The season of faith has come. Every day the sun rises, defeating the befallen darkness to deliver us from evil with the light of goodness! It is that time of the year again when the good steps in to eradicate all the evil. Yes, it is time for Ma Durga to make her presence felt.
Ma Durga or ma Shakti as she is commonly known as, represents morality, power, strength, protection and much more to us mere mortals. She is the ultimate divine mother who protects us from the evil forces. She is the one to deliver us from jealousy, hatred, selfishness, and ego and of course, anger. Her very name ‘Durga’ simply means the one is inaccessible yet present for the ones she loves, someone who is invincible and the one who can redeem or free us from mires of the world.
Powerful and beautiful, Ma Durga is portrayed as the Devi with ten arms, sitting astride a lion, carrying weapons and a lotus flower. She is the embodiment of Shakti and energy. Mother to Kartikeya, Lakshmi, Saraswati and Ganesha, she is never seen without her children. But there is more to Ma Durga.
Durga – the warrior goddess is just one form of our divine mother. Borne from Vishnu, shiva and other powerful gods, she has many many roops. However, the festival of navratri pays tribute to her nine incantations – one for each of the nine days.
Day 1 – Shailputri
Day 2 – Brahmacharini
Day 3 – Chandraghanta
Day 4 – Kushmanda
Day 5 – Skanda Mata
Day 6 – Katyayani
Day 7 – Kalratri
Day 8 – Maha Gauri
Day 9 – Siddhidatri
Ma Durga is at once a powerful warrior, a loyal wife, epitome of perseverance, extremely brave, bringer of happiness and peace, but dangerous if messed with!
As a fellow Bengali, Durga pujo was and is, a much-sought-after festival. The very mention of this festival brings the idea of ‘new’ to my mind – a new beginning, a new approach to life, renewed vigor and of course, a stronger sense to stay away from the tempting evil. But Ma Durga is a lot more to me than just a festival.
I do not see her as a part of a religion. She is not Hindu, Muslim, Christian or Parsi. She is, as I have mentioned above, a source of strength to all – man, woman and child. A light of energy to help us do good things. Through the nine days and celebration of her nine avatars, she teaches us that there are many facets to life. The good, bad and the ugly are bundled up together. It is up to us to see, to choose the good over the evil. There is always a choice and we must make it.