The Durga legend.

The great gods of the purano-tantric Hinduism,Brahma,Vishnu and Maheshwara,that is Siva,each have consorts regarded as their active powers.Siva’s is known by various names such as Parvati,Uma,Durga, a Sakti or power,the source of cosmic creation.Every Vaishnavite and Saivite is often treated to an interesting story of an ardent and famous Siva worshipper refusing to worship Parvati.Instead of circumambulating both divinities,that Siva worshipper slipped through between the two.In order to teach him a good lesson Siva became one person with Parvati,so the devotee could not help worshipping Parvati while worshipping Siva.One of the most impressive and formidable goddesses of the Hindu pantheon is Parvati known as the goddess Durga.The primary mythological function ascribed to her is to combat demons who threaten the stability of the cosmos.She is depicted in this role as a great battle queen with ten arms,each arm wielding a weapon.Riding a fierce lion,she is irresistible and undefeatable.The most popular epithet attached to her is Mahisamardini,slayer of Mahisa.Durga’s historical origin seems to be among the indigenous non-Aryan cultures of Vindhya Mountains,tribal peoples such as Sabaras,and non-Aryan habits such as drinking liquor and blood and eating meat.Although Durga becomes an establishment deity in mediaeval Hinduism,saving the cosmos from the threat of demons and guarding dharma,her roots seem to be among the tribal and peasant cultures of India,which eventually leavened the male-dominated Vedic pantheon with several goddesses associated with power,blood and battle.There are many accounts of the origin of Durga,but the best known account of her, is narrated in connection with the defeat of Mahisa.By performing great austerities,Mahisa demon was granted a boon that made him invincible to all,except to a woman.Armed with this boon he defeated all the gods and,usurping their position,drove them out of the heaven.Overwhelmed with anger the gods emitted fiery energies which in a mass of light congealed into the body of a beautiful woman whose spendour spread throughout the universe.Her face was formed from Siva,hair from Yama,arms from Vishnu and so on.Siva gave her his trident,Vishnu,chakra,Vayu,bows and arrows.Thus equipped by the gods and supplied by the god Himalaya with a lion as her vehicle,Durga,the embodied strength of gods,roared mightily,causing the earth to shake


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