Goddess Durga is considered to be a form of Shakti, created by the Gods to kill a demon called Mahisasura.
• Incarnations Of Goddess Durga
Goddess Durga according to popular Hindu conception is the divine daughter of Himalaya, and his wife, Menaka, a Manasputri of Brahma, the Creator. It is said in the Markandeya Purana that though she pervades the Universe, and is co-extensive with creation, yet she manifests and incarnates herself on special occasions with a view to help the Devas in the performance of their divine work. Though thus manifested and incarnated, she is neither limited nor conditioned but is Nitya or Eternal.
The goddess is also known as the wife of Lord Shiva and the mother of Laxmi, Saraswati, Ganesh and Kartikeya. She has ten hands out of which she holds different arms in eight of her hands and conch and lotus in the rest two. Even the Pauranic Durga or Uma has been described as the Mother of Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva, and yet she has been depicted as the consort of the last-named God of the trinity.
She was born fully grown, created out of flames that issued from the mouth of Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva and other Gods embodied in their collective energy. All the Gods in the heaven had created her to kill a fierce demon called Mahisasura who had been terrorizing the Gods in heaven and the men on earth. She was armed with the arms of every God so that she could kill him. She sat on a lion and went and killed Mahisasura.
Goddess Durga as worshipped by the Hindus, is the Primordial Energy of the Universe that creates upholds and destroys. It is through Her that a vision or glimpse of the Absolute and Infinite is possible. She is neither the Dawn, nor the Night, nor the Sun, nor any beautiful and wonderful phenomenon of Nature; but she is the very essence on which everything that is subsists. She is the Brahmamaya through which the Universe has been manifested.
The Hindus try to realise this grand conception of Her in their life by symbolising Her in a figure of clay, and worshipping Her as the Primordial Energy of the Universe-the Mother of the Gods and of all Creation.
In West Bengal Durga Puja is celebrated with great pomp and show. She is considered to be a form of Shakti. The legend holds that Goddess Durga visits earth once in a year and the people treat her like a daughter. In other parts of the country the goddess is worshipped but in a different form and different way. This is because the goddess is known among the Hindu in various incarnations and forms.
As per as the figure of the goddess is concerned she has ten arms, three eyes and each of arms bear a weapon. Ten of her arms represent ten directions in Hinduism and it signifies that the goddess protects her devotees from all direction and all harms.
She has three eyes. The left arm represents desire, the right eye represents action and the central eye represents fire. The goddess is bound on a lion. A lion on the other hand symbolises power, determination and will. Thus it can be said that as the goddess has made the lion her slave it is obvious that she has power, will and determination which is suggestive of the fact that unless an individual possess the all the three qualities one will not be able to win over the demon of ego. All the arms which she holds in her ten arms is also symbolic and each has a separate meaning associated with it.
Thus it can be concluded saying that Goddess Durga with all her accessories is a way with the help of which the devotees are inspired to imbibe within them the spirit of power and determination of mind and character.