India, the land of a platterful of festivals of many colors, many moods and many cultures satisfies man’s apetite for the grand, the gorgeous and the subtle aspects of social existence.
In Bengal, and all over the country, this is the time when the winter makes its feel in the air that Durga Puja is celebrated. Either the start of October, or its midway, every year people indulge in the grand celebration of the worship of Goddess Durga. However though for Bengalis it is Durga Puja, elsewhere in India this is the occassion of Navratri where people sing, dance and worship the nine forms of Goddess Durga. It is the festive color in the air when everybody soaks themselves in the bliss of merrymaking, joy and devotion to the Goddess.
There are several variations and interpretations of the story of Goddess Durga and the myth behind the festival. But I shall tell you the simple story I heard as a child from my grandpa. The story was so gripping that I heard it all along every year anew.The story goes thus.
In ancient times the sages and angels were continually disturbed and tortured by the villain of the story, Mahisasura, the asura king who reigned supreme. No one could defeat his enormous power. So the deities prayed to the holy trio in hindu mythology namely Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwara to help them to win over Mahisasura and save the creation from distress and destruction.
Hence Goddess Durga was incarnated to put an end to Mahisasura and re-establish peace and serenity in creation. All the deities gifted their own powers to the Goddess and made her an embodiment of all that is supreme. Then there was a fight between Durga and Mahisasura where Durga emerged victorious. Thereby, as Mahisasura boasted that no ‘man’ can ever defeat him, there was Durga, the Goddess,the ‘woman’ who put an end to all chaos and brought peace unto creation.
Durga Maa as we call her, the mother of the entire creation. Just like a mother who defends her child with all her might, none so powerful and gentle than her…so also Goddess Durga protects her children, the entire creation from all that is bad. This story is so beautiful, it stresses that the entire creation can be protected by a mother…such is the Divine potential gifted to her. Likely enough, Goddess Durga rides a lion. She has two sons namely karthika and Ganesha and two daughters namely Saraswati and Lakshmi.
Karthika rides a peacock and is well versed in archery, Ganesha is the wise one, a cute child of the mother who loves to eat and rides a mouse. While Lakshmi rides an white owl and symbolises wealth and prosperity amd Saraswati who rides a swan is the embodiment of knowledge.
So I just narrated my childhood version of the story of Goddess Durga and hope you enjoyed going through it. I shall narrate such small stories from the myth that we love to hear in the way a child hears it. Such will be my effort…a simple story telling to sit back and enjoy.
Hope you enjoyed it…for further posts glue into my blog and do share your likes and comments for the same.☺