The Hindu Goddess Durga is riding into our week on Her lion with a beatific smile and weapons ready for battle. Her protection of those who seek Her is unending, as is Her love. With Durga standing by our sides, we cannot help but feel safer and more secure in who we are. She empowers us in our choices and in our actions (and non-actions) this week.
Durga is one of the most Beloved Goddesses of the Hindu pantheon. Her worship has continued into current day and culminates every year during Navratri (Nine Nights). It is a nine day festival celebrated around October (and also in Spring) and is sometimes called Durga Puja as performing puja and fasting are common during Navratri. The festival symbolizes the triumph of good over evil and also includes worship of Lakshmi and Saraswati as aspects of Shakti, Devi.
Durga is the epitome of Independent Woman. She is fierce, capable, beautiful, and disdains all traditional female roles. Especially in India, it is highly unusual to have such an independent Goddess that refuses to marry, carry out household duties and, instead, is the Battle Queen of the Cosmos. Interestingly, part of Her power is that of maya (illusion or delusion) that allows Her to entice Her enemies and make them think She is helpless. Durga has no children either but on the battlefield, She is known to create Matrkas (Mothers) or other ferocious helpers who are always female. She is unique of all the Shakti Goddesses – She alone does not lend Her power to a male deity, but instead has taken Her initial power at creation from them.
Durga’s message is like a clarion call, “I am here for your demons”. Durga was created to save the world from demons and She stands ready to battle and defeat them again and again. Demons can be the thoughts that give us stress and anxiety, our fears, anything that stands in the way of our soul liberation. Can you have a better ally than Durga?
I was called to share this prayer that I use to call upon Durga and ask Her to do battle with and for me …
A Prayer to Durga from Swami Amritageetananda Puri
Chamakam to Durgadevi
Give me the heart to love, my Mother
Give me the grace to smile,
Give me the patience not to hurt another
Even those who my name defile.
Give me the courage to walk with cheer
The slippery path of the good,
Give me the faith to live without fear
And act the way I should.
Give me the determination to rise again
Each time I slip and fall,
Give me the strength to bear the pain
It’s Thy prasad after all!
Give me the will power to fight and trounce
Anger, lust, jealousy and greed,
Give me the wisdom the finite to renounce
And steadily to Thy lotus feet speed.
Give me the knowledge that alone
Frees one from bondage and sin
Give me the light by which can be known
The pure, eternal Self within.
This is a reminder that we are never alone … never. We never have to do battle alone – Durga is always there in whatever form you choose to call on. Remember – She cannot help if we do not ask.
Goddess Crystal for Durga – Red Tiger’s Eye – This stone affords protection and the facilitation of tapping into our personal power. Red Tiger’s Eye is also a wonderful stone to work with in grounding your spiritual practice and providing a motivational energy to continue with it. It is a “demon” buster as well – Red Tiger’s Eye helps to release paranoia, fear, and feelings of vulnerability while strengthening the belief that you are powerful. The perfect Durga stone!
May Durga bring you the protection and assistance you need this week!
Resources for Durga:
Card from the Goddess Oracle Deck by Amy Sophia Marashinsky
Shakti Mantras – Tapping into the Great Goddess Energy Within by Thomas Ashley-Farrand
Hindu Goddesses: Visions of the Divine Feminine in the Hindu Religious Tradition by David R. Kinsley
Goddess Durga and Sacred Female Power by Laura Amazzone