Goddess Durga is a fierce warrior form of Hindu Goddess Shakti. She was created by the Hindu God Trinity – Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva – to fight a demon, Mahishasura, when the Gods were unable to stop him. She fights with evil forces who threaten peace and Dharma. She is depicted as eight-armed riding on lion, holding Chakra (disc like weapon), lotus, sword, mace, trident, bow, and conch.
Durga is the Mother of the universe from who comes forth the creation, sustenance and dissolution of all beings and all worlds. She is Chit-Shakti, the power of consciousness, out of which the cosmos coalesces as matter, life and mind.Goddess Durga, through all her forms, encompasses the essence of salvation and sacrifice. She is the mother of bounty and wealth, as also of beauty and knowledge.
She is the embodiement of purity, knowledge, truth and self-realization. The highest form of truth present in any being or Jiva is known as “Aatman” or supreme consciousness. This supreme consciousness or the absolute soul is infinite, birthless, deathless, beyond time and space, and beyond the law of causation. Goddess Durga is the inherent dynamic energy through which this supreme consciousness manifests itself.
The Sanskrit word Durga means a fort, or a place that is protected and thus difficult to reach. Durga, also called Divine Mother, protects mankind from evil and misery by destroying evil forces such as selfishness, jealousy, prejudice, hatred, anger, and ego. Another name for Durga is Durgatinashini which means ‘the one who eliminates suffering’. Her name thus indicates her role as the one who protects her devotees and removes evil from the world.
There is an interesting tale of the fierce battle of Goddess Durga with demon Mahishasura, a demon who earned the favour of Lord Brahma after long and hard penance. Lord Brahma, pleased with the devotion of the demon, blessed him with a boon that only a woman can kill him. Empowered with the boon, Mahishasura started his reign of terror over the Universe and people were killed mercilessly. He even attacked the abode of the gods. The war between gods and demons lasted a hundred years, in which Mahishasura was the leader of the Asuras or demons and Indra was the chief of the gods. In this contest, the army of the gods was defeated by the more powerful demons. When Mahishasura conquered the gods, he became their leader.
The gods, utterly defeated, took refuge under Lord Brahma, who took them to Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu. Having heard of the misdeeds of the demons, pure energy blazed forth from Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva – the trinity forming the pure energy of Godhood. As the gods witnessed this fiery crest of energy pervading all the directions and blazing forth like a mountain peak aflame with the sun, this matchless energy that sprang from the bodies of all the gods, its light illuminating the three worlds, became concentrated in one spot and took form of the Goddess. Her face was from the light of Shiva. Her ten arms were from Lord Vishnu. Her feet were from Lord Brahma. The tresses were formed from the light of Yama (god of death) and the two breasts were formed from the light of Soma (Moon God), the waist from the light of Indra (the king of gods), the legs and thighs from the light of Varun (god of water), and hips from the light of Bhoodevi (Earth), the toes from the light of Surya (Sun God), fingers of the hand from the light of the Vasus and nose from the light of Kuber (the keeper of wealth for the Gods). The teeth were formed from the light of Prajapati (the lord of creatures), the Triad of her eyes was born from the light of Agni (Fire God), the eyebrows from the two Sandhyas (sunrise and sunset), the ears from the light of Vayu (god of Wind). Thus from the energy of these gods, as well as from many other gods, was formed the goddess Durga.
The gods then gifted the goddess with their weapons and other divine objects to help her in her battle with the demon, Mahishasura. Lord Shiva gave her a trident while Lord Vishnu gave her a disc. Varuna, gave her a conch and noose, and Agni gave her a spear. From Vayu, she received arrows. Indra, gave her a thunderbolt, and the gift of his white-skinned elephant Airavata was a bell. From Yama, she received a sword and shield and from Vishwakarma (god of Architecture), an axe and armour. The king of mountains, Himavan gifted her with jewels and a lion to ride on. Durga was also given many other precious and magical gifts, new clothing, and a garland of immortal lotuses.
After a fierce combat, Durga finally slew the demon king with her trident. Heaven and earth rejoiced at her victory and peace was once again restored to the three worlds.Another name for Durga is Durgatinashini which means ‘the one who eliminates suffering’. Her name thus indicates her role as the one who protects her devotees and removes evil from the world.
Goddess Durga symbolizes the divine forces (positive energy) known as divine shakti (feminine energy/ power) that is used against the negative forces of evil and wickedness.Chakra in her 1st upper right hand symbolizes dharma (duty/righteousness). Conch in her first upper left hand symbolizes happiness. Sword in her second right lower hand symbolizes eradication of vices. Bow and arrow in her second left lower hand symbolizes character like Lord Rama, i.e., when we face difficulties in our life we should not lose our character and values. Lotus Flower in her third lower left hand symbolizes detachment. We must live in the world without attachment to the external world. Just like the lotus flower stays in dirty water yet smiles and gives its beauty to others. This is the only way to receive Her blessings.Club in her third right lower hand is the symbol of Lord Hanuman and symbolizes devotion and surrender. Trident/Trishul in her fourth left lower hand symbolizes courage. Fourth Lower Right Hand symbolizes forgiveness and Her blessings.
Like Shiva, Mother Durga is also referred to as Triyambake, meaning the three-eyed Goddess. The left eye represents desire and has the peace and calmness of the moon; the right eye represents action and holds the power of the sun; and the central eye is the all-knowing eye with the ability to burn with its power of fire.
Goddess Durga is depicted as riding on a lion or a tiger. A tiger symbolizes unlimited power. Durga riding a tiger indicates that she possesses unlimited power and uses it to protect virtue and destroy evil. The lion is a symbol of uncontrolled animalistic tendencies (such as anger, arrogance, selfishness, greed, jealousy, desire to harm others etc.) and her sitting on it reminds us to control these qualities, so that we are not controlled by them.
She is usually shown wearing a red sari. The color red symbolizes action and the red clothes signify that she is destroying evil and protecting mankind from pain and suffering.
Thus, Goddess Durga symbolizes the divine forces (positive energy) that is used against the negative forces of evil and wickedness. She represents pure energy (positive), known as divine light or jyoti that is the embodiment of feminine and creative energy.
Benefits of having Goddess Durga Potrait
- Durga, also called Divine Shakti, protects mankind from evil and misery by destroying evil forces (negative energy and vices—arrogance, jealousy, prejudice, hatred, anger, greed and selfishness).
- Durga means she who takes us beyond all difficulties. She is the divine energy that protects the soul from duality, adversity and opposition, known and unknown. Durga grants us the transformative knowledge that takes us to a higher level of existence beyond all that we have previously thought possible. She is the Yoga Shakti dwelling in the heart that opens us up to the clear light of Self-realization, the revelation of our true divine nature that stands above all time, space and karma. The Kundalini Shakti arises and works within us through Durga’s force. Ma Durga as the Divine Mother can guide humanity into a new era of peace and happiness. But she does so by first eliminating the powers of darkness, not by compromising with them, much less by consoling or appeasing them.
- She is in-charge of this material creation, a place of miseries. She is always there to keep a check on the people living here. Therefore, in order to live here peacefully, people propitiate her by worshipping her on her sacred days. And, she being the one in-charge, she supplies her devotees with material powers and bounties as per their desires.
- Goddess Durga’s worship benefits her devotees from all material angles. She is the deliverer from miseries and motivates the person to work hard and get a higher position in the terms of material prosperity. She blesses her devotees with material psychic powers and siddhis and awards liberation from all sorts of negativities and lack of peace of mind. She awards wealth, fame, beauty, recognition, prosperity, progeny, strength and all sorts of bodily comforts. Her worship is not limited to material benefits. Although she is the deluding principle of the Supreme Lord and her duty is to punish the souls and keep them astray from the absolute reality on the dint of their free will to enjoy this material world, the intelligent person can get liberation from this material prison house by her grace.
Pieter Weltevrede – is a Master “Sacred-Artist” based out of the Nederlands. After a many years of guidance, under his guru Late Harish Johari a successful author, a gifted painter and sculptor, a lifetime scholar, an inspiring teacher, a splendid cook, an ayurvedic massage miracle, etc., Pieter embarked on his own journey amalgamating ancient Indian knowledge with his own western sensibilities evolving an art form that appeals to todays international audience. He has been practising his art form from the last 40 years now.
His original paintings are in water colours on silk with a wash-technique that gives them a very three-dimensional feel. The complexity and detail in his works are a super-human endeavour as he continues to live a mundane life travelling between the Western World and India.
Here, ‘Goddess Durga’ paintings are printed on coated matt paper by inkjet printer, using ultra chrome inks with an off-white paper mounting with golden border, and encased inside a fibre frame with acrylic sheet cover in the front.