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See  also   Devee;    Das Mahaa Vidyaa;    Devee Mahaatmya;  

Durgaa, a deified conflation of Tejas (splendor, power) of Deities, with weapon systems donated by the Gods. Mahishaasur defeated the gods and their King Indra, usurped the kingdom of Heaven and sat on Indra's throne. The routed gods sought refuge at the feet of Brahmaa who took them to Shiv and Vishnu. They narrated details of their rout at the hands of the demons. They continued their pitiable account: "We were peaceful, but Mahishaasur usurped our kingdom and throne and banished us from Heaven. We are wandering on Earth, having been uprooted from our hearth and home. The flagrant turncoats amongst us joined Asur Mahish, enjoying freedom and prosperity at the hands of Daitya. Our powers, portfolios and sphere of influence have been wrested from us: The Sun, the Moon, Varun (Lord of waters), Kuber (Treasurer of Devtaa), Yam (god of Death), Indra (King of Devtaa), Agni (Fire), Wind, Gandharv (musicians), Vidyaadhar (scholars), and Chaaran (celestial singer). It is incumbent upon you to give us refuge, kill the Daitya as soon as possible, and restore what has been taken away from us.

Upon hearing an earful of woes, Vishnu and Shiv became very angry, their eyes rolling and turning red. They witnessed in the mouths of Vishnu, Shiv and the bodies of other gods an unrivaled splendor (Tejas) emanating in all ten directions, coalescing, and congealing into a woman. Her face rivaled the splendor of Shiv's face; her hair shone like lightning and rivaled that of Yam; her hands were as beautiful and splendorous as those of Vishnu. In all, she had the appearance of a valiant seductress and killer. Her beauty was a direct bequeathal from Shiv, her strength from Vishnu. The Moon's beaming rays composed her breasts; Indra's her waists; Varuna's her calves and thighs; Earth's her hips; Brahmaa's her feet; the Sun's her toes; Indra's her fingers; Kuber's her nose; Patriarch's her teeth; Fire's her eyes; Dusk's her eyebrows; Wind's her ears; celestials' her limbs. She was sitting on Padm - the lotus seat. (Thus she was the Light and Splendor of all gods.) Vishnu and Shiv knew that Mahishaasur obtained a boon by which he would not be killed by any man (except a woman). Mahish was of the opinion that woman could never overpower and kill him. How wrong he was? That is the reason why the gods created Mahishaasur-mardinee to kill Mahish. (Ten directions are N; NE; E; SE; S; SW; W; NW; Above and Below.)

But they all noticed that she had no weapons on her to fight the demon, so Lord Shiv gave her a trident; Lord Krishn gave her His Discus; Varun gave her his conch and noose; the Fire-god gave her his Shakti; Wind-god gave her his bow and a quiver of inexhaustible arrows; Indra his thunderbolt and a bell; Yam, the god of Death, his Big Stick; Prajaapati a garland of beads; Brahmaa gave her a water pot; and the Sun gave her lustrous hair. Durgaa deified conflation of Tejas (splendor, power) of Deities, with weapon systems donated by them.

Others gave the following articles:
Kaala Milk ocean Vishwakarmaa Ocean Himavat Kubera Shesh Sword and shield Jewels and cloth; Axe; Impenetrable armor, garland, and Lotus Lion and gems vessel with inexhaustible supply of wine, Naag Haar (Serpent necklace).

Having been endowed with Light, Splendor, weapons and jewels, the goddess roared, which reverberated through Heaven and Earth; the oceans roiled with tsunamis; the earth shook; the gods let out a cry of victory and relief. The gods looked at Ambikaa, the newly created warrior goddess, and spouted words of praise. The gods raised their arms and marched their army to the battlefield. The Daitya felt the tumult of the seas and the Earth and the din of celebration. They hoisted their arms and were at the ready to march. Mahisha turned his face towards the Light and Sound and rushed headlong towards Ambikaa, who was radiating beauty and luster in all directions illuminating the three worlds.

Million of his armed minions were not far behind Mahish. They were battle-hardened heroes, and masters of their weapons. They fought hard, they fought long; Ambikaa easily parried missiles and weapons launched by them. She sent showers of arrows on her enemies, used her trident, club, axe and Shakti. Durgaa created out of her body many Maatrikaa, the fighting mothers; no men were allowed to do their fighting for her. They are the seven mothers: Brahmaanee, Maheshwaree, Kaumaaree, Vaishnavee, Varaahee, Indraanee, Chaamundaa. These seven mothers are the personified energies (Tejas) of seven deities resident in Durgaa. Another source says that Brahmaanee came from Brahmaa, Maheshwaree from Shiv, Kaumaree from Kaarttikeya, Vaishnavee from Vishnu, Varaahee from Varaah (Boar) Avataar of Vishnu, Indraanee from Indra.

Kaalee also helped Durgaa in battle. Mahishaasur was in the form a buffalo. He could morph into any animal. There were piles of bodies, body parts, and weapons strewn all over the battlefield, which was the handiwork of one goddess and her Gan (assistants) fighting millions of soldiers. Headless bodies danced in the battlefield and the heads were talking as they rolled on the ground asking the goddess and her army to stop fighting with them. Rivers of blood from Asur, elephants and horses flowed on the field. Durgaa killed many Daitya Generals with her sword, pike and club. Mahishaasur, enraged at the carnage, killed many of the Gan and rushed towards the lion of the goddess with the intent to kill it. As he rushed, he cleared his way by kicking debris with his hooves, sweeping some with his tail, and using his horns and snout to fling them.

He was angry and rushed towards the lion who noticed the thrashing buffalo, who broke the mountain top with his horns and hurled a crag at the lion. Many mountains tops were gored by the horns and there was a rain of crags from the sky. The clouds, shattered by the horns, dissipated in no time. The ocean, whipped by his tail, came in waves and ran beyond its shores. Ambikaa witnessed all this devastation and was ready to put an end to the Buffalo Demon.

Durgaa's Names

Ambaa,  Ambikaa
Bhadrakaalee,  Bhairavee,  Bhavaanee
Chaamundaa,  Chandee,  Devee
Kaalee,  Kaamkaashee
Mahaakaalee,  Mahishaasur Mardinee,


Aadyaa Kaalee or Aadyaa Kaalikaa - Who is origin  of and devours all things
Kakkar Kaalee
Kaalee - who devours Kaal (Time)
Kamalaalayaa - who lives in lotus; or Lakshmee (spouse of Vishnu and Devee of wealth)
Mahaa Tripur Sundaree, Lalitaa, Shodashee all are same
Taaraa  (Taarinee)
Taarinee (Taaraa)
Vaagdevee or Saraswatee (Devee of speech, wisdom, knowledge, science, art, eloquence, music)


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Created by Sushma Gupta on 3/15/06
Updated on 06/09/11