Goddess of Power Strength and Protection
|Other names||Adi Shakti, Mahishasura Mardini, Bhagavati, Bhavani, Jagadamba|
|Affiliation||Devi, Kali, Mahadevi, Shaktism, Navadurga|
|Abode||Manidvipa, Mount Kailash|
|Weapon||Chakra (discus), Shankha (conch shell), Trishula (trident), Gada (mace), Bow and Arrow, Khanda (sword), Padma (Lotus)|
|Texts||Devi-Bhagavata Purana, Devi Mahatmya, Kalika Purana, Shakta Upanishads, Tantras|
|Festivals||Durga Puja, Durga Ashtami, Navaratri, Vijayadashami, Bathukamma, Teej, Kali Puja|
|Glossary of Hinduism terms|
Durga (Sanskrit : दुर्गा, IAST : Durgā) is a major Hindu goddess, worshipped as a principal aspect of the mother goddess Mahadevi. She is associated with protection, strength, motherhood, destruction, and wars.
Durga's legend centres around combating evils and demonic forces that threaten peace, prosperity, and dharma, representing the power of good over evil.Durga is believed to unleash her divine wrath against the wicked for the liberation of the oppressed, and entails destruction to empower creation. Durga is seen as a motherly figure and often depicted as a beautiful woman, riding a lion or tiger, with many arms each carrying a weapon and often defeating demons. She is widely worshipped by the followers of the goddess-centric sect, Shaktism, and has importance in other denominations like Shaivism and Vaishnavism.
The most important texts of Shaktism, Devi Mahatmya and Devi Bhagavata Purana, revere Devi (the Goddess) as the primordial creator of the universe and the Brahman (ultimate truth and reality).She is an one of the five equivalent deities in Panchayatana puja of the Smarta tradition of Hinduism. She is Independent among Panchadevas
Durga has a significant following all over India, Bangladesh, Nepal, and many other countries. She is mostly worshipped after spring and autumn harvests, especially during the festivals of Durga Puja, Durga Ashtami, Vijayadashami, Deepavali, and Navaratri.
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The word Durga (दुर्गा) literally means "impassable","invincible, unassailable". It is related to the word Durg (दुर्ग) which means "fortress, something difficult to defeat or pass". According to Monier Monier-Williams, Durga is derived from the roots dur (difficult) and gam (pass, go through). According to Alain Daniélou, Durga means "beyond defeat".
The word Durga and related terms appear in the Vedic literature, such as in the Rigveda hymns 4.28, 5.34, 8.27, 8.47, 8.93 and 10.127, and in sections 10.1 and 12.4 of the Atharvaveda .A deity named Durge appears in section 10.1.7 of the Taittiriya Aranyaka. While the Vedic literature uses the word Durga, the description therein lacks the legendary details about her that is found in later Hindu literature.
The word is also found in ancient post-Vedic Sanskrit texts such as in section 2.451 of the Mahabharata and section 4.27.16 of the Ramayana .These usages are in different contexts. For example, Durg is the name of an Asura who had become invincible to gods, and Durga is the goddess who intervenes and slays him. Durga and its derivatives are found in sections 4.1.99 and 6.3.63 of the Ashtadhyayi by Pāṇini, the ancient Sanskrit grammarian, and in the commentary of Nirukta by Yaska.
Durga is commonly known as Mahisa-mardini for slaying the half-buffalo demon Mahishasura.She is also known as Vindhyavasini (she who dwells in the Vindhya Mountains). Her other epithets include Mahamoha (great delusion), Mahasuri (the great demoness), Tamasi (the great night, the night of delusion).
There are many epithets for Durga in Shaktism and her nine appellations are (Navadurga): Shailaputri, Brahmacharini, Chandraghanta, Kushmanda, Skandamata, Katyayini, Kalaratri, Mahagauri and Siddhidatri. A list of 108 names of the goddess is recited in order to worship her and is popularly known as the "Ashtottarshat Namavali of Goddess Durga".[ citation needed ]
Other meanings may include: "the one who cannot be accessed easily","the undefeatable goddess".
Durga is also known as Durgati Nashini, meaning one who eliminates suffering.
Evidence of Durga-like images can probably be traced back to the Indus Valley civilisation. According to Asko Parpola, a cylindrical seal from Kalibangan shows "a Durgā-like goddess of war, who is associated with the tiger".
Reverence for Devi, the feminine nature of God, first appears in the 10th Maṇḍala of Rig Veda , one of the scriptures of Hinduism. This hymn is also called the Devi Suktam hymn (abridged):
I am the Queen, the gatherer-up of treasures, most thoughtful, first of those who merit worship.
Thus gods have established me in many places with many homes to enter and abide in.
Through me alone all eat the food that feeds them, – each man who sees, breathes, hears the word outspoken.
They know it not, yet I reside in the essence of the Universe. Hear, one and all, the truth as I declare it.
I, verily, myself announce and utter the word that gods and men alike shall welcome.
I make the man I love exceedingly mighty, make him nourished, a sage, and one who knows Brahman.
I bend the bow for Rudra, that his arrow may strike, and slay the hater of devotion.
I rouse and order battle for the people, I created Earth and Heaven and reside as their Inner Controller.
On the world's summit I bring forth sky the Father: my home is in the waters, in the ocean as Mother.
Thence I pervade all existing creatures, as their Inner Supreme Self, and manifest them with my body.
I created all worlds at my will, without any higher being, and permeate and dwell within them.
The eternal and infinite consciousness is I, it is my greatness dwelling in everything.
– Devi Sukta, Rigveda 10.125.3 – 10.125.8,
Devi's epithets synonymous with Durga appear in Upanishadic literature, such as Kali in verse 1.2.4 of the Mundaka Upanishad dated to about the 5th century BCE.This single mention describes Kali as "terrible yet swift as thought", very red and smoky coloured manifestation of the divine with a fire-like flickering tongue, before the text begins presenting its thesis that one must seek self-knowledge and the knowledge of the eternal Brahman.
Durga, in her various forms, appears as an independent deity in the Epics period of ancient India, that is the centuries around the start of the common era.Both Yudhisthira and Arjuna characters of the Mahabharata invoke hymns to Durga. She appears in Harivamsa in the form of Vishnu's eulogy, and in Pradyumna prayer. Various Puranas from the early to late 1st millennium CE dedicate chapters of inconsistent mythologies associated with Durga. Of these, the Markandeya Purana and the Devi-Bhagavata Purana are the most significant texts on Durga. The Devi Upanishad and other Shakta Upanishads, mostly dated to have been composed in or after the 9th century, present the philosophical and mystical speculations related to Durga as Devi and other epithets, identifying her to be the same as the Brahman and Atman (self, soul).
In the Narada Purana , Durga is associated as a form of Lakshmi.In the Garuda Purana and the Vishnu Purana , Lakshmi is considered Prakriti (Mahalakshmi) and is identified with three forms — Sri, Bhu and Durga. In Pancharatra texts such as the Lakshmi Tantra , Lakshmi has Durga as one of her forms and acquires the name Durga after killing the demon Durgamasura. These texts identify Durga as Vishnu's māyā".
The Mahishasura Mardini Stotra by Adi Shankara was written in her praise.
The historian Ramaprasad Chanda stated in 1916 that Durga evolved over time in the Indian subcontinent. A primitive form of Durga, according to Chanda, was the result of "syncretism of a mountain-goddess worshipped by the dwellers of the Himalaya and the Vindhyas", a deity of the Abhiras conceptualised as a war-goddess. In the Virata Parvan stuti and Vaishnava texts, the Goddess is called the Māhāmāyā, or the Yoganidrā of Vishnu. These further points her Abhira or Gopa origins.Durga then transformed into Kali as the personification of the all-destroying time, while aspects of her emerged as the primordial energy (Adya Sakti) integrated into the samsara (cycle of rebirths) concept and this idea was built on the foundation of the Vedic religion, mythology and philosophy. There are total of nine avatars of Goddess Durga in Hinduism.
Epigraphical evidence indicates that regardless of her origins, Durga is an ancient goddess. The 6th-century CE inscriptions in early Siddhamatrika script, such as at the Nagarjuni hill cave during the Maukhari era, already mention the legend of her victory over Mahishasura (buffalo-hybrid demon).
Durga as a demon-slaying goddess was likely well established by the time the classic Hindu text called Devi Mahatmya was composed, which scholars variously estimate to between 400 and 600 CE. The Devi Mahatmya and other mythologies describe the nature of demonic forces symbolised by Mahishasura as shape-shifting and adapting in nature, form and strategy to create difficulties and achieve their evil ends, while Durga calmly understands and counters the evil in order to achieve her solemn goals.
The most popular legend associated with the goddess is of her killing of Mahishasura. Mahishasura was a half-buffalo demon who did severe penance in order to please Brahma, the creator. After several years, Brahma, pleased with his devotion, appeared before him. The demon opened his eyes and asked the god for immortality. Brahma refused, stating that all must die one day. Mahishasura then thought for a while and asked a boon that only a woman could be able to kill him. Brahma granted the boon and disappeared. Mahishasura started to torture innocent people. He captured Svarga and was not in any kind of fear, as he thought women to be powerless and weak. The devas were worried and they went to Trimurti. The Trimurti combined their power, and gave a physical form to the sum of their divine energy, Adi Shakti, a warrior woman with many arms. Himavan, the personification of the Himalayas, gifted a lion as her mount. Durga, on her lion, appeared before Mahishasura where the demon took on different forms and attacked the goddess. Each time, Durga would destroy his forms. At last, Durga slew Mahishasura with her trident when he was transforming as a buffalo demon.
According to Vaishnava tradition, Durga is among the various epithets and avatars of Yogamaya, the personification of the illusory power of Vishnu. Vishnu offers Durga the task of transferring the seventh child of Devaki into the womb of Rohini, as well as being born on earth as the infant daughter of Yashoda and Nanda, so that she could be swapped with Krishna. When Kamsa attempted to slay her, she manifested her true form of an eighteen-armed goddess, wearing a garland of lemons. The goddess announced that Kamsa's slayer had already been born, before vanishing.Durga is often conceptualised in this role as a sister of Vishnu.
Durga is a warrior goddess, and she is depicted to express her martial skills. Her iconography typically resonates with these attributes, where she rides a lion or a tiger,has between eight and eighteen hands, each holding a weapon to destroy and create. She is often shown in the midst of her war with Mahishasura, the buffalo demon, at the time she victoriously kills the demonic force. Her icon shows her in action, yet her face is calm and serene. In Hindu arts, this tranquil attribute of Durga's face is traditionally derived from the belief that she is protective and violent not because of her hatred, egotism or getting pleasure in violence, but because she acts out of necessity, for the love of the good, for liberation of those who depend on her, and a mark of the beginning of soul's journey to creative freedom.
Durga traditionally holds the weapons of various male gods of Hindu mythology, which they give her to fight the evil forces because they feel that she is shakti (energy, power).These include the chakra , conch, bow, arrow, sword, javelin, trishula, shield, and a noose. These weapons are considered symbolic by Shakta Hindus, representing self-discipline, selfless service to others, self-examination, prayer, devotion, remembering her mantras, cheerfulness and meditation. Durga herself is viewed as the "Self" within and the divine mother of all creation. She has been revered by warriors, blessing their new weapons. Durga iconography has been flexible in the Hindu traditions, where for example some intellectuals place a pen or other writing implements in her hand since they consider their stylus as their weapon.
Archeological discoveries suggest that these iconographic features of Durga became common throughout India by about the 4th century CE, states David Kinsley – a professor of religious studies specialising on Hindu goddesses.In the north wall of a granite cave in Mamallapuram, Tamil Nadu there is a large relief of Durga slaying Mahisasura, carved around 630–674 CE.
Durga iconography in some temples appears as part of Mahavidyas or Saptamatrkas (seven mothers considered forms of Durga). Her icons in major Hindu temples such as in Varanasi include relief artworks that show scenes from the Devi Mahatmya.
In Vaishnavism, Durga and her mount of a lion, is considered one of the three aspects or forms of Goddess Lakshmi, the other two being Sri and Bhu, in place of Niladevi.According to professor Tracy Pintchman, "When the Lord Vishnu created the gunas of prakriti, there arose Lakshmi in her three forms, Sri, Bhu and Durga. Sri consisted of sattva, Bhu as rajas and Durga as tamas".
Durga appears in Hindu mythology in numerous forms and names, but ultimately all these are different aspects and manifestations of one goddess. She is imagined to be terrifying and destructive when she has to be, but benevolent and nurturing when she needs to be.While anthropomorphic icons of her, such as those showing her riding a lion and holding weapons, are common, the Hindu traditions use aniconic forms and geometric designs (yantra) to remember and revere what she symbolises.
Durga is worshipped in Hindu temples across India and Nepal by Shakta Hindus.
The Vedic Texts concluded Durga alone to be the Supreme and the Absolute facet of Brahman,[ citation needed ] as stated in the Devi-Atharvashirsha
यस्याः परतरं नास्ति सैषा दुर्गा प्रकीर्तिता ॥२४॥
She who is renowned by the name "Durga" is the being superior to whom, no one exists.
– Devi Atharvashirhsa Upanishad, 24.
Her temples, worship and festivals are particularly popular in eastern and northeastern parts of Indian subcontinent during Durga puja, Dashain and Navaratri.
As per the Markandeya Purana, Durga Puja can be performed either for 9 days or 4 days (last four in sequence). The four-day-long Durga Puja is a major annual festival in Bengal, Odisha, Assam, Jharkhand and Bihar.It is scheduled per the Hindu luni-solar calendar in the month of Ashvina, and typically falls in September or October. Since it is celebrated during Sharad (literally, season of weeds), it is called as Sharadiya Durga Puja or Akal-Bodhan to differentiate it from the one celebrated originally in spring. The festival is celebrated by communities by making special colourful images of Durga out of clay, recitations of Devi Mahatmya text, prayers and revelry for nine days, after which it is taken out in procession with singing and dancing, then immersed in water. The Durga puja is an occasion of major private and public festivities in the eastern and northeastern states of India.
The day of Durga's victory is celebrated as Vijayadashami (Bijoya in Bengali), Dashain (Nepali) or Dussehra (in Hindi) – these words literally mean "the victory on the Tenth (day)".
This festival is an old tradition of Hinduism, though it is unclear how and in which century the festival began. Surviving manuscripts from the 14th century provide guidelines for Durga puja, while historical records suggest royalty and wealthy families were sponsoring major Durga puja public festivities since at least the 16th century.The 11th or 12th century Jainism text Yasatilaka by Somadeva mentions a festival and annual dates dedicated to a warrior goddess, celebrated by the king and his armed forces, and the description mirrors attributes of a Durga puja.
The prominence of Durga puja increased during the British Raj in Bengal. [ citation needed ] The city of Kolkata is famous for Durga puja.After the Hindu reformists identified Durga with India, she became an icon for the Indian independence movement.
In Nepal, the festival dedicated to Durga is called Dashain (sometimes spelled as Dasain), which literally means "the ten".Dashain is the longest national holiday of Nepal, and is a public holiday in Sikkim and Bhutan. During Dashain, Durga is worshipped in ten forms (Shailaputri, Brahmacharini, Chandraghanta, Kushmanda, Skandamata, Katyayani, Kalaratri, Mahagauri, Mahakali and Durga) with one form for each day in Nepal. The festival includes animal sacrifice in some communities, as well as the purchase of new clothes and gift giving. Traditionally, the festival is celebrated over 15 days, the first nine-day are spent by the faithful by remembering Durga and her ideas, the tenth day marks Durga's victory over Mahisura, and the last five days celebrate the victory of good over evil.
During the first nine days, nine aspects of Durga known as Navadurga are meditated upon, one by one during the nine-day festival by devout Hindus. Durga is occasionally worshipped as a celibate goddess, but the Shaktism traditions includes the worship of Shiva along with Durga, who considers her as his consort, in addition to Lakshmi, Saraswati, Ganesha and Kartikeya, who are considered to be Durga's children by Shaktas.Some Shaktas worship Durga's symbolism and presence as Mother Nature. In South India, especially Andhra Pradesh, Dussera Navaratri is also celebrated and the goddess is dressed each day as a different Devi, all considered equivalent but another aspect of Durga.
In Bangladesh, the four-day-long Sharadiya Durga Puja is the most important religious festival for the Hindus and celebrated across the country with Vijayadashami being a national holiday. In Sri Lanka, Durga in the form of Vaishnavi, bearing Vishnu's iconographic symbolism is celebrated. This tradition has been continued by Sri Lankan diaspora.
The Tantric Buddhist Vajrayana traditions adopted several Hindu deities into its fold, including Durga.Numerous depictions of Durgā Mahiṣāsuramardinī (Durgā slaying the buffalo demon) have been found in Buddhist temple sites (c. 8th–11th century) in Afghanistan, Indonesia and northeastern India. Durga has been found in major Buddhist sites like Nalanda and Vikramashila.
Durga also appears in the Sarvadurgatipariśodhana tantra, though in this text, she appears not in her demon slaying form, but mounted on a lion.
Images of the Buddhist Durga have also been found in Bali (surrounded with images of Buddhas and bodhisattvas) and date from the 10th and 11th centuries.
In Japanese Buddhism, she appears as Butsu-mo (sometimes called Koti-sri).
In Tibet, the goddess Palden Lhamo is similar to the protective and fierce Durga.Several aspects of the popular Tibetan Buddhist goddess Tārā are believed to have originated as a form of the goddess Durga or to have been influenced by Hindu stories of Durga, including Tara's fierce forms. One form of Tara is even called Durgottāriṇītārā who specializes in saving devotees from evil and rides a lion mount, the traditional mount of Durga.
In Nepalese Buddhism, the Buddhist tantric goddess Vajrayogini is "often worshipped interchangeably with Durga" during Durga festivals.
The Sacciya mata found in major medieval era Jain temples mirrors Durga, and she has been identified by Jainism scholars to be the same or sharing a more ancient common lineage.In the Ellora Caves, the Jain temples feature Durga with her lion mount. However, she is not shown as killing the buffalo demon in the Jain cave, but she is presented as a peaceful deity.
Durga is exalted as the divine in Dasam Granth , a sacred text of Sikhism that is traditionally attributed to Guru Gobind Singh.According to Eleanor Nesbitt, this view has been challenged by Sikhs who consider Sikhism to be monotheistic, who hold that a feminine form of the Supreme and a reverence for the Goddess is "unmistakably of Hindu character".
Archeological site excavations in Indonesia, particularly on the island of Java, have yielded numerous statues of Durga. These have been dated to be from 6th century onwards.Of the numerous early to mid medieval era Hindu deity stone statues uncovered on Indonesian islands, at least 135 statues are of Durga. In parts of Java, she is known as Loro Jonggrang (literally, "slender maiden").
In Cambodia, during its era of Hindu kings, Durga was popular and numerous sculptures of her have been found. However, most differ from the Indian representation in one detail. The Cambodian Durga iconography shows her standing on top of the cut buffalo demon head.
Durga statues have been discovered at stone temples and archaeological sites in Vietnam, likely related to Champa or Cham dynasty era.
Durga as the mother goddess is the inspiration behind the song Vande Mataram, written by Bankim Chandra Chatterjee, during the Indian independence movement, later the official national song of India. Durga is present in Indian nationalism where Bharat Mata i.e. Mother India is viewed as a form of Durga. This is completely secular and keeping in line with the ancient ideology of Durga as Mother and protector to Indians. She is present in pop culture and blockbuster Bollywood movies like Jai Santoshi Maa . The Indian Army uses Hindustani phrases like "Durga Mata ki Jai!" and "Kaali Mata ki Jai!". Any woman who takes up a cause to fight for goodness and justice is said to have the spirit of Durga in her.
Parvati, Uma or Gauri is the Hindu goddess of power, energy, nourishment, harmony, love, beauty, devotion, and motherhood. In her complete form, she is a physical representation of Mahadevi, also known as Adi Shakti, the primordial power behind the creation of the universe, the creator and destroyer. She is one of the central deities of the goddess-oriented sect called Shaktism, and the supreme goddess in Shaivism. Along with Lakshmi and Saraswati, she forms the Tridevi.
Lakshmi, also known as Shri, is one of the principal goddesses in Hinduism. She is the goddess of wealth, fortune, power, beauty, fertility and prosperity, and associated with Maya ("Illusion"). Along with Parvati and Saraswati, she forms the Tridevi of Hindu goddesses.
Bhavānī is a manifestation of Adi Shakti (Durga). Bhavani translates to "giver of life", meaning the power of nature or the source of creative energy. She is considered to be a mother who provides to her devotees and also plays the role of dispensing justice by killing Asuras.
Chamunda, also known as Chamundeshwari, Chamundi or Charchika, is a fearsome form of Chandi, the Hindu mother goddess, aka Shakti and is one of the seven Matrikas.
Saraswati, also spelled as Sarasvati, is the Hindu goddess of knowledge, music, flowing water, abundance and wealth, art, speech, wisdom, and learning. She is one of the Tridevi, along with the goddesses Lakshmi and Parvati. She is a pan-Indian deity, also revered in Jainism and Buddhism.
Chhinnamasta, often spelled Chinnamasta, and also called Ch(h)innamastika and Prachanda Chandika and Jogani Maa, is a Hindu goddess (Devi). She is one of the Mahavidyas, ten goddesses from the esoteric tradition of Tantra, and a ferocious aspect of Mahadevi, the Hindu Mother goddess. The self-decapitated nude goddess, usually standing or seated on a divine copulating couple, holds her own severed head in one hand and a scimitar in another. Three jets of blood spurt out of her bleeding neck and are drunk by her severed head and two attendants.
Vijayadashami, also known as Dussehra, Dasara or Dashain, is a major Hindu festival celebrated every year at the end of Navaratri. It is observed on the tenth day of the month of Ashvin, the seventh in the Hindu Luni-Solar Calendar. The festival typically falls in the Gregorian calendar months of September and October.
Shaktism is one of the several major Hindu denominations wherein the metaphysical reality, or the godhead, is considered metaphorically to be a woman.
Mahishasura is a bovine asura in Hinduism. He is depicted in Hindu literature as a deceitful demon who pursued his evil ways by shape-shifting. Mahishasura was the son of the asura Rambha and a she-buffalo named Mahisi. He was ultimately killed by the goddess Durga with her trishula (trident) after which she gained the epithet Mahishasuramardini.
Durga Puja, also known as Durgotsava or Sharodotsav, is an annual Hindu festival originating in the Indian subcontinent which reveres and pays homage to the Hindu goddess Durga, and is also celebrated because of Durga's victory over Mahishasura. It is celebrated all over the world by the Hindu community, but it is particularly popular and traditionally celebrated in the Indian state of West Bengal, and other states like Bihar, Assam, Tripura, Odisha, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh and some other countries like Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. The festival is observed in the Indian calendar in the month of Ashvin, which corresponds to September–October in the Gregorian calendar. Durga Puja is a ten-day festival, of which the last five are of the most significance. The puja is performed in homes and public, the latter featuring a temporary stage and structural decorations. The festival is also marked by scripture recitations, performance arts, revelry, gift-giving, family visits, feasting, and public processions called a melā. Durga Puja is an important festival in the Shaktism tradition of Hinduism. Durga Puja in Kolkata has been inscribed on the intangible cultural heritage list of UNESCO in December 2021.
The Devi Mahatmya or Devi Mahatmyam is a Hindu philosophical text describing the Goddess, known as Mahadevi or Adishakti, as the supreme power and creator of the universe. It is part of the Markandeya Purana.
Chandi or Chandika is a Hindu deity. Chandika is another form of Mahadevi, similar to Durga. Chandika is a powerful form of Mahadevi who manifested to destroy evil. She is also known as Kaushiki, Katyayani, AsthadasabujaMahalakshmi and Mahishasuramardini.
Navadurga, also spelled Navdurga and Navadurgas, are nine manifestations and forms of Durga in Hinduism, especially worshipped during Navaratri and Durga Puja. They are often considered collectively as a single deity, mainly among the followers of Shaktism and Shaivism sect of Hinduism.
Katyayani (कात्यायनी) is an aspect of Mahadevi and the slayer of the tyrannical demon Mahishasura. She is the sixth among the Navadurgas, the nine forms of Hindu goddess Durga who are worshipped during the festival of Navaratri. She is depicted with four, ten or eighteen hands. This is the second name given to the goddess Adi Parashakti in Amarakosha, the Sanskrit lexicon.
Mysore Dasara is the Nadahabba of the state of Karnataka in India. It is a 10-day festival, starting with nine nights called Navaratri and the last day being Vijayadashami. The festival is observed on the tenth day in the Hindu calendar month of Ashvina, which typically falls in the Gregorian months of September and October.
The Devi Bhagavata Purana, also known as the Srimad Devi Bhagavatam, Srimad Bhagavatam, Bhagavata Purana or simply Devi Bhagavatam, is one of the eighteen Mahapuranas of Hinduism. Composed in Sanskrit by Veda Vyasa, the text is considered as a major purana for Devi worshippers. It promotes bhakti (devotion) towards Mahadevi, integrating themes from the Shaktadvaitavada tradition. While this is generally regarded as a Shakta Purana, some scholars such as Dowson have also interpreted this Purana as a Shaiva Purana. As per Ashtadash Puran Darpan by Jwala Prasad, Devi Bhagavatam narrates prakriti aspect and its complied by Vyasa.
Devī is the Sanskrit word for 'goddess'; the masculine form is deva. Devi and deva mean 'heavenly, divine, anything of excellence', and are also gender-specific terms for a deity in Hinduism.
Varahi is one of the Matrikas, a group of seven mother goddesses in the Hindu religion. Bearing the head of a sow, Varahi is the shakti of Varaha, the boar avatar of the god Vishnu. In Nepal, she is called Barahi. In Rajasthan and Gujarat, she is venerated as Dandini.
Navaratri is an annual Hindu festival observed in honour of the goddess Durga, an aspect of Adi Parashakti, the supreme goddess. It spans over nine nights, first in the month of Chaitra, and again in the month of Ashvin (September–October). It is observed for different reasons and celebrated differently in various parts of the Hindu Indian cultural sphere. Theoretically, there are four seasonal Navaratri. However, in practice, it is the post-monsoon autumn festival called Sharada Navaratri.
Ambika is generally an epithet or form of Mahadevi, the supreme goddess of Hinduism. In her iconography, she is depicted with eight arms, holding multiple weapons. In this aspect, she is regarded to be the mother of the universe as well as all beings. She is identified with the goddesses Chandi, Durga, Bhagavati, Lalitambika, Bhavani, and various others. In Vaishnavism, Ambika is one of the many forms of the shakti & yogamaya of Vishnu.
Like the Devi Māhātmya , the Lakşmi Tantra describes the individual incarnations of Lakşmi thus : During the reign of Svāyambhuva (Manu) for the destruction of the demon Mahisa, Mahālakṣmi appeared Mahişāmardini.
Durga is usually regarded as a celibate goddess whose asceticism empowers her, but she may also be regarded as the consort and Sakti of Siva, depending on tradition.