Maa Durga, Devi or Shakti are all words that are synonymous with unlimited power. Shakti is an embodiment of supreme divine energy, that is unleashed by the Goddess to destroy evil and restore virtue and peace in the world. Maa Durga is the Universal Mother, the creator and preserver of the universe, who descends on Earth in her carnal form, riding her lion when evil and negative forces of arrogance, jealousy, prejudice, hatred, anger, and greed threaten to destroy the moral order on earth. The lion she mounts is also a symbol of power and uncontrolled animalistic tendencies like pride, anger and greed. In riding this fearsome beast, Maa Durga portrays her control over all these forces.
The manifestation of Maa Durga
It is believed that Maa Durga was manifested when the evil demon Mahishasur wrecked havoc and suffering on earth. Goddess Durga was incarnated with the combined powers of Goddess Parvati, Lakshmi and Saraswati and bestowed with gifts, weapons and boons from the other Gods, making her the all-powerful Shakti or Durgatinashini- the one who eliminates all suffering. In her form as Durga, the Goddess is a warrior woman with ten hands, holding different weapons and gifts in each, but befitting her role as Mother or Maa, one hand is always held out in Abhay Mudra which symbolizes forgiveness and blessings for her devotees. She is dressed in red, the colour of pure divine energy that represents jyoti- an embodiment of feminine and creative energy.
Durga Puja and Navratri
Durga Puja is celebrated to honour Maa Durga’s ten-day crusade against evil in the form of the demon Mahishasur. The invincible Goddess patiently slew every form that Mahishasur took over the ten days to rampage against her, finally unleashing her animal anger and cutting his head off with her sword on the tenth day, thus taking the name of Mahishasurmardhini- the slayer of Mahishasur. The ten-day festival of Durga Puja is celebrated with passion and gusto by Hindus all over the world. The festival commences with Navratri, a nine-day celebration of all the different forms of Maa Durga or Navdurga, followed by Vijayadashami or the tenth day on which the Goddess emerged victorious in her fight against evil. The festival is celebrated in different forms all over India, with dramatic events, elaborate decorations and special chantings.
The Significance of Maa Durga’s Weapons
Durga or the ‘invincible one’ is always depicted with multiple hands, holding a different weapon or object in each hand. Each of these weapons or objects had been bestowed upon her by the Gods who invoked her when evil on earth was threatening mankind and each holds a meaning and significance of its own. Every culture has different beliefs in terms of how many hands Maa Durga has or the weapons she holds, but there are a few which are present across all depictions.
The Conch Shell or Shankh is an instrument which emanates the root Universal sound of ‘Om’. It represents the Universal sound that is omnipresent and resonates with the omnipotent God. The Conch or Shankh is also a symbol of happiness and used as part of Indian celebrations. The sound of Om is said to purify the environment and our minds of negativity, encouraging us to perform our duties happily and without resentment. Our Shankh Charm is a perfect gift for auspiciousness and brings happiness and prosperity to the wearer.
Bestowed on Maa Durga by Lord Vishnu, the Sudarshan Chakra is a symbol of Dharma, Duty and Righteousness. Symbolic of the vision, wisdom and power of the Lord, it signifies that we must perform our duties diligently. Our Sudarshan Chakra Brooch is a perfect gift for men and will motivate them to always do the right thing.
The Sword held by Maa Durga and used to slay Mahishasur symbolises both knowledge and the eradication of vices. The sharpness of the sword signifies that knowledge is the most powerful weapon in the World and the shine of the sword signifies that it never becomes rusted or obsolete. Only the really knowledgeable people are able to distinguish between the right and the wrong and eventually destroy all evil from their path. Our Invincible Queen Collection, inspired by great warrior women, is a great gift for women of all ages, encouraging them to face their challenges fearlessly.
Bow and Arrow
The Bow and Arrow held by Maa Durga are symbolic of moral character and values like that of Lord Ram. It signifies that despite the worst adversities in life, we must never stoop low and lose our character. The bow and arrow also represent energy and by holding these, the Goddess establishes her control over both potential(bow) and kinetic(arrow) energy. The control over energy essentially means that we all have the power over our current and future actions and that we must act morally. Our beautiful Zirconia encrusted Dhanush Brooch is a great gift for someone who is working or starting out and will instil courage and righteousness in their thoughts.
The Trident or Trishul
The weapon of Lord Shiva, the three prongs of the Trishul are symbolic of three qualities- Satwa (inactivity), Rajas(activity), and Tamas (nonactivity). It signifies that only with the perfect balance of all three qualities can we alleviate our physical and mental sufferings and achieve peace and salvation. The Trishul as a weapon is symbolic of great courage, the courage to change our habits and qualities and face every challenge in life. Our Shakti Trishul Stud can be worn alone or as a pair by both men and women and will encourage the wearer to channel their three shaktis- will, action and wisdom- to ward off negative energy.
The lotus flower or ‘Pankaj’ in Sanskrit literally means born of mud. The lotus flower blooms in the mud, yet it is detached or unaffected by the dirt around it. Despite being surrounded by dirty water, it still radiates enchanting beauty making everyone around happy. Just like the lotus, we must also be detached from the criticism and negativity around us and focus our energies on our own actions. Our Lotus Bud Post Dangler Earrings are a beautiful gift for any woman. With its handcrafted two-toned finish, its beauty will inspire you to bloom beautifully even in the dirt.
In her form of Mahagauri, Maa Durga holds the Trishul and the Damru- both representing Shiva. The damru, also known as a power drum, is believed to generate spiritual energy when played. The Damru represents reproduction or creation and is often seen with the Trishul which represents destruction. Maa Durga destroys evil but as Universal Mother and an embodiment of Divine Shakti (feminine and creative energy), she also represents creation. Our Damru Charm is a great gift for life’s important milestones as it symbolises creative energy.
Every year, during Durga Puja celebrations, the nine different forms of Maa Durga are invoked by her devotees, who seek her blessings to emerge victorious against the evils in their lives like she emerged victorious against the demon Mahishasur. Durga Puja is a time of festive revelry with your loved ones, massive celebrations and dramatic events like pandal and idol displays. People are ecstatic with joy, celebrating, praying and fasting for the Devi who saved the world from evil.
May Maa Durga destroy all imperfections and faults from our lives so that we can become receptacles of her Divine Shakti.