidayini Ma Durga, who is always
worshipped by the hordes of siddha, gandharva, yaksha, asura, and Deva, bestow success at
my every venture. She is one who was worshiped by Lord Shiva to become in the
form of Goddess Ardhnarishwara, then Goddess Shakti Appeared from the left side
of Lord Shiva
Some early Western accounts refer to a deity known as Deumus, Demus or Deumo.
Western (Portuguese) sailors first came face to face with the murti of Deumus at Calicut on the
Malabar Coast and they
concluded it to be the deity of Calicut. Deumus is sometimes interpreted as an
aspect of Durga in Hindu mythology and sometimes as deva.
It is described that the ruler of Calicut (Zamorin) had a murti of Deumus in his temple
inside his royal palace.
The temple was two paces wide in each of the four sides and three paces high,
with a wooden door covered with gods carved in relief. At the centre of the
temple, there was a metal idol of Deumus placed in a seat, which was also made
Western accounts also describe the ruler of Calicut worshiping an ultimate
god called Tamerani ("Tamburan"). The accounts also describes a misunderstood
form of the "hook-swinging" ritual once commonly performed as part of some
popular Hindu religious festivals.
^Jörg Breu d. ä. zugeschrieben, Idol von Calicut, in:
Ludovico de Varthema, 'Die Ritterlich und lobwürdig Reisz', Strassburg 1516.
(Bild: Völkerkundemuseum der Universität Zürich
^A briefe collection and compendious extract of
straunge and memorable thinges, gathered out of the Cosmographye of
Sebastian Munster, wherein is made a plaine description of diuers and straunge
lawes, rites, maners and properties of sondrye nations, and a short report of
straunge histories of diuers men, and of the nature and properties of certaine
fovvles, fishes, beastes, monsters, and sondry countryes and places,
published in London in 1574 by Tomas Marshe