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Thursday 13 October 2011

Significance of a Durga Statue

Hinduism is a complex religion and so are the deities in their numerous forms. It can be hard to understand the wholeness of a particular god or goddess by simply seeing their statue; as the statues are sculptured depicting a particular legend or expression or avatar of the deity. Even a Durga statue that you come across on one website may differ in form, expression, and details from another statue you see on a different website store. If you are looking to buy a detailed statue of this goddess believed to be the one who can redeem in situations of greatest distress, a good place to find one that is beautiful and fits your budget would be online.

If you browse the Internet for statues of Durga, you may hit upon a number of websites that make them in a variety of materials and sizes. There are statues carved out of stones, made from metals, FRP, glass, ceramic, etc, which come in a variety of sizes. As mentioned earlier, all goddesses in Hinduism come in many forms and expressions, and before you buy a statue of this ‘invincible’ goddess it might be wise to know a few aspects of her being.

A manifestation of Devi, who is believed to be the female cosmic force and energy that sustains and supports the world that we live in, Durga is endowed with a number of characteristics that are distinctive. She is the self-sufficient, fierce, compassionate and destructive form of Shakti. In India, there is a festival known as Navratri that is celebrated each year to praise this goddess. Navratri literally means nine nights and is celebrated by traditional dancing in the nights, citing of religious texts to invoke the goddess, sowing of seeds and watching them sprout and grow.

There are said to be nine characteristic forms of Durga, which are worshipped one form per day in the nine days of Navratri. They are Shailaputri, where she is two-armed, carries a trident and lotus flower, and sits on nandi, the bull; Brahmacharini, where she is two-armed carrying a rosary and pot; Chandrakhanda is the form in which Durga is atop a tiger and has ten arms out of which eight arms carries a bow, arrow, sword, mace, trident, pot, rosary, lotus and remaining two arms shows Varada & Abhaya mudra; Kushmanda, where she is eight-armed with a tiger by her side. In this form she carries a pot, holy water, bow, arrow, lotus, discus, rosary and a mace. In this form Ma Durga creates solar system; Skanda Mata is the form where Ma Durga rides a lion and has four arms carrying infant Lord Kartikeya or Skanda, lotus in two of her arms and one arm raised in blessing posture; Katyayani is the form which showcases her atop a lion with four arms. Two arms carry a sword & lotus and other two shows Varada & Abhaya mudra; Kalaratri is the form also known as Kali. Here the goddess has four arms and rides a donkey. While dark and unattractive in appearance, she has one hand blessing devotees and depicts that everything has a dark side as well; Mahagauri wears white, rides a bull or a white elephant and is four-armed carrying a trident and hand-drum, she is presented as purity itself; and Siddhidayini is the ninth form of Durga in which she is four-armed and sitting on a lotus.

You can choose a Durga Statue that presents her in any of these nine primary forms. All you have to do is look for a piece that is beautiful and illustrated in details like weapons and facial features of the goddess.

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