Like Dashavatar (10 avatars of Lord Vishnu), there are many incarnations of Durga in Shaktism as well namely: Skandamata, Kushmanda, Shailaputri, Kaalratri, Brahmacharini, Katyayani, Chandraghanta, Siddhidatri. In this article, the Ashtottara, Origin, Mahishasura battle scenes, Durga maa images are discussed in detail.
Durga Maa Ashtottara
The hymn that describes Maa Durga in 108 names is called “Ashtottara Shatanamavali of Goddess Durga“.
Origin of Durga Maa
From the literature perspectives, the Shiva Purana gives the references to the origin of Goddess Durga. At the beginning of time, Lord Shiva invoked Durga, the primordial energy from his left half to create. Together they created their eternal abode, Shivaloka (aka Kashi). Then they created Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma.
In both Shiva Purana and Devi Mahatmya, Mahishasura, son of demon Rambha, unleashed the terror on earth. When the all gods intervened, Mahishasura defeated them and eventually banished them from the heaven.
The vanquished gods went to the Trimurti – (Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva). As they narrated their woeful tales, an immense mass of light manifested from Vishnu’s mouth. Along with this, similar rays that were emerged from the enraged faces of gods. This mass of light transformed into a woman. The gods had given gifts of divine weapons to this woman who was Adi Parashakti manifested as Maa Durga to kill Mahishasura.
Goddess Durga in Battlefield with Mahishasura
Armed with celestial weapons gifted by the deities and bestowed with divine ornaments, Maa Durga rode into the battle field and challenged the demons for battle. Mahishasura’s entire army attacked Goddess Durga simultaneously. But Durga killed them all with unparalleled fearlessness.
Then an irked Mahishasura attacked Goddess Durga in an disguise as a buffalo. However Maa Durga caught him in this form with ropes. Then buffalo then turned into a lion and leapt onto Maa Durga, but she beheaded the buffalo with her sword. At this juncture, Mahishasura began to fight with his sword – Maa Durga pinned him down with a series of arrows. Then Mahishasura turned into a giant elephant and tugged at Durga’s mount. Durga lopped off the trunk of the elephant with her sword and released her lion.
The elephant again turned into a buffalo and charged at Durga. Goddess Durga flung her trident power and beheaded Mahishasura, finally killing him.
The day of Durga’s victory is celebrated as Vijayadashami all over India, Nepal and Bangladesh.
Durga Maa – An Iconography
Statue of Durga Mata as Mahisashuramardini (meaning ‘one who slayed Mahisashura’) holding the following weapons & their significances:
- Chakra – Given by Lord Vishnu (also known as the Sudarshan Chakra that spins in the little index finger the represents the righteousness.
- Conch – Given by Lord Varuna, this is seen in her first upper left hand. This symbolizes the cosmic sound of OM vibration.
- Bow and arrow – Given by Lord Surya, she holds them in her second left hand to destroy the difficulties arising in one`s path in life.
- Sword – She holds it in her second right lower hand that emphasizes knowledge and intelligence.
- Spear – This weapon helps to destroy the negative and evil forces and grants auspiciousness.
- Club – This is seen in her third right lower hand. This weapon destroys the power of the enemy, however powerful he may be.
- Trident – Given by Lord Shiva, Trishul or trident seen in her fourth left hand symbolizes the three qualities – satwa, rajas and tamas in a human.
- Thunderbolt – Given by Lord Indra, this weapon symbolizes firmness of spirit.
- Lotus – It represents the awakening of spiritual consciousness in a soul.
Durga Maa Images
Durga Mata HD Wallpapers
Here are the best Durga maa images as wallpapers for your desktop computers and smartphone screens.
-  – “Seeking Mahadevi.” Google Books. Accessed January 02, 2017. Link.
-  – LLP, Adarsh Mobile Applications. “108 Names of Goddess Durga | Ashtottara Shatanamavali of Goddess Durga.” Online Panchang, Panchangam and Hindu Calendar for the world. Accessed January 02, 2017. Link.
-  – The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica. “Durga.” Encyclopædia Britannica. 2015. Accessed January 02, 2017. Link.