Mahishasura Mardini story- Goddess Durga, the slayer of demon Mahishasur
Mahishasur Mardini story
The Mahishasura Mardini story is mentioned as a part of the sacred text Devi Mahatyam which is a part of Markendya Purana. This sacred text narrates how Goddess Durga helped the gods by killing Mahishasura, a demon who took many different forms, including that of a buffalo. For killing Mahishasura, Goddess Durga is also known as Mahishasura Mardini.
The Markendya Purana tells about how Goddess Durga killed the demons Madhu and Kaidabha (symbolizing Tamasic tendencies arisen from ignorance), killed the demon Mahishasura (symbolizing Rajashic tendencies arising from materialism) and also killed Shumbha and Nishubha (symbolizing self-doubt and doubt on others that impedes spiritual progress).
It is important to realize the significance of the battle between the Devi and the Asuras. Although this is told in the form of a story and has religious significance, at another level it also denotes the everyday battles that we face in life. This battle is between the sattvic (divine) and tamasic (demoniac) tendencies prevalent in each one of us. Each day we make choices out of our free will that determine our mental and spiritual evolution in this cycle of life and death.
The demons are nothing but representations of our own evil tendencies. Goddess Durga has two forms- the malevolent and the benevolent. While destroying the demons, she takes the malevolent form. While protecting her devotees, she becomes our mother and we see her benevolent form.
Among the sacred texts that gloryify the Goddess Durga, Lalita sahasranamam and Devi Mahatmyam are most popular.
Mahishasura Mardini Story- How Goddess Durga Slayed Mahishasur
When Mahishasura was the lord of demons and Indra the lord of Gods, there was a war between the gods and the demons that lasted for a hundred years.
After the war, the army of the Gods were defeated by the demons. Mahishasur became the king of the three worlds. The Gods were driven out of heaven and they went to Lord Brahma. Lord Brahma along with the Gods went to Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu.
All the gods then sought the shelter of the holy trinity- Lord Brahma, Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu. A great light emerged from the faces of the Holy trinity. A light sprang forth from the bodies of Indra and other devas as well. All this light united together to form a female form. The Gods on seeing the lusture of the Goddess Durga became filled with joy.
Lord Shiva brought forth a trident from his own trident and presented it to Goddess Durga; Lord Vishnu brought forth a discus out of his own discus and gave it to her. Varuna gave her a conch, Agni a spear; and Maruta gave a bow as well as two quivers full of arrows. Indra, lord of devas, bringing forth a thunderbolt out of his own thunderbolt and a bell from that of his elephant Airavata, gave them to her. Yama gave a staff from his own staff of death and Varuna, the lord of waters, gave her a noose. Brahma, the lord of beings, gave a string of beads and a water-pot. Surya placed his own rays on all the pores of her skin, while Kala gave her a sword and a spotless shield. The milky ocean gave her the best ornaments and garments, Vishwakarma gave her a brilliant axe, various missiles and an unbreakable armour. The ocean gave her unfading lotus garlands to wear and a very beautiful lotus to be held in her hand. Himavan gave her various gems and the lion as her vehicle. Kubera the lord of wealth gave her a drinking cup always full of celestial wine or nectar. Honoured with ornaments and weapons by the remaining gods too, the Goddess roared with loud laughter again and again. The entire sky was filled with her immeasurable stupendous roar and great was the echo that reverberated. All the worlds were frenzied and the oceans raged. The earth quaked and the mountains rocked in the wake of the Warrior Goddess, the great unity of the innate powers (saktis) of all the gods.
“Victory to you,” exclaimed the gods in joy to her, the lion-rider. The sages bowed their bodies in salutation.
She, the Goddess Durga, the embodiment of the lethal energy of divine anger turned against evil, set herself to destroy the armies of Mahishasura. Mahishasur rushed towards that roar, surrounded by innumerable Asuras. He saw the Devi pervading all the three worlds with her lustre. The Devi then killed hundreds of Asuras with her trident, club, showers of spears, swords and the like, and threw down others. Seeing his army thus being destroyed, Mahishasura pounced upon the troops of the Devi with his own buffalo form.
Also Read: STORY OF GODDESS LAKSHMI
The Devi killed all the important lieutenants of Mahishasura such as Chikshura, Chamara, Karala, Uddata, Bashkala, Ugrasya, Ugravirya, Bidala. Finally Mahishasura himself came and fought with the Devi. Devi overpowered Mahishasura and killed him too.
*—–Mahishasura Mardini Story————–*