Durga is an incarnation of Devi, the supreme Goddess, a unified symbol for all Divine forces. The name Durga symbolizes invincibility, to denote her great powers to destroy the four evils – poverty, suffering, famine and evil habits. Being a Mother Goddess, she is often referred to as Maa Durga and worshipped across India with great reverence.
According to the Markandeya Purana, Durga was created as a warrier Goddess to fight the demon Mahishasura. Mahishasura had the boon of being indestructible by man or God. With these powers he unleashed a reign of terror on earth, heaven and the nether worlds. Since only a women could dispose with him, the trinity (Brahma-Vishnu-Shiva) bestowed a dazzling beam of energy upon Parvati, the wife of Shiva, transforming her into Goddess Durga. She was given a beautiful body and the power and might to fight Mahishasura. Each God also gave her their most powerful weapons – Shiva’s trident, Vishnu’s discus and Indra’s thunderbolt, among others. It is because of this astounding power that she is also known as Shakti – meaning strength, reflecting the warrior aspects of the Goddess.
The Goddess then attacked Mahishasura’s empire and after nine days of fighting during which much of Mahishasura’s army was decimated he was finally killed on the tenth day of the waxing moon, by her incarnation, Kali.
The day of Durga’s victory is thus celebrated as Vijaya Dashami (in East or South India) or Dussehra (in North India), literally meaning the tenth day. Durga Puja is the biggest annual festival in Bengal and other parts of Eastern India, but is celebrated in various forms throughout the Hindu universe.
This album features the pundits of devotion, Bhimsen Joshi, Pandit Jasraj and Suresh Wadkar and musical doyens Ashwini Bhide and Shruti Sadolikar, in a collection of the finest bhajans and prayers.
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