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Friday 26 August 2011

Statues of Indian Goddesses Kali and Maa Durga

Statues of Indian Gods or Goddesses can be found in every religious Hindu household all across the world. Even in places like Nepal and Bali, you can come across statues of Indian Goddesses Kali and Maa Durga, depicting scenes from Hindu mythology.

One of the most popular Goddess in the Hindu mythology is Durga, an avatar of Lord Shiva’s wife, Goddess Parvati. In Sankrit, the word Durga means a protected place or fort, but in Hinduism the Goddess Durga stands for “the invincible”. Her devotees and followers also call her Maa Durga, Durga Maa, or the Divine Mother. The many forms of Durga include Kali, Bhawani, Shantadurga, Mahishasurmadini, Amba, Jagdhatri, Annapurna and Tara. A multi-dimensional Goddess with many facets, her pictorial or idol is symbolic of power and strength. She has eight arms and she is always riding a lion or a tiger; she is almost always clothed in shades of red. The distinct quality of this idol is that even though she carries weapons and a lotus flower with her, she always has a calm smile on her face.

She is the personification of femininity, purity, knowledge, self-realization and truth, and exists in the state of Svatantrya that literarily means she is free from the universe and self-sufficient. Maa Durga is prayed to as the protector of mankind from known and unknown evils in times of distress.

Kali or Kalika is an avatar of Goddess Durga emoting visible anger. This form of Durga is deeply associated with everlasting energy. While Kali is the Goddess of destruction, her name comes from the Sanskrit word Kala, which means black. Even though, she is depicted as violent, Kali is also prayed to as Bhavatarini, the redeemer of the universe. With her tongue out and with many destructive weapons in her numerous hands, the dark goddess’s idol is unique.

Considered the Goddess of change and changing times, Kali is one of the fiercest tantric Goddesses. Some of her pictures and statues also show her standing on Lord Shiva, her consort. It is believed that in her pose as Daksinakali, Kali was drunk on the blood of her victims and she began dancing like there is no tomorrow. In her vehemence she did not see the body of her husband, Lord Shiva, lying among the corpses on the battlefield. Ultimately the cries of Shiva attracted Kali's attention, calming her fury. As a sign of shame for having disrespected her husband, Kali sticks out her tongue. If Kali steps with right foot and holds sword in left hand she is considered to be Dakshinakali and if the Kali steps out with the left foot and holds sword in her right hand, she is terrible form of Mother, the Smashan Kali.

Hindu mythology is complex and has many connotations; therefore different people have different beliefs. Statues of Indian Goddesses Kali and Maa Durga are often acquired as decorative pieces or for praying.

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