Tag Archive: lalita


Goddess Durga

“Durga’s themes are power over evil and negativity, knowledge and sustenance. Her symbols are fire, yellow-colored items, lions, rice bowls and spoons.  The Hindu warrior Goddess Durga is typically depicted as a beautiful woman with ten arms that bear divine weapons to protect all that is sacred – including you. Her role in Indian mythology is so powerful that the national anthem sings Her praises as a guardian. According to the stories, Durga overpowered the great demon who threatened to destroy not only the earth but the gods themselves.

Durga’s festival (Durga puja or Durgotsava) comes during the early fall, when the skies are growing darker. As this happens, she offers to zealously defend goodness against any malevolence that dwells in those figurative shadows.  If there is a special person or project that you want protected, pray for Durga’s aid today. Light a yellow candle (or any candle) and say:

‘Durga, protectress and guardian
Watch over (person, situation or project)
with all due diligence
Take the sword of truth
the power of justice
and the light of decency
to stand guard against any storms that come
So be it.’

Blow out the candle and relight it anytime you need safety.

To encourage Durga’s providence, set a bowl of rice on your altar with a spoon today. This is the symbol of Annapoorna, an aspect of Durga who supplies daily food.”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

“All Goddesses in Hindu belief are ultimately the same Goddess, often called simply ‘the Goddess’ or ‘Devi.’ But She appears in different forms with different names. One of the fiercest of Devi’s forms is Durga. She was also the eldest: during the primordial war between gods and antigods, Durga was the first manifestation of Goddess-energy. The war was a standoff; neither side was winning, and the battles dragged on without victory. Almost hopeless, the gods gathered and concentrated their energies. Flames sprang from their mouths and formed Durga, the first female divinity in the universe. Although produced by the gods, the Goddess was stronger than any of them, or all of them together, and She was fiercely eager to fight.

Recognizing Her power, the gods handed their weapons to Durga. She mounted a lion to ride toward the antigods’ chief, the demon Mahisa. That magical being, terrified of this new apparition, used his powers to assume one fearsome form after another. Still the Goddess advanced, until finally, as the demon assumed the form of a buffalo, Durga slaughtered him. The demon nonetheless tried to escape through the dying beast’s mouth, but Durga caught him by the hair and butchered him, thereby freeing the earth for the gods to inhabit.

The Goddess in this form not only symbolizes the fierce power of the combat against evil but also the rule of the intellectual sphere, for Durga (‘unapproachable’) represents the end of all things; to seek to understand Her is to engage in the most powerful intellectual exploration possible” (Monaghan, p. 106 – 107).

Shri Gyan Rajhans explains the Mother Goddess Durga and Her symbolism: “The word ‘Durga’ in Sanskrit means a fort, or a place which is difficult to overrun. Another meaning of ‘Durga’ is ‘Durgatinashini,’ which literally translates into ‘the one who eliminates sufferings.’ Thus, Hindus believe that Goddess Durga protects Her devotees from the evils of the world and at the same time removes their miseries.

 The Many Forms of Durga

There are many incarnations of Durga: Kali, Bhagvati, Bhavani, Ambika, Lalita, Gauri, Kandalini, Java, Rajeswari, et al. Durga incarnated as the united power of all divine beings, who offered Her the required physical attributes and weapons to kill the demon ‘Mahishasur‘. Her nine appellations are Skondamata, Kusumanda, Shailaputri, Kaalratri, Brahmacharini, Maha Gauri, Katyayani, Chandraghanta and Siddhidatri.

Durga’s Many Arms

Durga is depicted as having eight or ten hands. These represent eight quadrants or ten directions in Hinduism. This suggests that She protects the devotees from all directions.

Durga’s Three Eyes

Like Shiva, Mother Durga is also referred to as ‘Triyambake’ meaning the three eyed Goddess. The left eye represents desire (the moon), the right eye represents action (the sun), and the central eye knowledge (fire).

Durga’s Vehicle – the Lion

The lion represents power, will and determination. Mother Durga riding the lion symbolizes Her mastery over all these qualities. This suggests to the devotee that one has to possess all these qualities to get over the demon of ego.

 

Durga’s Many Weapons

  • The conch shell in Durga’s hand symbolizes the ‘Pranava’ or the mystic word ‘Om’, which indicates Her holding on to God in the form of sound.
  • The bow and arrows represent energy. By holding both the bow and arrows in one hand ‘Mother Durga’ is indicating Her control over both aspects of energy – potential and kinetic.
  • The thunderbolt signifies firmness. The devotee of Durga must be firm like thunderbolt in one’s convictions. Like the thunderbolt that can break anything against which it strikes, without being affected itself, the devotee needs to attack a challenge without losing his confidence.
  • The lotus in Durga’s hand is not in fully bloomed, It symbolizing certainty of success but not finality. The lotus in Sanskrit is called ‘pankaja’ which means born of mud. Thus, lotus stands for the continuous evolution of the spiritual quality of devotees amidst the worldly mud of lust and greed.
  • The ‘Sudarshan-Chakra’ or beautiful discus, which spins around the index finger of the Goddess, while not touching it, signifies that the entire world is subservient to the will of Durga and is at Her command. She uses this unfailing weapon to destroy evil and produce an environment conducive to the growth of righteousness.
  • The sword that Durga holds in one of Her hands symbolizes knowledge, which has the sharpness of a sword. Knowledge which is free from all doubts, is symbolized by the shine of the sword.
  • Durga’s trident or ‘trishul’ is a symbol of three qualities – Satwa (inactivity), Rajas (activity) and Tamas (non-activity) – and she is remover of all the three types of miseries – physical, mental and spiritual.

Devi Durga stands on a lion in a fearless pose of ‘Abhay Mudra’, signifying assurance of freedom from fear. The universal mother seems to be saying to all Her devotees: ‘Surrender all actions and duties onto me and I shall release thee from all fears’. [1]

 

 

Here is a beautiful rendition of the Shree Durga Chalisa for your listening and viewing pleasure

Sources:

Monaghan, Patricia. The New Book of Goddesses and Heroines, “Durga”.

Rajhans, Shri Gyan. About.com – Hinduism, “The Goddess Durga“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Dollsofindia.com,Goddess Durga: the Female Form as the Supreme Being“.

Jade. Order of the White Moon, “Durga“.

Koausa.org, “Goddess Durga“.

Kumar, Nitin. Exoticindiaart.com, “Goddess Durga – Narrative Art of Warrior Goddess – Exotic India Art“.

Laka. Order of the White Moon, “Durga“.

Wikipedia, “Durga“.

Goddess Tripura

“Tripura’s themes are religious devotion, forgiveness, relationships, kindness, truth, spirituality, patience and restoration. Her symbols are gold, silver and iron.  In Jainism, Tripura is the great mother who lives in three metallic cities (gold, silver, iron) that represent the heavens, the air, and the earth (or body, mind, and spirit). She unites these three powers within us for well-balanced spiritual living that reflects good morals and proper action.

Taking place between August and September, this Paryushana focuses on the ten cardinal virtues of forgiveness, charity, simplicity, contentment, truthfulness, self-restraint, fasting, detachment, humility, and continence. It is also a time to restore relationships that have been damaged during the year and generally reassess one’s life and perspectives, asking for Tripura’s assistance during your daily meditations with words like this:

‘Great Heavenly Mother, create in me a temple
that is strong and pure, a mind that seeks after
truth, and a spirit that thirsts for enlightenment.
Balance these parts of myself so I may walk along
your path with harmony as my companion.’

Another way to generate Tripura’s attributes within today is by wearing gold, silver, and iron toned objects or clothing. If you can’t find anything in an iron color, just iron your clothing using the magic of puns for power!”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

“Tripurasundarĩ (‘Beautiful (Goddess) of the Three Cities’) or Mahã-Tripurasundarĩ (‘Great Beautiful (Goddess) of the Three Cities’), also called Ṣoḍaśĩ (“Sixteen”), Lalitã (‘She Who Plays’) and Rãjarãjeśvarĩ (‘Queen of Queens, Supreme Ruler’), is one of the group of ten Goddesses of Hindu belief, collectively called Mahavidyas.

As Shodashi, Tripurasundari is represented as a sixteen-year-old girl, and is believed to embody sixteen types of desire. Shodashi also refers to the sixteen syllable mantra, which consists of the fifteen syllable (panchadasakshari) mantra plus a final seed syllable. The Shodashi Tantra refers to Shodashi as the ‘Beauty of the Three Cities,’ or Tripurasundari.

Tripurasundari is the primary Goddess associated with the Shakta Tantric tradition known as Sri Vidya.  The Goddess Who is ‘Beautiful in the Three Worlds’ (Supreme Deity of Srikula systems); the ‘Moksha Mukuta’.” [1]

One source I found stated that “Maha Tripura Sundari is the Universal manifestation of the Mother Goddess Parvati.” [2]  Another explained that “Goddess Tripura is the ultimate, primordial Shakti, the light of manifestation. She is the garland of letters of the alphabet and said to be the one who gave birth to the three worlds. She is called ‘the beauty of three worlds’.  At dissolution, She is the abode of all Her devotees.

The Sri Chakra, frequently called the Sri Yantra.

Vidya means knowledge, specifically female knowledge, or the Goddess, and in this context relates to her aspect called Shri, Bala or Tripura Sundari whose magical diagram is called the “Shri Yantra” or the “Bala Tripura Sundari Yantra”. [2]

“Goddess Tripura Sundari is an integral part of the religious life of Tripura. The Tripura Sundari, along with other Goddesses, namely, Tara, Kali, Bhuvaneshvari, Chhinnamasta, Bhairavi, Bagalamukhi, Dhumavati, Kamalatmika and Matangi.

Kali, Tara, Shodashi, Bhuvaneshvari, Bhairavi,
Chhinnamasta, Dhumavati, Bagalamukhi, Matangi, and Kamala.

This Goddess is described as being the mate of Lord Shiva. It is commonly believed that the state of Tripura has derived its name from Tripura Sundari. One of the major temples of the satte is dedicated to the worship of Tripura Sundari.  The name of this temple is Tripura Sundari Temple. This popular temple of Tripura is situated at the top of a hill close to the village called Radhakishorepur. This place is not very far away from the prominent town of Udaipur. There is a hymn dedicated to Tripura Sundari.

The importance of Goddess Tripura Sundari in Tripura can be understood from the fact that it is considered one of the 51 pithasthanas associated with the religion of Hinduism.

Goddess Tripura Sundari is often referred to as Shodasi. Shodasi is commonly represented in the state as a girl of sixteen years. She represents sixteen different types of urges. The Shodasi Tantra is an important source of information about Tripura Sundari in Tripura. According to this source, Tripura Sundari is actually the illumination in the eyes of Lord Shiva.” [3]

Pertaining to Lalitha: “Lalitha means ‘She Who Plays’. All creation, manifestation and disslution is considered to be a play of Devi or the Goddess. Lalitha Tripura Sundari Devi is a Goddess who is representative of these Goddess on form, Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswathi. Tripura means the Three Cities, and Sundari means beautiful; specifically a beautiful female. Therefore Her name means, Beautiful of Three Cities. Tripura Sundari is also worshipped as the Yantra, which is considered by practitioner of Sri Vidya. Vidya means wisdom. Tripura Sundari combines in Her being Kali’s determination and Durga’s charm, grace and complexion. She has a third eye on Her forehead, usually four armed and clad in red or golden in colour, depending on the meditational form. She holds five arrows of flowers, a noose, a goad and sugarcane or bow. The noose represents attachment, the goad represents repulsion, the sugarcane represents the mind and the arrows are the five sense objects. She is the heavily ornamented and sits on a ‘Simhasanam’ before Srichakra. Srichakram is the most sacred thing for Hindus.

“Shakti” by Dhira Lawrence

Goddess Lalitha Tripura Sundari Devi and Red Goddess are one of the most powerful manifestation of Goddess, Shakti. Goddess Shakti incarnated as Lalitha demolish the demon called Bhandasura. As per legends Goddess Lalitha represents the panchabhuta of the universe. Panchabhutas are air, water, fire, space and earth. She always appears as She is 16 years of age. According to this theory Goddess Lalitha appears in the form of 16 nithyadevies, while depicting the war between Bhandasura and the Goddess Lalitha. Sahasranama Stotra mentions the Nitydevies, Her consort is Shiva Kama Sundara. The Lalitha Sahasranamam illustrates Her cherisma from head to foot. She described as the ‘One who recreates the Universe’.” [4]

 

 

 

Sources:

Astroved.com, “Bala Tripura Sundari Yantra“.

Prophet666.com, “Maha Tripura Sundari Mantra“.

Sivaniskitchen.blogspot.com, “Sri Lalitha Tripura Sundari Devi“.

Wikipedia, “Tripura Sundari“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Agaliha. Mysticwicks.com, “Thread: Lalita/Tripura Sundari/Shodashi {Goddess of the Week}“.

Indianetzone.com, “Goddess Lalita, Hindu Goddess“.

Shivashakti.com, “Lalita Tripurasundari, the Red Goddess“.

Stolan, Mihai. Liveonlineyoga.com, “Yoga of the Ten Great Cosmic Powers“.

Wikipedia, “Mahavidya“.

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