Do you know who created Devi Durga? According to Hindu mythology Devi Durga was a power created in heaven by the Devas (Gods) Lord Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwar (Shiva) to overcome the buffalo demon Mahishasur who had been tormenting them, the lesser Gods and Sanyasis (hermits) for long. The Devas collated their energies to form the radiant power Shakti - Shakti which evolved into Goddess Durga.
Durga is thus said to hold the combined powers of the Great Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwar. This mythological fact also explains why Durga came to be known as 'Mahishasur Mardini' or the slayer of the buffalo-demon.
"Shakti" which evolved into Goddess Durga, was entrusted with ten hands, each of which was armed with special weapons from the Devas (Gods). She is also seen to ride a lion which is considered to be her bahon (vehicle). Durga fought the buffalo demon Mahishasurfor nine days and nights, and killed him finally on the tenth day of Ashwin Shukla Paksha.
Her eyes bear important significance as well. Her left eye is a representation of desire, symbolized by the moon, her right eye symbolized by the sun is action; and her middle eye stands for knowledge which is symbolized by Agni (fire).
The power of the goddess and her win over evil is celebrated through fasting and feasts during this 10-day period which is
the celebration of Durga Pujo.
Across India, Durga is worshipped in various forms by different cultures and states. While Eastern India celebrates Durga Puja, the Goddess is worshipped in North India as Sherawali or Ambe Maa in Western India during the same period - the celebrations termed as Navratri. Navratri is a 9 day festival which culminates to Dussehra – the day celebrating the victory of Lord Rama over Ravana.
Interestingly, the invincible Warrior Goddess is worshipped as Maa or Mother in Bengal. In this unique avatar, Maa Durga is accompanied by her children – daughters Lakshmi and Saraswati and sons Ganesh and Kartik.
In Bengal, Durga is worshipped as an affectionate yet powerful mother –she is the ideal protector that would give the people of Bengal the strength to overcome every hurdle in their life. The children of Durga are representations of human wants towards a good and successful life.
Debi Saraswati, the Goddess of knowledge and her Bahon (Vehicle), the white swan symbolizes purest form of knowledge, while Debi Lakshmi’s owl symbolizes wealth and wisdom.
Similarly, Kartikeya’s pet peacock symbolizes dignity and beauty; and Ganesha, the God of prosperity is perched on a mouse that symbolically represents basal desires, spiritual darkness and pride, all of which need to be controlled to succeed in life.Know more about the Origin of Durga Pujo in Bengal