Durga


Durga
/door"gah/, n. Hinduism.
the sometimes malignant goddess of war: an aspect of Devi.

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In Hinduism, one of the forms of the goddess Devi or Shakti (see shakti), and the wife of Shiva.

She was born fully grown, created out of flames that issued from the mouths of Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva, and other gods and embodying their collective energy (shakti). They created her to slay the buffalo-demon Mahisasura, whom they were unable to overcome. She is usually depicted riding a lion or tiger, each of her multiple arms bearing a weapon. See also Durga-puja.

Durga, Rajasthani miniature of the Mewar school, mid-17th century; in a private collection

Pramod Chandra

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▪ Hindu mythology
Sanskrit“the Inaccessible”
  in Hinduism, a principal form of the goddess Devi or Shakti, and the wife of Shiva. According to legend, Durga was created for the slaying of the buffalo demon Mahisasura, by Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva, and the lesser gods who were otherwise powerless to overcome him. Embodying their collective energy (shakti), she is both derivative from the male divinities and the true source of their inner power. She is also greater than any of them. Born fully grown and beautiful, Durga presents a fierce menacing form to her enemies. She is usually depicted riding a lion and with 8 or 10 arms, each holding the special weapon of one of the gods, who gave them to her for her battle against the buffalo demon. The Durga-puja, held annually in her honour, is one of the great festivals of northeastern India.

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Universalium. 2010.

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