Goddess Durga - Mahishasura Mardan Story
The Markandeya Purana tells the tale of Durga Mahishamardini. Mahishasura was a demon who had performed austerities for many years and had gained a boon from Brahma. He asked for the power to be able to change his form at will and become invincible in battle, whom no one could kill. Unable to refuse a boon he had already promised, a reluctant Brahma said that no male—god or man or asura would succeed in killing Mahisha. The asura king then attacked the gods and there was a terrific battle between the gods and the demons that went on for hundreds of years but the demons were triumphant. The asuras then invaded iind occupied Indra's heaven Amravati and the gods had to come down and hide on earth.
As the three worlds shook with the oppression of the asuras, Mahisha decided to test his powers. He transformed himself into a beautiful woman, entered the ashram of Rishi Kattayana, and then destroyed the rishi's sacrifice. Kattayana recognised Mahisha and said in anger that as he had come disguised as a woman, it would be a woman who would kill him. The asura, drunk with power, only laughed at the rishi's curse.
The gods knew that only their combined energies in the form of a goddess could defeat Mahisha. They all gathered at one place and then a dazzling effulgence flowed out of them to form a figure of incomparable beauty and majestic power. She was the first Shakti, Adi Shakti and called Durga. Her face came from the shakti of Shiva, Yama's power gave her the dark cloud of long hair, Vishnu created her ten hands. Chandra, the moon, Indra and Varuna formed different parts of her body. Brahma's power resided in her feet, Surya her toes and Agni opened her three lotus eyes.
As the figure of this golden goddess reached up to the sky, her glow surrounded her and the gods knew that Mahisha had met her match. The Chandi Mahatmaya describes this magnificent goddess as "wearing anklets around her lotus like feet, a jewelled belt, clothes encrusted with gems and necklace of pearls. She is blue skinned with three eyes and carries weapons in her hundred hands".
Now Durga had to be armed with the most powerful weapons and each god presented her with his own. She received Shiva's trident, the Trishula; Vishnu's discus, the Sudarshana Chakra and Brahma's rudraksha prayer beads and Kamandalu bowl. Varuna gave her his conch shell to blow before the battle and his noose, the Pasha. Agni's gift was a dart, Vayu's a bow and Surya's a quiver of arrows. Indra handed her his thunderbolt, the Vajra; Kuvera a mace, Kala a sword and shield and Vishwakarma his battle axe. The gods also offered her a choice of the mounts to ride, including Indra's Airavat elephant and Vishnu's Garuda bird but Durga chose to ride Himalaya's lion.
A resplendent Durga rode into battle at the head of her army, blowing on her conch and playing her battle drums and when she twanged at the strings of her bow it sounded like a threatening roll of thunder. Mahisha first sent his two generals Chiksura and Chamara at the head of his army and Durga easily vanquished Chiksura while the lion was enough to defeat Chamara. Then Mahisha appeared to fight and every time Durga attacked him he would change his form to confuse her. He appeared as a lion and when Durga cut off his head a giant carrying a sword came out of the lion. As the giant was killed Mahisha changed into an elephant and rampaged through Durga's army.
Durga realised that the moment she struck Mahisha he changed his form and so did not die. As she strengthened herself with draughts of Soma, Shiva told her that the only way to kill Mahisha would be to strike exactly at the moment when he was changing from one form to the next. Then as Mahisha attacked Durga in the form of a giant buffalo she used her battle axe to cut off his head. Then as Mahisha himself began to appear from the bloody neck, at the point when only his upper half had formed and the lower half was still that of a buffalo, Durga put a foot on his shoulder and pierced his heart with the trident.
The Bengali festival of Durga Puja held every autumn in the month of Kartik celebrates the creation, battle and victory of Durga. She was created by the gods on Mahalaya day, she is worshipped on Saptami, Ashtami, and Navami. She is said to have killed Mahishasura on Dashami. In Bengal a popular belief has also turned these days into a time when Durga and her family come to earth to visit her parents. She is accompanied by Lakshmi, Saraswati, Kartikeya, and Ganesha, who are her children. The earthen image shows her as a resplendent goddess armed with weapons killing the half asura half buffalo demon but in an odd contrast she is also surrounded by her family.
This period is celebrated in the north as Dussehra as this is also the time when Rama prayed to Durga before he invaded Lanka. Ravana was killed on Dussehra day which coincides with the Dashami of Durga Puja when Mahisha was also slain. These nine days of Navaratri are the time for the worship of the goddess in her many forms. This is when she received worship not just from people but also the gods and even Rama who was an avatar of Vishnu.
NINE DAYS AND NINE FORMS OF GODDESS DURGA IN NAVRATRE
Third Day - Maa Chandraghanta First Day - Maa Shailputri
Second Day - Maa Brahmcharini
Fourth Day - Maa Kushmanda
Fifth Day - Maa Skandmata
Sixth Day - Maa Katyayani
Seventh Day - Maa Kalratri
Eighth Day - Maa Mahagauri
Nine Day - Maa Siddhidatri
Astrological Products to appease or symbolise Maa
Nine Mukhi Rudraksha - Symbolising Nine forms
There are three yantras - Durga Yantra , Bisa Yantra, Ambajiyan Yantra
Durga Chalisa For The Goddess Durga Stuti
Rudraksha Durga Pendant
Cats Eye GemStone