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Delhi and NCR Durga Puja 2011
Delhi and NCR
Durga Puja 2011

by Shouvik Basak

Bangalore Diaries 2011
by Bappaditya Mazumder

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Next : Why is Durga Puja Called Akal Bodhon ?

What is Durga Puja?

Durga Puja is the most renowned festival & socio-cultural event of the Bengalis which epitomizes the joy de vivre of Bengali human spirit. Durga Puja is not just any festival, it is around which the calendar of the Bengalis revolves around the year. It is a festival which has something for everyone’s taste. All activities are centered around the 5 days of the Grand Festival. The reason for the celebration cannot be more old school than the victory of Good over Evil, and start of a new age of prosperity. Durga Puja also epitomizes the strength of the female form which means it celebrates Mother Nature. Durga Puja also celebrates the concept of Family unlike any other festival. It celebrates the yearly home coming of the daughter with her children from her In-laws to her Father’s house. It celebrates the modes of transport like Palki, Elephant or Bojra (Type of Yacht) the arrival mode of the Goddess.

Mythology

The tales of the great battle between Goddess Durga and Mahisasura (literally translates to Buffalo Demon) can be found in the Bhagavathat Purana. Mahisasura was the Son of the Asura Rambha (not to be confused with Rambha the celestial nymph or Apsara) and Water She-buffalo (actually Princess Shyamala who was cursed to be a buffalo). Asura means Demons.

Rambha & Karambha were two Asuras who did great penance and prayed to Agnideva (Fire God) and Varundeva (God of Wind) respectively. Indra, the King of Gods did not like this idea and planned to kill both the Asuras. Karambha was doing his Tapasya (penance) in neck deep water of Sindhu River, Indra taking the form of a great crocodile dragged him down and killed him. However Rambha was saved by Agnidev due to his great devotion. After the death of his brother Rambha was grief stricken. He was about to commit suicide on the funeral pyre of Karambha when he was saved by Agnidev. He was given several boons of which one was that he cannot be killed by God, Human or Asura. Armed with the boons he terrorized the three lokas (worlds).

One day while in the garden of the Yakshas he saw a beautiful female Water-buffalo Mahishi who was actually the cursed Princess Shyamala. Rambha instantly fell in love with Mahishi. He transformed himself into a male Water-buffalo and mated with Mahishi. In the meantime, however a real male Water-buffalo found out about this and killed Rambha who was still in his Buffalo form. His boon offered no protection against animals so he was defenseless against the buffalo. Mahishi scarified her life in the funeral pyre of Rambha. However from the funeral fire of Rambha and Mahishi came into being Mahisasura who had the head of a Buffalo and body of an Asura. Rambha also emerged from the fire with the blessings of Agnideva but in form of the dreaded Rakta Beeja. Rakta Beeja is an interesting story. A boon was given to him in which if he shed blood in battle another Rakta Beeja with similar powers would spring from each drop of blood. This was like almost making him immortal. Rakta Beeja means Blood Seed. We shall look at this story in great detail in future.

Mahisasura performed an extremely difficult penance. This went on for millions of years and Mahisasura was covered with dust and anthills. The Teja (Energy) emitted from Mahisasura during the penance was such that it’s flames was beginning to engulf the three lokas. The Devas went to Lord Brahma and prayed to him to do something about it. Lord Brahma then appeared before Mahisasura and sprinkled holy water on him and immediately Mahisasura got back his original form. Lord Brahma asked him to request for his Boon. Mahisasura asked for immortality (usual request of every praying asura). Lord Brahma declined and said he can’t give a boon of immortality. He said everyone who is born has to die. He asked Mahisasura to ask for something else. Mahisasura for a moment thought all his penance has been for nothing. However thinking quickly he asked Lord Brahma grant him the boon by which he would not be killed by God, Human, Asura, Yaksha, Gandharva. In other words no force in the three lokas except the by a Female whom he had made fun of. Though Lord Brahma had a bad feeling about this, he was however bound to give and thus Mahisasura had his wish.

After getting this Boon Mahisasura was sure there was not a single women in the Universe who can stand up to him in battle. So he thought his Boon from Lord Brahma was as good as a Boon of immortality. Mahisasura thus started his conquest of the three worlds. He began with the Earth where he started torturing the Muni-Rishi’s and destroying their yagyas. He killed Men-Women-Children without remorse or care. Anyone who opposed him was eliminated without second thought. He committed all the sins there was to commit. Ultimately his eyes fell on Heaven. He amassed a great Asura Army with the most feared Asura warriors. He then sent a messenger to Indra the King of the Devas to surrender Swargalok (Heavens) to him or prepare for war. Indra rebuffed the message and warned Mahisasura of grave consequences if he dared o attack Swargalok. Mahisasura was furious on being rebuffed and launched a full scale attack on Swargalok. Thus started the great war between the Devas and the Asuras. The Devas were more than a match for most of the Asuras until Mahisasura entered the battlefield. Mahisasura was an Asura who also a great exponent in the art of Mayavi (Illusionary) Warfare. He appeared in the battlefield as hundreds of Mahisasura; then thousand and then even more. Each Mahisasura was equally powerful. Still the Devas fought on and the war went on for hundreds of thousands of years. The Devas are immortal as they drank he Amrita (Nectar of Immortality). Due to this they were formidable opponents in war. However their energy was geting depleted after thousands of years of constant war. Also, Sukracharya, who knew the “Sanjeevani Vidya” (Knowledge of bringing back from the death) wasn’t helping. The Asuras that were getting killed by the Devas were brought back to life by Sukracharya. This was negating all the advantage of Immortality of the Devas. At last the strength of the Devas failed them and they had to flee the battlefield or were captured and turned into slaves.

Stripped of their Divine Lustre the Devas roamed the worlds in fear as they were hunted by the Asuras. Those who were captured were tortured or turned into slaves. This went on for Eons. Ultimately without any solution in the horizon, the Devas went to Lord Brahma for help. However Lord Brahma said its beyond him to help them. He asked them to approach Lord Vishnu for help. Goddess Sawaraswati the consort of Lord Brahma also accompanied them to Vaikuntha the abode of All-encompassing and the supreme Lord Vishnu. As fate would have it Lord Shiva with Goddess Parvati was visiting Lord Vishnu during that time. The Devas paid their respect to Lord Vishnu, Lord Shiva, Goddess Lakshmi & Goddess Parvati. They then narrated the tale atrocities committed by Mahisasura in great detail along with the sufferings they faced due to this. As the narration went on there came a change in the faces of Lord Brahma Vishnu and Shiva. Their faces began to glow due to the anger that was building up inside them. They discussed and agreed that a Devi (Goddesses) of immense power would be required to fight against Mahisasura. So after much thought they agreed to call forth the most Ancient and Divine Female power which had no beginnings or ends, the Adi Shakti.

As the anger continued to build, in the Trinity, a Light more brighter than a million suns shone on their faces, this light was joined by the light from the faces of the Devas and from this light Emerged Mother Durga (Adi Shakti). She was the merging of the powers of Goddess Lakshmi, Saraswati, Parvati and all the other Devis (Goddess). She woke from her Eons and eons of slumber. She emerged at the Ashram of Sage Katyayan; thus she is also known as Katyayani. Her Radiant self and Exquisite Beauty shone like nothing ever seen in the Universe. She was the epitome of Female power in the universe. She was the living embodiment of all female energies from the all the Goddesses present. She was the power which resulted due to merging of Parvati (Consort of Lord Shiva) Goddess of Power, Lakshmi (Consort of Lord Vishnu) Goddess of Prosperity and Saraswati (Consort of Lord Brahma) Goddess of Education, Culture & Knowledge and all the Devis (Goddesses). She proclaimed I am DURGA (which literally means the Invincible).
Her arms and shoulders had the power of Lord Vishnu. The grace of Lord Shiva shone on her face. Her nose reflected Kubera's grace. The fire of Agni spited from her three eyes. The benevolence of Lord Brahma’s power was evident on her teeth. The radiance of Surya shone on her lower lip and her upper lips were an epitome of Kartikeya's (Skanda) grace. Vayu's power was prevalent in her ears. Her fingers were graced with the power of the Vasus. Her hips had the lustre of Indra. Varuna’s strength resonated on her thighs and knees. Her hindquarters had the grace of the Earth.

She was radiating power and grace with a thousand hands. Her radiant beauty and a grace made everyone in her presence bow to her, even the Trinity. They all prayed to her. The Devas said she is their Mother, and asked her for her protection from all evil. They asked her to relieve he Universe from the atrocities of Mahisasura. Please with the prayers she spoke to the Devas in a gentle voice of a Mother. She said “O Sons of Aditi, fear not, he time for Mahisasura to pay for his sins have come. I shall ride forth and bring an end to the Evil Asura and relieve the Earth of this burden.” She thus took up the task of killing Mahisasura. To prepare her for the upcoming battle, he Devas started to gift her various deadly weapons. She was given many, many weapons and gifts. As she decked up for the upcoming battle she was looking extremely Beautiful but also fierce and overwhelming.


A small list of gifts given by different Gods to the Mother Goddess Durga

  • Lord Vishnu gave her the Chakra (Discus) a splitting image of his famous Sudarshan Chakra
  • Lord Shiva gave her the Trisul (Trident) which was a image of his own trident.
  • Lord Brahma gave her Kamandalu (The vessel of holy water from which can bring the dead back to life)
  • Lord Himavat (God of Mountains) gave her, her Mount, the King of Beasts, The Lion. He also gave her numerous priceless Gems
  • Lord Indra gave her the Vajra (The thunderbolt) an image of his own Vajra. A bell belonging to the celestial Elephant Airavat was also given by Indra.
  • Vishwakarma (God of Craft) gave her Kaste & Barma (Axe and Armour). Also ear drops, shoulder ornaments and bracelets
  • Vayudev gave her Akkhai Tunir (Never ending Quiver of Arrows)
  • Varundeva gave her the Pasa (Destruction rope or noose), Sankha (Conch) and immortal Lotus flowers
  • Agnidev gave her the Varsha (Spear) known as Sathagni which could slay numerous Asuras in one strike.
  • Yama gave her the Dhal and Talawar (Shield and Sword)
  • Suryadeva (Sun God) gave her blinding rays.
  • Tvashta (Carpenter God) gave her a divine Mace the Kamodaki. An armor that can withstand any missile. Also ornaments to be worn in feet known as Nuparas designed with thousands of priceless gems
  • Samudradev (God of Oceans) gave her Rings and Necklaces
  • Kubera (God of Wealth) gave her a cup filled with wine.


All the Devas said, "Salutations O Mother. Salutations to you, who are our deliverance. O Bagavathi, we salute you. O Vaishnavi we salute you. You are the heaven, you are the earth, you are the eternal principle, you are the great eternal truth. We salute you. We salute her who is free from the cycle of life and death. Mother, save us from the ravages of the evil demon, that powerful Asura, Mahisha. He cannot be slain by anyone other than you. Have mercy on your pitiable plight. Kill him and restore us to our legitimate place in the heavens. You are our only hope!"


The Devi smiled and said, "O Devas. Have no fear. He has swelled with pride due to the boon from Brahma, but his end is near. I shall march on his capital and utterly destroy him and his demonic forces."


Having armed herself with all the weapons and armory, Devi Durga mounted on her Shigha Bahana (Lion Mount). She gave out a fierce and terrifying war cry to announce her arrival. This roar of her’s is said to have shaken the very foundations of the Universe as she raced towards Amravathi, the capital of the Asura Kingdom of Mahisasura. The rumblings and noise of her approach could be heard from far far away. The earth shook, the mountains trembled, there was upheaval in the oceans and thunder in the sky. The Asuras were afraid and became chaotic. Even Mahisasura was worried and curious as to what could have caused such a panic. He sent out reconnaissance troops to find out the reason. The asuras who saw Devi Durga were dazzled by her beauty, but a fear also descended on them when they saw the image the Goddess which portrayed a fierce warrior, armed with Weapons and Armour decked thousand hands. They initially mistook her as a Maya (Illusion) created by the Devas to frighten the Asuras. Nonetheless they reported their findings to their King Mahisasura. They said that a Divinely beautiful woman, mounted on a Lion, with a thousand arms and decked with celestial armory is at the gates of Amravathi. Mahisasura, enamoured by the description of the beauty of the Mother Durga sent out an emissary to the Goddess that he is the Lord of the three worlds, the conqueror of the Devas, the unquestioned Lord of all he surveys. He would like to ask her hand in marriage. Goddess Durga gave out a deafening laughter of mockery on hearing this. She commented that Mahisasura intellect is just like a Mahish (Buffalo) from whom he resembles and was born of. She asked his messengers to convey the fact that she is Goddess DURGA, one who without beginning or end. She is Adi-Ananta. She is the Female power of the Universe. She has be called by the Devas to put an end to the atrocities, tortures and misrule of Mahisasura.

Hearing the answer of Devi Durga, Mahisasura laughed aloud, as he was still not able to contemplate that there can be a Woman, who actually exists and is powerful enough to Kill him in battle. After consulting his ministers and generals, he asked his Prime Minister Tamraksa to take out a small army to first convince her to come on her own accord or bring her a prisoner. He also asked them to be careful not to harm her at all, as he wants to marry her and make her his Queen. Tamraksa as ordered took a small unit of the army and met Mother Durga. He met the Goddess and boasted of Mahisasura's long list of achivements, namely the triumph over the Devas, the overlord of the Three Worlds, the all powerful whom no one have been able to defeat in battle. He also stated that Manisasura could take any form and if she wants he can take any form she wants . That Mahishasura wants to marry her and make her his Queen and give her protection, she should consider herself fortunate. To this the Goddess said to Tamraksa that your king is dim witted and his eyes are blinded by Ego, Desire, Pride and Over confidence. He does not see what is in front of him. The Goddess proclaimed that She is who has no beginning or end, neither does her husband. Her husband is none other than the Adi Purush (She is mentioning Lord Shiva here as Shiva's consort Parvati is the Sakti form of the Female essence in the Universe). She said she has no desire to get attached to anyone when the most Ancient of Lords' is her husband. Certainly not to a half Buffalo Demon with almost no intellect. She also reminded him that boon says Mahisasura will die in hands of a Woman, and asked him to take a good look at her and report back to Mahisasura, as she is that Woman who has come to kill him. No amount of persuasion, threat or temptation by Tamraksa resulted in getting Devi Durga to give her consent to marry Mahisasura. She thundered that the Asuras should retreat to their designated place in the Universe, the Patalloka (the nether worlds) and go back there, if they want to survive.

After the current events, by now, it had dawned to the Asuras that the Goddess might infact, have actually come to defeat Mahisasura. They also realised that the Boon by Lord Brahma may not be as watertight as they perceived it to be initially. They understood there is a loophole in the Boon, which have been exploited by the Devas. However the ego of the Asuras were too much for them to contemplate retreat. They decided to fight to the bitter end. They were also fairly confident of victory as the Trinity (Brahma-Vishnu-Shiva) were not taking part in battle. [A Note: A boon by Brahma of for that fact any God, does not mean the recipient of the Boon cannot be killed by the Trinity outside the method as per the given Boon, however it’s code of honour kept by the Gods keep so no Boon by a God is dishonoured as it would amount to having common people losing faith in Gods and penance].


As the battle started, first out of the gates were Bishalaksh & Durmukha (Foul Mouthed). They taunted Goddess Durga with lewd comments and taunts. As Bishalaksh threw his mace towards the Goddess, it was countered by the Kamodaki (Mace given by Tvastha) and shattered Bishalaksh’s mace. There was a brief battle between Bishalaksh and the Goddess and Bishalaksh was thrown down. Devi Durga then killed him with the Trisul (Trident). Durmukha was astounded at the ease with which the Goddess killed Bishalaksh, who terrorized the Devas during Dev-Asur Sangram (War). However he got out of his trance & recollected his spirits as the Asura forces attacked the Goddess. They attacked her with various deadly weapons, however Devi Durga countered them with ease. She shattered Durmukha’s Chariot, his Bow and brought the Asura down to the ground. The angry Asura attacked Devi Durga’s mount the Lion and hit a deadly blow on its head. However by the grace of the Goddess the Lion withstood the blow and scratched the Asura with its sharp claws. The Angry Devi to an end to Durmukha’s misery by slicing off his head with the Sword.


Asiloma & Vidalaska were the next asuras to arrive. They however were different. He was well versed in both warfare and diplomacy. They were also trusted by Mahisasura as they were known to have the guts to speak their mind in the presence of Mahisasura. Mahisasura had lot of faith in them. Once they arrived at the battlefield, Asiloma asked Goddess Durga if she has any personal enimity with the Asuras. He said, he was unable to understand the reason for her carnage on the Asura Armies. All that was proposed of Devi Durga, was her hand in marriage to the Great Lord Mahisasura, Ruler of the Three Worlds. If she had reservations on the match all she needed to do was say “No”. However she went on to wreck havoc on the Asura armies. Devi Durga calmly reminded Asiloma that she had already said “No” a number times, the response to which from the Asuras resulted in insults, taunts and lewd comments. She also explained that she does not have any personal enmity or grudge against the Asuras. She stated that, even now the Asuras could save themselves if they were to go back to the Netherworlds, their rightful place in the Universe, and gave back to the Devas what is rightfully theirs, i.e. the Heavens and promise to live peacefully. She said she was willing to forgive them of all their previous atrocities. She announced that she was here to uphold is Justice and Virtue (Dharma and Nyaya) as these qualities has been squashed during the reign of Mahisasura. She mentioned she has come to relive the universe of the sins of Mahisasura and bring back the natural way of life as ordained by the Creator. She recounted the atrocities of Mahisasura, where he not only terrorized the Devas and other’s way of life but also the Creator Brahma by insulted in spite of granting the Mahisasura his desired boons.

She said “I am the ancient essence of the Universe, the Origin of it, I am the power of Vishnu’s Sudarshan Chakra, Shiva’s Trident and Bhahma’s Kamandalu. I am Ananta (or timeless), without fault, nirakar (or without feature), sexless, and nirguna (or without distinction or faultless). I am the Ultimate Energy source which has no fear or favour.” She said Mahisasura is possessed by his ego, pride and power and also Maya (Illusion)” Thus She said whoever is fighting and supporting him would face his end in her hands. Sensing there is reason within Asiloma & Vidalaska she advised them to forego Mahisasura and retreat to Patallok (or the Netherworlds). However the two Asuras did not want to be commit the sin of Betrayal and neither do they want to be known as cowards who ran away from the battlefield from a woman. They said if they are to die, let it be in her hands as they would attain salvation in doing so. Mother Durga was pleased with the reasoning and maturity of the two Asuras. After they well killed by her in a great battle, she blessed them and they attained Moksha (liberated from the birth and death cycle)

After hearing the demise of Asiloma & Vidalaska, at last Mahisasura came out to the battlefield. However doubts have now crept into the mind of the Powerful & Proud Asura. As he came out to battle he took the form of a handsome man to entice the Goddess into temptation of Marriage. He was rebuffed yet again. The Goddess told him the only union that is possible between them is that of the Goddess and her devotee. She is already wedded to the Maha Purusha (The Almight) as she herself is the Adi Shakti and Prakriti (Nature). She has come to cleanse the evil of the Universe in the form of Asuras on the behest of the Trinity and the Devas. While the conversation was ongoing two other Generals of Mahisasura, Durdhara and Trinetra was felled in battle.


As Mahisasura kept harping on the merits of their marriage the Goddess got infuriated and taunted him contemptuously saying “O Mahisasura, you who wanted to fight and be defeated and killed in battle by a woman, as you thought women are weak and nothing but your playthings. So here am I. I challenge you to a battle. Are you man enough to accept my challenge?” This infuriated the Asura. To rub salt on wound the Devi said “I have killed all your Ministers and Generals, your relatives, your army has been decimated by me. Now, I would kill you and give back the Heavens to the Devas. However you can save yourself if call a truce and peacefully return to Patallok and return the Heavens to the Devas. If you continue to fight, it will surely bring your demise”. This was the final straw for Mahisasura, who was still in the trance of infatuation. He gave a war cry which shook the three worlds and thus at long last started the war between Devi Durga and Mahisasura.


He commanded his army to attack the Goddess. The first battalion of the army fired their most dangerous weapons towards Devi Durga, however they were all destroyed as soon as they were fired. This continued till this army unit had nothing left to fire. They attacked the Goddess with their bare hands. A very bad move, as the army was decimated by Devi Durga as she wielded her weapons in a devastating effect. Wave after wave of Mahisasura’s army came and was confronted with the same fate. The worst part was there was not a scratch on the Devi and there was no way to penetrate her defences. They had no idea what hit them as it was a futile exercise. Morale of the Asura army was getting lower and lower.


Mahisasura tried to improve the moral of his Army by reminding them that their’s were the army that have won the Three Worlds. He proclaimed “We have conquered the Devas, the Yaksha, The Gandharvas, The Humans, other Demons. The Trinity are powerless to stop us. This is just a mere Woman”. However his own words lacked conviction and were laced with fear, which his army could also comprehend as a false boast. He told his army its their job to protect the kingdom and him from this Woman. Most of the asura army was already low on moral by now. They knew either The Goddess will kill them in battle or Mahisasura will do so if they turn their backs now. Their fates sealed, they battled on without conviction till they faced their end.

Mahisasura gauged the battle scene and it looked very depressing. The way Devi Durga was fighting he was not sure if there would be an army standing beside him by the evening. He tried to strategize his next move. Mahisasura ultimately called upon his Personal Army Guards, who were an extremely dangerous fighting unit. They were the best of the best of the Asura Army. They were all trained and distinguished fighters with exceptional skills. He always knew they had no equal, however for today atleast so he hoped. He spoke them and said “The pride of the Asuras are at stake here. We are being harassed by a cunning woman who is nothing but a mischief of the Devas. You are the best of the Asura army. Let us know this woman what it means to mess with the Trilok Vijaye Army (Army which is the Conqueror of the Three worlds)”. They formed a Charka Vihu (A Circle like Army formation) with Mahisasura at the center.


They marched towards Devi Durga, who was vanquishing the Asura army at an astonishing rate. She scanned the changed scenario. She know the current crop of Mahisasura’s army was the best of the lot. She started to fire her weapons at as unbelievable speed. The Devi knew she would need some help to take care of the new asura army. She uttered some divine shlokas (scriptures). Suddenly from nowhere, Mahisasura saw there was an army behind Devi Durga who were as strong, ferocious and well-armed as his Army if not better. Infact they were as well armed as the Devi herself. Mahisasura was taken aback. This was the first time he has faced such a situation. His confidence, whatever was left of it, took a beating. He was an absolute ruler, a leader who led without doubt or hesitation. His people looked up to him during times of crisis and today he himself was having doubts. However he know if there is any chance to win this war he cannot show any signs of weakness or falter.


Devi Durga with her army fought with the single minded goal of defeating the Asura army. They were fierce and resolute. Mahisasura knew there is no way now he could avoid a direct confrontation with Devi Durga. So he asked his army to take on Devi Durga’s army while he himself would battle Devi Durga. So it started the battle for which everyone was waiting for. Mahisasura’s Personal Army were a powerful lot and fought with lot of vigor, however Devi’s army were better disciplined and very very strong. They went about in their way killing the Asura army with precision strategy. This angered Mahisasura. He took the form of a giant Buffalo and charged at Devi Durga and her Army. He gorged them and killed and wounded many of them. He brutalized them with his horns and tail. Devi Durga’s Lion attacked Mahisasura in his Buffalo form and severely scratched his face. Devi Durga used her rope to bound him. However Mahisasura immediately changed his shape to an Elephant and pulled at the Lion’s feet. He was trying to get the Devi disbalanced, Devi Durga brought out her sword and slashed the trunk of the elephant into two. Mahisasura now changed himself to a Lion and attacked the Devi. Devi Durga’s Lion and Mahisasura in his Lion form clashed. It was a brutal fight between the two as Devi Durga used her sword again and pierced Mahisasura in his Lion form. He again changed to this original form and attacked the Goddess. However he only came back with a brutalized body showcasing several wounds.


Mahisasura tried to use the art of Maya on Devi Durga and took the battle to the skies. However Devi Durga is the Omnipotent Goddess from whom art of Maya is born. She cut through all of Mahisasura’s Maya with ease. She threw down Mahisasura from the skies and there was a loud thud when he fell on earth. In the meantime his Elite army was also not doing any better. They were systematically defeated by Devi Durga’s army. None of his war strategies worked, he tried a different modes of attack, he took several other forms to find the most effective one, rearranged his army, used brute force. However nothing, absolutely nothing worked against the Divine Goddess whose name Durga means Invincible. The battle continued for nine days. Each day the strength of the Once Invincible Asura Army depleted more and more. The morale was sapping from the army. They could feel the grin of the Devas from above.

On the tenth day with just over a few hundreds in his army left out of the millions at the start of the war, Mahisasura knew he had to do something different. There is no way he can go on like this. What irked him the most was the thought, in which he knew though he has fought at his highest level, something told him Devi Durga has barely started to fight. It was as if she was just playing around till now. This thought sent shivers down his spine as he dreaded the time when the Devi would actually fight to her highest capability. The thought itself sapped his strength. He knew his end was coming, however the Proud Asura knew we cannot back down now and be a laughing stock in the Universe. He resorted to his own native form of the Buffalo and charged at the Goddess. He was hoping to put her off balance and then bull dozed her into the earth. The Goddess had her fun for nine days however today she was ready. She slashed her sword and gave Mahisasura a deep wound. The wound was such that that if Mahisasura was to remain in his Buffalo form he would aggravate it. In his moment of confusion Devi Durga gave a roar and leapt from her Lion on to Mahisasura. With her feet pinned him down. No amount of struggling, wincing, screaming, and bouncing helped Mahisasura. With one swing of her Sword Devi Durga cut off the Buffalo head. From the cut head of the Buffalo, Mahisasura started to emerge in his Asura form, it is then Devi Durga used her Trident to kill Mahisasura.


In his last moments Mahisasura could see the truth. He understood she is the Almighty and he could never win against her. Thus he prayed to her. Devi Durga was pleased. She asked him to request a boon. Mahisasura asked that he always be at her feet. To this Devi smiled and said wherever my puja will be held you will also be prayed along with me. With his boon Mahisasura died a content man.


The Devas were watching the battle all along. They rejoiced now that it was all over. Flowers were rained upon Devi Durga. The Devas fell at her feet for reliving them of their tormentor. The Devas prayed and asked her to be their protector always whenever they are in trouble. The Goddess pleased with their devotion told them “My sons you will always be under my protection. Be at peace and restore the order in the three worlds.”

Thus Devi Durga came to be known also as Mahisasuramardini [The defeater and killer of Mahisasura]. As the Goddess vanished from their presence everyone, the Devas, the Sages, the Gandharvas, the Apsaras, the Yaksha, the Humans, the remaining Asuras sang her praises.


     
 

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