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Shri Durga Devi or Mother Durga is extolled in Hinduism as the primordial divine power of the creation, sustenance and destruction of the universe. She is differently addressed as Dashabhuja, Mahavidya, Bhagavati, Kriyashila, Mahamaya and Nitya. Would anyone like to find out the etymological meaning of these Sanskrit words, he would be able to discern the root principles on which these names were created. For example, when she is addressed as Dashabhuja, it means that the idol of Mother Durga shown in a human form has ten hands. Further each of these hands holds different items which she uses for her divine creativity. Since she is the root cause of the creation, sustenance and destruction of the universes, she is also known as Narayani Shakti, Shriman Narayan has been defined as the male aspect of creation.

As the various divine powers like Brahma-Vishnu-Maheshwar, Indra and others are contained in her, she symbolizes the combined power of the ten Mahavidyas as mentioned in the Puranas12.

The Durga-Shakti always protects the unsullied creation or ‘Punyatmak Shrishti’. Devatas symbolise the unsullied or pure creation. On the other hand, Shri Durga destroys the impure creation which is symbolized as Asura including Mahisasura.

The worship of Shri Durga falls under the category of Shakti worship or Shakti tradition within the ambit of Hinduism.

We all bow at the feet of Shri Durga on the day of Dussehra for protecting us all.

For the devotees of Shri Sai, the day of Vijaya Dashmi is important because Shirdi Sai Baba had left for his heavenly abode on this day. We pray at His feet for taking care of us. Jai Shri Sai.

Dr. C.B. Satpathy, Gurugram .............................................................................

Endnotes Deshabhuja - name given to a form of Maa Durga having ten hands. Mahavidhya - is the great revelation, manifestation, knowledge or wisdom. Bhagvati - is a popular deity in the Indian states of Kerala, Goa and Konkan. The word Bhagvati stands for nature. Kriyashila - ever active. Mahamaya - the power of illusion pertaining to material objects. Nitya - means the constant, everlasting, eternal, regulated mode of expression and evolution. Narayani Shakti - The eternal energy who creates, sustains and destroys all the elements. Shriman Narayan - a name given to Lord Vishnu. Maheshwar - is another name for Lord Shiva. Indra - is the Lord of sky and rains and is the king of the heaven. Mahavidyas - are the ten aspects of Adi Parashakti in Hinduism. These ten forms include those of Kali, Tara, Shodashi, Bhuvaneshvari, Chinnamasata, Bhairavi, Dhumavati, Bagalamukhi, Matangi and Kamala Devi. Puranas - are the Sanskrit writings on Hindu mythology and folklore of varying date and origin. Devatas - are the gods or the divine beings.

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