Goddess Durga and Mahishasura
Indian mythology is full of tales that inspire awe and wonder. The tale I am about to share is one such story.
Once upon a time, thousands of years ago, there was a tyrant called Mahishasura.
He was part demon and part buffalo.
Mahishasura meditated for thousands of years so he could please Lord Brahma and in return be blessed with immortality and power.
After much penance, his plan worked.
Lord Brahma came to him and said, “I am very pleased with your devotion. Ask me any boon that you desire.”
Without batting an eyelid, the arrogant Mahishasura said, “Lord, I don’t want any man or God to be able to kill me.”
Brahma raised his hand in blessing and said, “Tathastu. So be it, my child.”
A twinkle in Brahma’s eyes gave away the fact that maybe Mahishasura had left a loophole while seeking his blessing. Time would tell.
Armed with this boon, Mahishasura considered himself immortal, as no man or God could lay hands on him. He went berserk. In his rage and pride, he practically destroyed the Earth. The lands were soon covered in his darkness and his massacres were widespread. Not only that, he chased away the Gods out of heaven.
Scared, the Gods went running to Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva and narrated their misfortune.
They pleaded for protection and said that if something was not done soon, the heavens and the earth and all the beings there, would be destroyed.
The lords Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva were hopping mad. They conferred for a moment. And then they held each other and started to radiate a blinding light. A light never seen before. A light so bright, that even the sun paled in comparison. Seeing this, the other Gods also joined in and the light shone even brighter.
Out of this beautiful light, was born the ten armed Goddess Durga, the embodiment of Adi Shakti.
Being a woman, there was nothing stopping Goddess Durga from killing Mahishasura, as his boon only protected him from men and Gods. Such was the cunning and smartness of Lord Brahma.
One by one the gods approached her and gifted her a dazzling array of weapons.
The mighty Sudarshan chakra was given to her by Lord Vishnu.
Lord Shiva gave her a dangerous Trishul.
She got a Quiver full of arrows from Lord Varuna, the God of the Sea.
Lord Yama, the God of Death, gave her a powerful Sceptre.
Lord Indra, a Thunderbolt, to rattle the earth.
Lord Vishwakarma, the Architect of the Gods, a menacing axe.
Kaal, or Time, gave her a sharp sword.
She got a kamandal, or pitcher, from Lord Brahma.
Agni gifted a flaming dart.
Airavata, Indra’s white elephant, gave Goddess Durga a bell.
Its noise helped her confuse the demons.
The mighty Himalayas gave Goddess Durga a lion to ride upon.
Armed with ten weapons gifted to her by the gods, one for each arm, she looked ready to show Mahishasura who the boss was and went into battle with him.
Durga battled Mahishasura for ten whole days.
On the tenth day, she managed to chop off his head with her sword.
At last, the balance of life was restored. Life came bouncing back on the trees, rivers, skies and the heavens.
To celebrate this victory, we perform Durga Puja every year and remember the great heroics shown by Goddess Durga.
Durga Puja is a ten day carnival in Bengal.
On the last day, Vijay Dashami, we celebrate Goddess Durga’s killing of Mahishasura.
This day is also called Dussehra and we celebrate Lord Rama killing Ravana too. Did you know that before Lord Rama went to Lanka, he prayed to Goddess Durga for her protection and blessings?
The Story of Goddess Durga in Hindi : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kzJo4hFAi2s
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